Cooking And Snacking On Bambara Groundnuts / Jugo Beans/ Ditloo / DiNawa / Izindlubu


Nyimo beans, jugo beans, bambara ground nuts, indlubu, tindluwa, ditloo….call them whatever name you prefer but these delicious little babies deserve a place in your kitchen cupboard and of course your grocery shopping list!

I have been looking for jugo beans for a while now and finding them in Cape Town is like looking for Table Mountain in Jozi.  So, I used some of my free time to look for them while I was in Jozi last week.  A friend took me to a marketplace called Swazi Inn based in Temarketplaceer items such as indigenous plants, live farm reared chickens etc. are available at the market and it can be a real culture shock to someone who has not experienced township life.

I bought a 2kg packet for R36 and cooked myself some jugo beans for the first time in my life!  They are amazing and it makes me sad that one cannot get them at retail stores and some people don’t even know about their existence.   I used to be one of those people….

Bambara Groundnuts / Jugo Beans
Raw Bambara Groundnuts / Jugo Beans


Jugo beans originated in North Africa and cultivated throughout the continent.  In South Africa they are found in Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Swaziland.  They are nutritious…a good source of protein, calcium, iron and potassium.

Preparation methods vary and are not limited to boiling, roasting, stewing, soups and they can be milled into flour.  I prepared the recipe below,  if you happen to find them in your area buy a packet and try it out.  Hope you enjoy!


Snack Time….Buttered & Salted Izindlubu


Buttered & Salted Izindlubu Recipe

Serves: 3-4

500ml (2 cups) jugo beans

6 cups boiling water

10ml (2tsp) butter


Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Sort and soak beans overnight.  Discard the soaking water before cooking.
  2. In a saucepan, add jugo beans, boiling water and simmer for 2-3 hours or until soft.
  3. Add butter and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve as a snack.



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 ( 54 )

  • Flee

    WOW, those look amazing, I have never seen or heard of Jugo Beans, but will definitely try and get my hands on some. Yummy thanks

    • Hi Flee, Zirkie and Tami!

      Do try them out when you find them. Let me know 🙂


      • Bridget

        Hi Thuli – it is a so encouraging to learn of your site.

        Jugo beans are incredible from a health point of view, they are an amazing in many many dishes as well as snacks and are gluten -free.

        We work with many small scale farmers growing Jugo beans, and would love the world over to know about them.

        Ii am based in Zimbabwe and currently have 60 tonnes in my warehouse.

        • Paula

          I just got 2 packets in today from a patient in Zim, came to SA for eye treatment, Savonuts, nyimo, in the pressure cooker as I type…..a little piece of home and heaven….

          • Hey Paula!

            I haven’t had them in a long while! Enjoy! 🙂


      • Mankitseng

        Thuls Thuls Thuls…. I am looking for Ditloo, lekokoro (dried yellow maize) lerotse ( indigenous melon-like pumpkin) and diphare (indigenous cuccumber-like veggie). Will I find them at the Swazi inn?

        • U can get plenty of lerotse and phare in North West province especially Rustenburg area

          • That’s good to know Bassie. Thanks for sharing 🙂

            Thuli Xx

  • They are so pretty. Lovely pics Thuli and I’ll definately keep an eye out for them 🙂

  • I never knew them so thanks for sharing! It is soooo pretty!

  • Hi Thuli–i love these beans and a number of Indian Grocery Stores keep–i love the fresh ones that you get at local markets in Kwa Zulu natal

    • Hi ever-graceful Usha! How are you my lovely diva sista? Thanks for your comment. Would love to see how you incorporate the beans in your Indian dishes hey! xoxo!

  • Two of my colleagues are from Zimbabwe and they are always raving about this nyimos. One of them managed to get some from a family member who visited now during the December holidays. I was promised to get a taste when they make some. I am anxiously waiting…..
    If anyone knows where i can get some in Cape Town, please let me know. I would like to surprise them and buy them some.

    • Hi Les, I tried looking for a supplier here in Cape Ton and found one, but they are out of stock until August. Will keep on looking and let you know!

  • Oh my word, these are my favourite. They taste even better when fresh. Very healthy and filling too!

  • sheila coutouvidis

    I used to buy them in Zimbabwe and they are the most fabulous food. I also bought some once from a small Indian shop in Durban. Im desperate to find a seller whereby I can purchase these on line. I live in the Karoo. Can you help?

  • Phillipine

    Thuli, ka Sepedi ke DiNawa.

    • Thanks Phillipine! Note the addition! 🙂

  • Rishad

    I’ve been eating Jugo beans since I was a child – I grew up in Pietersburg (now Polokwane) and I miss them because I now live in Cape Town. Rencently a friend brought me a bag – delicious!

    • Hi Rishad,

      Thanks for sharing! I also buy them in Joburg! They are delicious, aren’t they? 🙂

  • sibusiso.kumalo

    I hope, in the five years you are expected to pay back your loans, you earn back what you lost to the sharks in a day. Plus interest!

    • Hi Sbu,

      Thanks for visiting the blog and for your comment! Hope you try out some of the recipes 🙂


  • Mike

    So like we were on our way back from Vic falls two days ago and along the way from Rundu coming down to Grootfontein there were loads of people selling the beans along the road side. They are a staple here called in oshiwambo Eefukwa ( Plural ) I don’t know the Kavango name at present but they are a multi facetted item in cooking and most certainly filling and delicious!

    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for for sharing your experience! Yes my Zim friends call they Nyimo Beans. They also have them in cans in that part of the continent! I would love to get my hands on the canned ones!

      Have fun!

      • Thobeka

        Hi Thuli

        Thanks for sharing can you please share recipes how to cook Jugo beans hubby just bought a bag thanks


  • Bridget

    Jugo beans are one of my favourite foods, found easily in Limpopo where I live. I also make a humus out of them which is divine

  • Lizette

    Oh yes they are very delicious. I know it as indlubu. I grew up eating it. I used to buy a cup for R5 when I was 10 years old and that was 20 years ago. They were cooled in salt water. And its true if you say that once youve started eating them… well then you cant get enough. I believe theres certain times that that are available here in south africa. Not sure if its between january and September and or from September to January. Luckly ive got a friend thats on the look out for it for me. She just brought me a 2kg bag yesterday and im now busy cooking them. Just to let you all now…. its very addictive… and hopefully not fattening. Not many white people are familiar with it but im one of the lucky white south asfrican that knows of it and do enjoy morog.. dont know how to spell but its almost like spinach. Thats lovely too.

    • Hi Lizette,

      Thank you for sharing! 🙂 I’ve been seeing them a lot in Cape Town lately. They are sold by Zimbabwean street vendors and a small bag goes for R10 or R15.

      You almost got it right. It’s Morogo! 🙂


  • Noku

    Looooooove them….in siSwati they are called tindlubu and they do go a long way. I think they are not well promoted as they can help towards decreasing food insecurity. Well I am am in Pretoria and I am fortunate to know a few markets stock it.

    I was hoping to get more ways of using them in recipes as I only know the traditional ways of boiling them until they are soft, mashing them up and adding a bit of seasoning either, in a stiff or slurry like consistancy.

    • Hey Noku! 🙂

      I haven’t tasted them in a long while. I’ll whip up some recipes just for you! Check back in a couple of weeks!


  • I’ve been trying to find some here in Springs, or even as far as Jo’burg, but don’t know where to find it. Can anyone help, please?

  • ernest

    After much searching in joburg I found this shop in the cbd.I also bought maize and peanuts and can’t wait to cook the mixture tonight.this beats any snacks.

    • So awesome to hear that Ernest! Please enjoy and let us know how it all turns out 🙂

      Xx Thuli

  • lizette

    Do I have to soak it overnight? With or without the shell? Can I cook it without soaking overnight and with shell?

  • Richard Truen

    In Durban they are for sale at Gorima’s which you will find at the P&P Hyper , Game City and Gateway

    • Hi Richard,

      Thank you for your comment! It’ll be helpful to some of our readers in Durban. 🙂

      Thuli Xx

  • Buke

    I get them at Marabastad market in Pretoria and a whole lot of other traditional foods depending on time of year!

    • Thank you for sharing Buke! 🙂

      Thuli Xx

  • Toni

    Hi Thuli, one can find Jugo beans at the Spice Emporium on Imam Haroun st in Claremont Cape Town, 1 kg for about R37… just bought some 😋

    • You are a sweetheart Toni. Thank you so much. I’ll go check them out. 🙂

      Thuli Xx

  • Sue Cohen

    I was lucky enough to find some at the Organic Emporium in Bryanston. My domestic worker identified them and has since brought some back from Zim for me. I made a delicious tomato sauce – softened onion, garlic, carrots and celery, then added a few cans of good chopped tomato and a little water, and simmered for a fairly long time. Along the way, added a little sugar – and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Then added the soaked and boiled beans and LOTS of chopped parsley – heated through – very yummy – and easy.

    • Hi Sue,

      Thank you so much for sharing! <3 Your recipe is tempting me to try it out. 😉 I'll let you know how it turns out.

      Thuli Xx

  • Mitchell

    can l ask thuli is this beans regarded as part of heritage

  • Deborah

    Love Nyimo as a snack, always brought some back from Zim. In Swaziland they are Jugo beans… busy soaking to cook tomorrow. I also only know the recipe you posted with butter. Warn your readers that they can sometimes tend to make you gassy! ha ha

    • LOL! You are so funny Deborah. How did you prepare yours? I’m thinking of using them to make a stew.

      Thuli Xx

  • Lillian Hanekamp

    Hi There,

    Thanks for the tips and how to cook the beans. I am also a first timer and these beans are absolutely delish.
    I bought the beans at the Housewifes Market in Lyttelton, Centurion.

    • You are most welcome Lillian. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Thuli Xx

    • Santa Mills

      That’s how I landed on this site. Also bought them from Housewifes Market in Lyttelton, Centurion. Going to try them tomorrow after soaking today. Thanks

  • Lillian Hanekamp

    Reading all the previous Posts, I have cooked the beans separately and the stew and before dishing up added the beans to the stew and even my husband and a friend of mine said that it was delish. My friend is also hooked on the beans and is now attempting to plant them here in Pretoria.

    • That’s a clever method Lillian. I’ll be sure to try it your way next time so that the beans are not overcooked and they retain their beautiful colour. Enjoy!

      Thuli Xx

  • Leanne

    Just found a bag of these at a little grocery store in the Carreira Centre on Republic Rd in Ranburg, JHB. Soaking them and can’t wait to try this recipe tomorrow!

  • Paul

    I grew quite a lot this year here in Grahamstown, despite drought conditions they grew well and we harvested them two days ago. I boiled them up for 40 mins in order to soften the shells, and so that one can extrude the kernels by pressing lightly. They are delicious just like that, but this evening we’ll add salt, hot butter and pepper and eat with some steak I recently brought back from Botswana. They are dead easy to grow, you don’t have to go looking!

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