Amadumbe, brown hairy potatoes also known as Taro potato originating from South East Asia and India…..

I got to cook them for the first time (I grew up in the Eastern Cape and we don’t have Amadumbe there).  My friends from Mpumalanga and KZN are forever raving about Amadumbe and all the noise they have been making got me curious enough to look for them but I was always told they were not in season.

I happened to see a street vendor selling them in Joburg last month and she explained how to they are prepared.   A colleague of mine from Mpumalanga cooks them in their skin and peels them off and eats them like that without adding salt.   I’ve tried eating them like that but hey…different strokes for different folks!  Besides, it doesn’t hurt to play around with a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Therefore, I made a mash with basil pesto and a bit of cream.  They are very stiff one has to add milk to losen them up.   The end results……I’m tired of praising my own recipes….you thy them and be the judge! How about that?

In Cape Town, they are available at Pick ‘n Pay store and Woolies stores.  Other retail stores still need to catch up…

Have you ever cooked Amadumbe before?  How do you like them?

Creamy Amadumbe & Basil Pesto Mash

Serves: 3

±500g Amadumbe

± 1 litre, boiling water

200ml full cream milk

5ml (1tsp) cream

5ml (1tsp) basil pesto

2.5ml (½tsp) salt


  1. Rinse Amadumbe in cold water.
  2. Cook Amadumbe in boiling water until soft (you have to be patient this might take 45 minutes to an hour).
  3. When they are soft, let them cool down or immerse in cold water.
  4. Peel off using a knife.  Mash madumbis until smooth.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until blended.
  6. Serve with Chicken Chakalaka.

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2 Response Comments

  • Kit  June 3, 2013 at 7:13 am

    I’m going to have to look out for these now. So many new vegetables you’re introducing me to!

    • Thuli  June 3, 2013 at 8:10 am

      That’s the aim Kit, to introduce indigenous foods to South Africa and the World! 🙂 You’ll Amadumbis at PnP or Woolies. I’m sure you have rosemary in your garden! Let me know how the recipe turns out! Enjoy!


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