Appreciating and celebrating a cultural heritage is one of the best things that can happen to anyone. The Xhosa are Southern African ethnic people who must be applauded for this. Among other things, Xhosa food remains one of the unique and tastiest dishes that indigenes and any non-indigene would enjoy at any time. Therefore, in this article, we provide you with some of the best recipes that you would forever be glad to give a try.
What kind of food do Xhosas eat? The AmaXhosa have a variety of healthy and nutritious food, and this is one of the secrets of their vibrancy. Whether you are a member of the Xhosa ethnic group or you are just in search of a new meal to give a try, the Xhosa culture food shared here would help you.
If you are a typical South African, then Umqombothi should not be strange to you. Well, whether you know it before or you are just hearing about it, here is how to prepare the delicious meal.
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- Maize meal (350 ml)
- Coarse sorghum (350 ml)
- Boiling water (350 ml)
- Brown sugar (225 ml)
Step 1 - In a bowl, mix both the maize meal and sorghum.
Step 2 - As you mix them, add a part of the boiling water to give you a paste.
Step 3 - Keep everything in a container (but in a warm area) for the next two days. Alternatively, wait until you can perceive the odour of fermentation.
Step 4 - Boil about a litre of water inside a pot and then gradually add the boiled water to the paste as you continuously stir over medium heat until it becomes thickened.
Step 5 - Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Step 6 - The next thing is to mix cold water with the porridge while you stir everything with your hand until you achieve a drinking consistency.
Step 7 - If you wish to use sugar, you may then add it at this step, and then, keep the mix in a dark corner for two days for more fermentation.
Step 8 - The moment it is fermented, you will perceive a little pungent smell with little bubbles appearing on the surface. At this time, you can separate the coarse sorghum from the liquid as you strain the fermented mixture. The liquid that you have is what you will enjoy as Umqombothi.
- Maize meal/mielie meal
- Salt (half of a tablespoon)
- Sour Milk
- In a pot, boil about three cups of water (or depending on the number of people that you want to serve).
- Once the water is boiled, the next thing is to add the dry mielie meal/maize meal inside the water together with salt. Then, keep stirring until it looks crumbly.
- Allow it to cook for the next 20–30 minutes over medium heat.
- While it is cooking, keep stirring at intervals to avoid the contents from burning at the base of the pot.
- After this, you can remove from heat and allow it to cool for a while.
- Add the mix to a serving bowl and then add the sour cream milk/Amasi.
Thinking what is Umfino? It is made of maize meal and chopped spinach, cabbage, and potatoes among other ingredients. Here is what and how you can prepare this delicacy.
- Water (3 cups)
- Cabbage that has been finely shredded
- Spinach (2 cups)
- Peeled and diced potatoes
- Aromat, salt, pepper
- Maize-rice (1 cup)
- Mielie meal (1½ cups)
- Butter or margarine
Step 1 - In a large saucepan, pour water and bring it to a boil.
Step 2 - Add your potatoes, cabbage, aromat, spinach, and onions. Also, add pepper and salt to taste.
Step 3 - Mix everything together and simmer for the next 15 minutes.
Step 4 - Next, add the maize-rice and make sure to mix the contents thoroughly.
Step 5 - Also, add the mielie meal, and with a wooden spoon, continue to stir the whole mixture until you see that it is stiff and crumbly.
Step 6 - You may then add your butter or margarine (depending on what you choose) and mix all again thoroughly.
Step 7 - After that, reduce the heat and allow to cook for about 25 more minutes. But while it is cooking, remember to stir occasionally to avoid burning.
Step 8 - Once you have completed the whole steps above, you may then remove from the heat and allow to cool for a while before serving.
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Xhosa culture food
Xhosa Umngqusho recipe
- Sugar beans (1 cup)
- Samp meilies (1 cup)
- Oil for frying
- Bacon (250 g)
- Onions (2 finely chopped)
- Green pepper (chopped)
- Garlic (1 chopped clove)
- Tomatoes (diced)
- Curry powder
- Salt and pepper
Step 1 - After sorting the samp meilies, soak it overnight. You can also use boiling water if you are in a haste for like two hours.
Step 2 - Place the beans and the samp meilies inside a pot filled with water and allow to boil.
Step 3 - Reduce the heat and allow to cook until you are sure that everything is soft (usually about 120 minutes). However, if you did not soak your samp meilies overnight, you may have to add extra cooking time to allow it to soften very well.
Step 4 - While cooking, please do not stir it so that it does not become unnecessarily starchy. What you should do is to keep checking from time to time to avoid burning at the base of the pot. If it is necessary, add water.
Step 5 - In a saucepan, fry your onions together with the green pepper until tender. Then, add the bacon, curry powder, tomatoes, garlic, and then fry all of them together.
Step 6 - Also, add the seasoning to taste. But make sure that you stir to avoid burning.
Step 7 - Once the beans and samp meilies are soft, you can drain the water and rinse. Then, gradually pour the relish into the beans and samp meilies and let it cook for a while. If you need to add a little extra water, feel free to do so and occasionally stir to avoid it from sticking at the bottom.
Step 8 - The moment you are sure that the flavours have combined and that both the samp and beans are also mushy, you can remove from heat. It is ready to be served.
- One whole chicken, plucked, cleaned and cut into six pieces
- Chicken stock cube
- Olive oil
- Onion (chopped)
- Chopped tomatoes (2)
- Tomato paste
- Curry powder
- Chopped garlic clove and green pepper
- Salt and sugar
- Get a saucepan and add some water and then bring to a boil.
- Cut the chicken into pieces and transfer everything into the boiling water.
- Add the stock cube into what you have in your saucepan and allow it to cook for about 45 minutes or an hour. Alternatively, wait until you are sure that the chicken is cooked.
- Place another saucepan on fire and fry your onions, garlic clove, and the green pepper. Also, add the tomatoes, curry powder, sugar, and tomato paste (about two tablespoons).
- Add salt to taste and add the sauté to the already-cooked chicken.
- Then, simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Depending on your choice, you can enjoy your Umleqwa with steam bread, samp or even rice and veggies.
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Traditional Xhosa food
- Cake flour (210g)
- Wholewheat flour (185g)
- Salt, cayenne pepper, instant yeast
- Whole sweetcorn (410g)
- Two mealies (drained) corn cut off the cobs
- Brown sugar
- Eggs (2)
- Sesame seeds
Step 1 - Mix the flour, yeast, cayenne pepper, salt, corn, and sugar in a big bowl.
Step 2 - Whisk the eggs together with oil and about 250ml of warm water.
Step 3 - Gradually, add the whisked eggs into the dry ingredients. Make sure that you pour it little at a time.
Step 4 - Keep mixing everything until you are sure that the ingredients are combined.
Step 5 - Grease a loaf of tin, and then, stylishly dust it with a little flour.
Step 6 - Pour the mixture inside the tin and allow it to rise for the next hour in a warm place.
Step 7 - At this stage, you can then sprinkle sesame seeds on it while you preheat your oven at 180 ºC.
Step 8 - Transfer the tin into the oven and allow it to bake until a skewer that you insert into it comes out clean.
Step 9 - Remove from the oven and your Umbako would be ready for consumption.
Umqa (pumpkin and grinding corn)
- Pumpkin (2 kg)
- Salt and sugar to taste
- Cooked grinding corn (use whole kernel corn that has been cooked and out of the cob)
- Peel the pumpkin and then dice it once you are through.
- On medium heat, place a saucepan and add the diced pumpkin, water, and salt to taste. You can also add sugar if you desire so.
- Cook until you are sure that the pumpkin is soft.
- Once you have done that, add the dried corn and stir everything together. Then, simmer for the next 15 minutes.
- After all has been done, remove from heat and allow to cool. Then, your meal is ready to be enjoyed.
If you have a visitor, this is one of the best traditional meals that you can entertain him or her with when you want such a person to have the Xhosa feel.
There is no doubt in the fact that Xhosa food is classic and worth trying out by anyone. If you are privileged to attend any typical Xhosa function, you can be sure of having, at least, one of the dishes discussed above there. Besides, if you have a cause to host a social gathering or your friends, the traditional African recipes shared so far are worth giving a try, and you would be glad at the exciting result that you would achieve eventually.