Samp is dried white corn kernels that have been coarsely cracked. It is often paired with beans, like in this favourite South African recipe, and widely used across America, too.






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (54 votes)


  • 1 cup samp, soaked overnight in cold water
  • 1 cup dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight in cold water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ yellow capsicum, finely chopped
  • ½ red capsicum, finely chopped
  • ½ green capsicum, finely chopped
  • 1 piece cassia bark or cinnamon quill
  • 2 star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 dried curry leaves
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp medium-strength curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp chicken stock powder
  • cooked chicken or oxtail and mielepap (polenta), to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time overnight

Drain and rinse the samp and borlotti beans, then place in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover well. Bring to the boil and simmer, topping up with water if necessary, for 50 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion for 5–6 minutes, or until soft. Add the capsicum and cook for another 2–3 minutes. Add the whole spices, curry leaves, chilli, curry powder and ground coriander and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until fragrant.

Using a slotted spoon, add the samp, beans and enough of the cooking liquid to make a dhal consistency and mix well. Season with the salt. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 5–10 minutes. Mix in the stock powder, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with chicken or oxtail and mielepap.