RECIPE: It’s A Tasty Mealie Snack! Inkobe / Sebera / Tihove


Looking for a nice and yummy way to exercise your jaws and cheeks? I’ve got just the thing for you…..

I’ve always seen this mealie snack eaten at funerals when people are coming back from the graveyard.  The procedure is to wash the hands and then help yourself to a handful right before the food is served.  Due to the fact that I’ve only seen it being eaten at funerals I’ve always assumed it’s just for funerals until recently.  At a funeral I attended late last year, I was sitting next to a gentleman who was going on about how much he was looking forward to having his handful of Inkobe after the ceremony.  This made me wonder why people don’t make it up at home if they like it so much, I mean why wait for a funeral. It’s crazy. LOL!

Inkobe/Tihove/Sebera - Mealie Snack


I started to ask questions such as why is it only consumed at funerals and initiations?  Has it always been like that?  Can one just make it up at home and consume while watching TV or something?  My senior citizens helped in clearing up some of these questions for me.  Yes, they can be consumed at any given time as a snack. No one could answer the question why it’s consumed at funerals and initiation ceremonies, they just say its tradition. Okay, I’ll leave it at that and we’ll just have to continue with the tradition.

Let’s face it though….people love having the mealie snack at funerals some even look forward to having them.  I mean if that’s the case why don’t we snack on them at home or serve them at a party.  For instance, we usually have peanuts, chips etc. served at parties…Why not have your mealie snack among them?  After all the chewing is a very good exercise for your face haha!  They are quite chewy….a nice kind of chewy!  I made them up and added some peri-peri for that extra zing…..hope you enjoy it!  Happy Snacking!




Please note Xhosa’s call it Inkobe.  The Sotho version is boiled in water and roasted then referred to as Sebera.  Now, let’s have a look at the recipe…..

Inkobe / Sebera / Tihove Recipe


500ml (2 cups) dried mealie kernels

2 -2.5L water

6ml salt

10ml (2tsp) butter

2ml peri-peri




1. Soak the mealie kernels in water overnight, to shorten the cooking time.

2. Throw out the soaking water and add mealies and the 2L water in a saucepan.

3. Cook until tender and add more water if necessary.

4. For a Sotho version~Sebera: Roast the cooked mealie kernels in a saucepan.

5. Add seasoning and serve.


Thuli’s Tip:

Have you snacked on Bambara Groundnuts before?  This might be a great time to start and we have the recipe  👇

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

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 ( 7 )

  • My father tells me how they had this snack as children. He will be so happy if I can make it for him!

    • Hi Nina, I bet he’ll share some wonderful stories with the grand kids while eating them. Let me know how it goes 🙂

  • Phakamisa

    Inkobe is very much a Xhosa a staple diet, it is the main diet for the initiates in the first few weeks after joining “bush university” (initiation school).
    yes it is very chewy – your jaws will get a workout and a half. They can also be roasted and this is best done when one is having a braai/cooking around a fire (best when you have people sitting around fire chatting away to the sound of the corn popping). You take a metal tray (can use your oven baking tray/ any other wide tray that won’t get damaged by fire). If you are camping, you can use your spade, place fresh mealie kernels in tray/spade/tin can (make sure all are sitting directly on surface and are not piled up or piggy backed on each other). When the roasting starts, popping will happen (let it be). keep stirring so as to roast them all evenly….and there you are….the original “IGCADO”

    • Hi Phakamisa, I’m always looking for people with such knowledge about our indigenous food. Thank you so much for your contribution! Check your inbox.

  • Thanks for this marvellous post, I am glad I found this internet site on yahoo.

  • Vuyokazi

    Uyandigodusa kengoku, you remind me of home. Nice snack indeed. Thanks

    • Zigodusa mna! Its is indeed delicious but it makes you wonder why we never cook it at home just as a snack. C’mon now lets make Inkobe fashionable!

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