RECIPE: Creamy Amadumbe (Taro) And Basil Pesto Mash


Amadumbe are brown hairy potatoes also known as Taro 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 loosen 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.

About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comments ( 4 )

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

    • 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!

    • Brian

      Hi. These MADUMBIES have been around for donkeys years on the South Coast around Port Edward.. They also know as Yams. Price vary considerably. Fruit and Veg City sell at R56. 99/kg Pnp R49. 99and I have found them for R19. 95/kg at R NAGIAH’S BUTCHERY RANDBURG

  • Joan Ledgerwood

    I love Madumbis. Love adding them to Veggie bakes. Use them in my Quiches as fillers. Have roasted them with salt pepper and coriander. They’re great for diabetics too.

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