I just melt at the mention or even thought of this dish….it takes me back to a time….to a place…yes you guessed it right my grand mother’s kitchen back in the day…

Dumplings and lamb stew

Whether it’s prepared in winter or summer this dish is a guaranteed winner and your guests will give you the complimentary ‘oooh’s and ‘aaah’s around the dinner table.

I grew up in an environment whereby if there’s been a slaughtered cow the whole community got a notification.  This meant bringing your buckets or whatever container you could find and go collect some meat.  Take as much as you want, however, the meat had to be cooked and eaten immediately to avoid spoiling.

Stew and dumplings is one of the dishes that were chosen to prepare the meat. I remember sitting with my cousins around the fire place with the potjie simmering away.  The killer was the aroma coming out of the potjie every time the lid was opened to stir the contents.

I really don’t feel like dwelling on how good this recipe is.  It really speaks for itself.  All you need to do is to try it…just watch out for the ‘oooh’s, ‘aaah’s as well as the consequent licking of fingers!

Dumplings and Lamb Stew Recipe

Serves: 5-6

For Dumplings:

575ml (2¼ cup) cake flour

250ml (1 cup) warm water

5ml (1tsp) instant dry yeast

5ml salt

10ml (2 tsp) sugar

For Stew:

1 onion, chopped

25ml cooking oil

± 500g stewing lamb, trimmed and cubed

2 tsp (10ml) salt

4 black pepper cons

50 ml chutney

4 carrots, chopped

4-6 baby potatoes, peeled

1 stock cube

75ml split peas

2ml crushed chilli

2.5ml medium curry powder

5ml fresh parsley, chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

5ml worcestershire sauce





  1. Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Add water and knead.  Do not add more water if it looks dry, just continue kneading until combined.
  3. Cover the dough and let it rest at a warm place for about 30-45 minutes.
  4. Make round balls the size of a golf ball.


  1. Heat the oil in a big saucepan, throw in the onions.
  2. Add the lamb pieces stirring with a wooden spoon to lightly brown.
  3. Add the spices, chutney, split peas and herbs.
  4. Dissolve the stock cube in 500ml warm water and add to the stew. Simmer at low heat for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Add the potatoes, carrots and neatly place the balls on top of the stew.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

Thuli’s Tips:

You can replace the lamb with mutton or beef and adjust your water and cooking times accordingly.

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58 Response Comments

  • Colleen  March 2, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Awesome new site Thuli, and my tastebuds all went on a route march when I spied that totally gorgous potjie of stew and dumplings…oh my word….thank you so much for sharing. That is one stunning photograph by the way. It was lovely meeting you last Sunday. I wish you great success, always! xx

    • admin  March 3, 2011 at 3:05 am

      Thanks for visiting the site Colleen, we appreciate the comments. I’m glad the dumplings and stew are tantalising your tastebuds 🙂 Lovely meeting you as well and the whole food blogging community. I appreciate all the warmth, generousity and kindness shown to me and I’m honoured to be part of such a community.

  • Marisa  March 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Love that cute little potjie – I want one. And don’t even get me started on how good the recipe sounds. Makes me wish winter would hurry up. 🙂

    • admin  March 3, 2011 at 3:29 am

      LOL Thanks Marisa, cute little potjie indeed! Do try out the recipe and let me know 🙂

  • Ishay  March 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Hi there! Dumplings take me back to my childhood. You’ve just reminded me to ask my Mum for her old recipe. Well done on the new site and happy blogging!

    • admin  March 3, 2011 at 4:13 am

      Thanks Ishay, I would love to taste your Mum’s dumplings….please get the recipe and share.

  • Chef Privé  March 3, 2011 at 8:50 am

    People say it’s never a good thing going grocery shopping on an empty stomach. I’d say it’s not the best thing to visit your blog on an empty stomach. Yum, Thuli!!

    LOVE your blog!

  • Tamara  March 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    woow i’ll definitely try it especially since winter is around the corner…it looks yummy..

  • Rosemary  March 9, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I am certainly going to try those dumplings – I’ve never used a yeast mixture before.

    • Thuli  March 10, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Thanks Rosemary, thanks for visiting. Do try them and let us know what you think.

  • Nolu  March 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    wooow!!!! this looks so yummy I could lick my screen. Gona make it this Saturday 🙂 xoxoxo

  • Sicelo  March 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    This is one of the dishes that I would like to try and cook, obviously it wont be as good as your mom’s or my mom…since I’m far from mom’s cooking, working far from home.
    Thanx for this, I discovered this site by accident and when I saw that potjie, I knew that “ndifikile ekhaya”
    Enkosi Thuli.

    • Thuli  March 17, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Its a pleasure Sicelo!

  • Pierre  March 18, 2011 at 4:56 am

    Dumplings-what a pleasure!Nothing like real SA food.Keep it coming

  • vido  March 20, 2011 at 7:51 am

    how do you cook the dumplings .

    • Thuli  March 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

      Hi Vido, thanks for visiting and for your comment. Please check the recipe bhuti wam, the method is there.

  • Juliane  April 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Beautiful Easter Dish! And I adore lamb! ~Juliane

  • Deon  June 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I’m sitting at Ataturk airport in Istanbul and I’m reading your blog. I cannot tell you how I long to be back in SA and to eating a decent plate of home cooked food! Love your blog and will certainly cook some of your recipes when I’m home.

    • Thuli  June 20, 2011 at 8:28 am

      Hi Deon! Thank you for your comment I’m so glad the blog is reminding you of home. You know what they say- there’s no place like home! Please do try out some of the recipes when you are in the country and let me know! Keep well! 🙂

  • vuyo  September 7, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Wow,thank God for this site..will cook up a storm especially for my inlaws!!

    • Thuli  September 7, 2011 at 9:26 am

      Siyakwamnkela Sis Vuyo! Enjoy making those dishes!

  • phumla  October 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    This 1 in particular is my favourite!

    • Thuli  October 30, 2011 at 10:47 pm

      Imnandi ke wethu! 🙂

  • Ntesh  February 28, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Thanks i tried the dumplings on Sunday,my boyfriend came back from church finished them,its been a while since i had them, and t was my first time ever making them.

    • Thuli  March 7, 2012 at 7:05 am

      Hi Ntesh,

      Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you tried the recipe! You know what they say “a way to a man’s heart is through the stomach” So girlfriend, you’re on the right track! Hope you get to try some more. 🙂

  • Amanda  June 7, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Taking my hat off for you sisi, this was absolutely delicious.Tried it last night my goodness hmmmmm,my family LOVED it.Thanks for the blog, it’s people like you that make us remarkable women in the kitchen.Thank u mncwaaaaaah

    • Thuli  June 7, 2013 at 4:52 am

      Hi Amanda, I see you’ve been cooking up a storm hey! LOL! I Love it! Keep it up. I’m glad I could help sisi. I’ve noticed that young ladies get married to aboKhaphela and they want their traditional dishes. If the recipes help step up ones cooking game then my mission is accomplished! Thank you once again for giving feedback. I really appreciate it! 🙂

  • Tshepi  September 16, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Helloo there! wow..yesterday I was hosting a lunch for a dear friend who is leaving to run the Berlin marathon soon, he asked for dumpling and I prepared this dish for him. Absolutely amazing, yummy and delicious. I won the kitchen diva award!! thank you:-)

    • Thuli  September 16, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Hi Tshepi, you should see the smile on my face right now 🙂 Thanks for trying out the recipe and the amazing feedback! Keep the recipes as one of your “freakum dishes”, Miss Diva! 🙂 Good luck to your friend with the marathon!

  • Phello  March 6, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    I’m so glad I came across your blog for this recipe. Went grocery shopping and I’m about to cook it for my fiancé 🙂 Can’t wait to taste it! 🙂

    • Thuli  March 7, 2014 at 6:43 am

      Hey Phello,

      Thanks for your comment! Let us know how it goes hey. Some folks had their man put a ring on it after preparing this recipe! Who knows! *wink*

      Thuli xx

  • Nosipho  April 13, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Sis Thuli :'( you just made miss home. Here in Turkey you cant find the ingredients that we use at home such dry yeast,so i cant cook anything.im even losing weight because of the soups i drink everyday. 🙁 i just wana grab that delicious looking dish of Amadombolo 😛

    • Thuli  April 13, 2014 at 8:32 am

      Hi Nosipho!

      Yintoni undihlekisa kangaka! Uzoba strongo! 🙂 Not even amasi no mili-mili ke?

  • GoitseBW  May 14, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    luks so yummy , i luv dumplings so much. you are such an inspiration thuli and I love your passion and determination. no.1 fan all the way from Botswana

    • Thuli  May 15, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Hi Goitse,

      Thanks for your comment! It’s good to know there’s a strong fanbase in Botswana! I’ll keep those Tswana dishes coming! Hope you get to prepare the recipe this winter. 🙂


  • Sonia  May 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Thuli I wanted to cook split peas and dumpliings differently, but didnt know how, so I googled dumplings. And opened mzanzi style and I got what I wanted. Today is cold i am going to cook this recipe, you have a new follower mcaa Sonia

    • Thuli  May 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm

      Hi Sonia!

      A BIG welcome to you! 🙂 Hope have fun preparing the recipe! Please let us know how it turns out! Enjoy!

  • Sonia  May 29, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Thuli thanks for welcoming me, my daughter was so excited that I had cooked the lamb and dumplings, she said wow delicious for the cold weather and I must say everyone wanted seconds. Now i am back for gemmer and potchestroom recipe we are having itiye over the weekend. Thanks a lot

    • Thuli  May 30, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Hi Sonia,

      Thanks so much for the feedback! Really appreciate it and I’m so glad your family enjoyed the recipe!

      They are going to LOVE the Potchs and Gemere! Have fun and enjoy the weekend!

      xx Thuli

  • nteshie  June 5, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Yhu thanks ntombi ngeRecipe. I cant wait to knock of ndizobonda mmh!!! you are a star!!! yhu kunini ndicela abantu bandenzele…ngok ndizakuzenzela ngokwam…Thanks Girl…

  • thandeka  June 23, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    I tried this recipe out for diner yesterday and boy did I have my family licking their fingers……

    • Thuli  June 24, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Hi Thandeka,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the recipe! I’m glad your family enjoyed it! 🙂


  • Que  March 6, 2015 at 8:30 am

    I am making this kule weekend..Thanks Sis Thuli for sharing with us…my word! my mouth is already watering *nomnom :).

    • Thuli  March 6, 2015 at 8:56 am

      You are welcome Que! Enjoy! 🙂

  • Selaelo  April 6, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Hi The list, thanks for the great recipe, I look forward to trying it. One missing thing from it though is how to prepare the dumping. I’ve never cooked it before. Now that I got my dough into small golf balls, what do I do with it? My grandmother used to make one giant piece and cover it with a plastic bag and immerse it in boiling water and leave to cook.

  • nikki  April 30, 2015 at 8:57 am

    is it ok if I use baking powder instead on the instant yeast

    • Thuli  April 30, 2015 at 9:07 am

      Hi Nikki,

      I personally love the added taste you get from a yeast dumpling. But baking powder can be used in cases where one lacks time. Try adding 10ml (about two teaspoons, then uses cold water instead of warm water. Good luck and have fun! 🙂

  • Verena Koch  June 3, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Oh Yummy!!!!!! It is a cold day today and it is perfect for this weather. Thank you Thuli and God bless you!

    • Thuli  June 3, 2015 at 9:55 am

      You are welcome Verena! 🙂 Enjoy!

  • Obakeng  April 7, 2016 at 11:51 am

    I’m making these tonight. Thanks Thuli! 🙂

    • Thuli  April 7, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Yay! So pleased to hear that Obakeng. You’ll enjoy every bite. Please take a picture 🙂



  • Gugu  May 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    i have made this yummmmy but now hubby want it all the time, its family favourite

    • Thuli  May 12, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      LOL! Andayihleka!

      Thank you for the feedback Gugu! Pheka sisi, phekela indoda yakho! 🙂

      Thuli xx

  • Alice Romilly  June 19, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Oh my word!!! I have been looking for this recipe forever. I am trying it tomorrow. Thank you for posting

    • Thuli  June 21, 2016 at 6:07 am

      Hi Alice,

      It’s an absolute pleasure! Did you get to try it? How did it turn out? 🙂

      Xx Thuli

      • Alice  June 21, 2016 at 8:03 pm

        Hi Thuli
        I did indeed, and it turned out fantastic! Living abroad is sometimes a challenge to have my teenage daughter try South African food that she is not familiar with, but she gobbled this up!!!!Thanks to you I will be making this again 😉

        • Thuli  June 22, 2016 at 6:10 am

          Ncooooh.. Alicce!

          That is very sweet to hear. It gives me great pleasure to help, I’m now inspired to share more recipes for you to try out for your daughter.

          Love and warm hugs,


  • Phelelani  May 30, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Molo sis’Thuli mina ngithanda lawa akwencwayo abeflat abe awenkukhu yesintu noma askabhu, unayo i recipe yawo ?


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