RECIPE: Isithwalaphishi (Bean And Maize Meal) – Brown And So Good!


Remember the year 1994? The excitement in the air from young adults to the elderly…all looking forward to putting the symbol X on their ballot papers…for the first time in their lives.  Also excited at the prospect of having a black president for the first time in the history of South Africa!

I was too young to vote back then but I clearly remember the excitement from everyone around me, my mom, aunts, uncles and the whole community at large.  As the adults went to vote us kids spent the day all eyes glued on TV! Those were really exciting times indeed!  Now it is 17 years after that and we are celebrating that day, Freedom day! I thought of an easy and yet tasty recipe for you to prepare at home on this day, Isithwalaphishi.  It is a Zulu traditional dish. It goes well with stews, potjie, or even braaied chops or sausage with some chakalaka. However, I won’t lie I tried the dish for the first time and I consumed it as it is.…no meat and no gravies, it was just delicious coming straight from the pot.   So if you are a vegetarian this one is for you.  Enjoy! Happy Freedom Day to all my fellow South Africans!


Isithwalaphishi Recipe

Serves: 4


1½ cup sugar beans

750ml boiling water

1½ cup maize meal

45ml (3tbsp) butter

1 onion, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

2ml Italian herbs (or any herbs of your choice)

6ml salt

2ml black pepper



  1. Soak beans overnight. Throw away the soaking water and rinse.
  2. Boil the beans in a saucepan until cooked.
  3. When cooked add maize meal and stir with a wooden spoon to prevent lumps.
  4. Continue stirring and let simmer for a few minutes until cooked.
  5. In another saucepan, sauté the onion in 15ml (1tbsp) butter until translucent.
  6. Add the red pepper, garlic clove and Italian herbs.
  7. Add the bean mixture and continue mixing.
  8. Add the rest of the butter and mix.
  9. Serve hot with meat or veggies

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 )

  • Thobile

    Thank you for the recipe.tried it, it was delicious!

  • Pearl Ndlovu

    So excited to make this on Sunday #Mzansistylecuisine

    • That’s awesome, Pearl! 🙂 Don’t forget to soak your beans tonight. Please take a picture and let me know how it turns out. Happy cooking!

      Thuli Xx

  • phumzile

    i will definately try this recipe,it sounds deliciose

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