RECIPE: Herbed Ujeqe (Steamed Bread) With Tomato Relish And Boerewors



In Xhosa, it is called Intlaphoyi or Isonka Somgub’ombona (maize meal bread). Ujeqe, as it is known in Zulu, is traditional bread made by soaking the maize meal in boiling water for a few minutes then mix it with other ingredients such as flour, yeast, sugar, salt etc.

The dough would then be wrapped with maize leaves and steamed. The Zulu people make use of the grass from the fields (utyani) and place it at the bottom of the pot, add some water then place ujeqe dough on top of the grass. In some Xhosa cultures maize stalks are used and placed at the bottom of a pot with water and when water starts boiling, dough is put on the maize stalks.  The bread would be steamed until cooked then served with meat and or vegetables or with soup or relish.

Back in the day, maize was ground until fine and then Ujeqe or intlaphoyi was made with that finely ground maize. Grinding was basically a job done by women from young to the old.  Some of us were lucky enough to grow up in an environment that enabled us to witness women grinding the maize.

Nowadays, maize meal is bought from shops and is used to make the bread.  Allow me to present to you what I prepared: uJeqe served with tomato relish (tamatie smoor) with sausage.  Where I come from we call tomato relish~ bisto.  Ask anyone coming from the Eastern Cape.  I have no idea why it is called a Bisto but we grew up referring to it that way.  The name bisto comes back from our grandparents’ generation.  The smoor is mostly served with Umqa (stiff porridge).  Happy Cooking!


Herbed Ujeqe


Ujeqe (Maize Meal Bread) Recipe

Serves: 4-5

Preparation: ±2hours


250ml (1cup) maize meal

250ml (1cup) boiling water

375ml (1½ cup) bread flour

10ml (2tsp) instant dry yeast

10ml (2tsp) white sugar

5ml (1tsp) salt

10ml (2tsp) butter

15ml (1tbsp) lukewarm water (optional)

3-4 sprigs parsley, chopped


  1. Mix maize meal with water and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Sift flour into a bowl.
  3. Mix ingredients with sifted flour and then with the maize meal and water mix and knead until the dough is elastic. Add more water if necessary.
  4. Put dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place to rise.
  5. When the dough has risen put the bowl in a saucepan with boiling water and steam for 45 minutes to an hour.

Tomato and Onion Smoor

1 onion, chopped

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 chilli, chopped

pinch of sugar

15ml (1tbsp) chutney

pinch of salt

45ml (3tbsp) tomato paste




  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions over a medium heat until translucent.
  2. Add the tomatoes, garlic, chilli and stir.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, lower the heat and let simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Serve with uJeqe.





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 ( 2 )

  • Vuyokazi

    We used to cook it in a plastic as well, also very nyc with pillchard.

    • I can just imagine it with pilchards mmmmm!

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