Umngqusho: A traditional favourite. Image: Unsplash.

South African umgquasho: Samp and beans with lamb

When spending time with family, cook them some traditional meals, just like umgquasho or samp and beans with tender lamb cutlets.


Umngqusho: A traditional favourite. Image: Unsplash.

South Africa has many great staples but few are as well known as samp. A traditional grain dish that is often enjoyed with stews and beloved by many. There is however a way that it’s enjoyed most often and that’s with sugar beans. This South African umgquasho dish combines samp and sugar beans which have a similar texture and is often enjoyed with chicken, but this recipe adds something more special with lamb for celebrations with your family.

ALSO READ: Garlic roast chicken and vegetables: The perfect weekday dinner

South African umgquasho suggestions

You want to soak the beans as well as the samp so that they cook evenly and become beautifully tender. Not only is the texture a joy, but the beans also have lots of protein that goes very well with the simple lamb cutlets. Everybody has a favourite homemade chakalaka or spicy tomato and onion sauce recipe which you can choose from. Serve everything as one incredibly festive meal to enjoy for special occasions and you can also get creative with the meat that you’re using.

ALSO READ: Creamy samp and beef stew: Traditional South African flavour

When spending time with family, cook them some traditional meals, just like umgquasho or samp and beans with tender lamb cutlets.

Last updated on 10 April 2023

South African umgquasho recipe

4 from 2 votes
Recipe by Cheryl Kahla Course: DinnerCuisine: GlobalDifficulty: Easy
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Cooking time


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Hearty and truly filling. A must try recipe for the entire family.


  • Samp and Beans
  • 1 cup 1 sugar beans

  • 1 cup 1 samp mielies

  • 4 cups 4 cold water

  • 2 cups 2 chicken stock

  • 1 1 bay leaf

  • 3 sprigs 3 fresh thyme

  • Chakalaka
  • 60 ml 60 oil

  • 1 1 onion, diced

  • 2 cloves 2 garlic

  • 2 tbsp 2 fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 1 green pepper, diced

  • 1 1 red pepper, diced

  • 3 3 green chilies chopped finely

  • 2 tsp 2 curry powder

  • 3 medium 3 carrots, grated

  • 2 tbsp 2 tomato paste

  • 200 g 200 green beans, finely sliced

  • Lamb Cutlets
  • 2 2 sprigs thyme, picked

  • 1 1 chilli, chopped

  • 1 tsp 1 crushed black peppercorns

  • pinch of lemon zest

  • ½ tsp ½ coarse salt

  • 60 ml 60 oil

  • 8 8 lamb rib cutlets

  • 1 1 lemon, cut into quarters


  • For the lamb cutlets
  • Combine picked thyme, chopped chilli, crushed peppercorns, lemon zest and salt together. Rub the cutlets and allow to stand for 30 minutes, then drizzle with oil and braai over medium coals. Before removing from fire squeeze lemon juice over the chops.
  • Serve grilled lamb cutlets with a side of samp and beans and topped with chakalaka.
  • For the samp and beans
  • Soak the sugar beans overnight in a bowl of water.
  • The next day, place the beans and the samp mielies in large saucepan with the cold water (unsalted). Bring up to a boil and continue boiling for 1 ½ – 2 hours.
  • During the cooking process, top-up the liquid using the chicken stock, add in the bay leaf and thyme with the first top up.
  • Keep stirring continuously, watching that it does not burn or catch. Do not drain the water off, instead cook the water away. Continue to simmer until the mixture is soft and resembles a thick porridge.
  • For the chakalaka
  • Place a medium-sized frying pan over a medium heat. Heat the oil and sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, peppers and chillies. Add the curry powder and allow to cook out.
  • Add the carrots and cook gently, then add tomato paste. Add the beans and taste to check seasoning, adjust as required. Cook until it reaches a good, chunky consistency, then remove from the stove and allow to cool.

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