RECIPE: Isiphuphulu Sikabhontshisi Namazambane / Bean And Potato Dish


I happen to think Zulu is one of the sexiest languages in the country.  On hearing the name of this dish I couldn’t help but imagine a Zulu man saying “Sthandwa sami, ngicela ungiphekele isiphuphulu sikabhontshisi namazambane ntambama” Aaaaaah! Doesn’t that sound sexy?

Initially, I struggled to pronounce the name of the dish and resorted to sticking to bean and potato dish.  Even so, I still I think the name sounds sexy.

Anyways, this bean and potato dish is a Zulu staple.  It’s very easy and quick to prepare.  My first attempt at the dish delivered on flavour but I was not entirely convinced about the colour. I then realised that the trick is in the potatoes…do not mash them.

I love this dish, not because of the name but its tasty and also a good alternative to your rice, pap etc.  Try it you’ll love it too.


Isiphuphulu sika bhontshisi namazambane - bean and potato dish


Isiphuphulu / Bean & Potato Dish Recipe

Serves: 4-5


1¼ cup sugar beans

½ cup split peas

500ml water, boiling

5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed

30ml butter

1 onion, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

5 sprigs thyme, chopped

6ml salt

1ml white pepper

  1. Sort the beans and soak them overnight.
  2. Rinse and cook the beans in water until tender.
  3. Add potatoes, split peas and continue cooking until they are done.
  4. In another saucepan, heat 15ml butter, then sauté the onion and pepper until crispy.
  5. Add thyme and continue stirring.
  6. Add the bean and potato mix and the rest of the butter.
  7. Add salt and white pepper. Serve hot.

Thuli’s Tips:

  1. This dish can be served with either veggies or meat.
  2. For a vegan meal, replace the butter with olive oil and serve with your choice of vegetables.
  3. Don’t mash the potatoes otherwise, the dish looks dull, grey and unappetising.
  4. If looking for a recipe to complement this one, this Cape Malay Chicken Curry will do the job.  Enjoy!



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 ( 5 )

  • Are the potatoes mashed? or do they just cook until they fall apart?
    And if I could read Zulu, it would sound sexy!

    • I didn’t mash the potatoes, when mashed the dish looks dark …kinda grayish which is unappealing….they fell apart due to cooking and stirring. It doesn’t sound sexy at all when translated in English, trust me.

  • Looks like a great alternative to mashed potatoes!

    • Yep. A yummy alternative I say!:-)

  • Tony R.

    great post! I love it 🙂

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