Rape Greens and Beef Stew served with Umqa Tapile (Pap and Mashed Potatoes)

A couple of months ago I saw a lady street vendor by the name of Linda in Milnerton, Cape Town.  Linda is originally from Zimbabwe and most of the ingredients she sells are from her country.

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I asked Linda to take me through the indigenous leaves she was selling.  She was selling Covo, Tsunga (Chinese Spinach) and Rape Leaves.  She was kind enough to also explain how the leaves are prepared and the different types of dishes they are used in.  I posted images of some of the leaves on my instagram, feel free to check them out.

I’ve said this before and I’ll never get tired of saying it.  We need to demand our retailers to stock some of the indigenous ingredients sold on the streets.  In the meantime, while were are working on creating awareness and building up the demand let us support our street vendors.

Rape leaves are said to be popular in Zimbabwe, it is added to an sautéed onion and tomato mixture (smoor) and sometimes it is cooked with meat.  Linda explained it like this, towards the end of your cooking process, when the meat is soft you then add the leaves.  She also mentioned that they are very tasty when cooked with tripe (mogodu).

Zimbabweans usually serve greens with Sadza (Zimbabwean Pap).  I decided to prepare Umqa Tapile, a combination of a maize meal pap and mashed potatoes.  I grew up eating Umqa Tapile, my aunt does so well.  She would just add potatoes and sometimes cabbage and some beef stock cube.  I don’t see it being featured anywhere but whenever I go home to my mom’s house my aunt prepares it. It’s lovely and the texture is not as dense as pap. Here’s the recipes…..Enjoy!


Umqa Tapile (Pap and Mashed Potatoes) Recipe

Serves: 4 -6

2½ cups boiling water

1 cup White Star Quick

15ml butter

1 small red pepper, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 potatoes, cooked and mashed

2.5ml (½tsp) mixed herbs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning


  1. Add water to a saucepan, gradually add maize meal while stirring.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Cook on high heat for 2 minutes.
  4. In another saucepan, melt butter and sauté red pepper and onion until translucent.
  5. Mix pap, sautéed onion & pepper and mashed potatoes.
  6. Add herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Rape Leaves and Beef Stew Recipe

500g stewing beef

enough water to cook the beef until soft

30ml (2Tbsp) cooking oil

1 onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 packet rape leaves, chopped

15ml (1Tbsp) oxtail soup powder

salt and pepper


  1. Bring the meat to boil until soft.
  2. In a separate pan, heat oil cook the meat.
  3. Add onions, tomato and rape leaves.
  4. Simmer and cook until leaves are soft.
  5. Make a paste with soup powder and water.  Add to the meat.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve.

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 ( 6 )

  • Loving how you are mixing different cultures with this recipe so smoothly. Looks great!

  • Belinda

    I am living in Texas USA and made this for my family with rave reviews. Don’t get Rape Leaves here so used spinach instead. A great taste of home and a recipe I’ll treasure for a long time.

    • Hi Belinda!

      Greetings from Africa! Thanks for your comment and for trying out the recipe! I’m glad you have enjoyed it! 🙂

  • Tash

    Want to try this but can’t follow, when do I add the rest of ingredients before melting the butter or after with the first dish

    • Hi Tash,

      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you would like to try out the dish. But its me who is getting confused. There are two recipes here, a pap recipe and then there’s a beef stew with rape greens recipe. Where is your confusion?

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