• As winter’s chill sets in, there’s nothing quite like a hearty, comforting dish to warm the soul. Samp and Mutton Curry, a beloved South African classic that epitomizes the essence of winter comfort food. This rich, flavourful curry, featuring tender mutton and creamy samp, is a true celebration of traditional cuisine, brought to life by the talented Denisiya Naidoo, the culinary maestro behind EatMee Recipes.

    Denisiya’s culinary journey began in her grandmother’s cosy kitchen in Durban. “Ah, the dance of flavours and the symphony of aromas – that’s where my journey begins!” she reminisces. As a curious six-year-old, she was mesmerised by her grandmother’s ability to transform simple ingredients into culinary masterpieces. This early exposure ignited a lifelong passion for food, leading Denisiya through bustling markets, Michelin-starred kitchens, and eventually to her own culinary haven where she now creates and inspires.

    EatMee Recipes, Denisiya’s brainchild, is a vibrant collection that celebrates diverse culinary traditions. “EatMee Recipes is my love letter to the world of gastronomy,” she explains. Each dish is a tapestry of cultures and memories, designed to bring joy and connection through the universal language of food.

    Images: Supplied

    Selecting recipes for EatMee Recipes involves a blend of art and science. Denisiya draws inspiration from seasonal ingredients, dishes from her travels, and nostalgic family favourites. “I test and tweak, ensuring each recipe balances flavour, texture, and visual appeal,” she says. Community feedback also plays a crucial role, helping her create dishes that resonate with authenticity and delight the senses.

    Denisiya believes that showcasing South African recipes and ingredients requires creativity and advocacy. By integrating local ingredients into contemporary dishes and sharing the rich history behind each recipe, chefs and foodies can captivate and educate audiences. Social media and digital platforms are powerful tools for reaching a global audience, highlighting the vibrant and diverse flavours of South African cuisine.

    Try this hearty Samp & Mutton Curry from EatMee Recipes:

    Samp and Mutton Curry


    • 500 grams mutton or lamb pieces
    • 1 ½ cups samp
    • 1.1 liters (1100 ml) water
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • ½ onion
    • 2 tomatoes
    • few sprigs of thyme
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 star aniseed
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • ½ teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds
    • ½ teaspoon fennel (soomph) seeds
    • ¼ + ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
    • ½ teaspoon cumin (jeera) powder
    • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander (dhania) powder
    • ½ teaspoon cardamom (elachie) powder
    • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
    • 3-4 tablespoons chili powder or masala
    • 2 teaspoons ginger & garlic paste
    • salt to taste
    • 1 sprig curry leaves
    • ¼ cup freshly chopped coriander (dhania)
    • ¼ cup freshly chopped mint
    • freshly coriander (dhania) for garnishing
    • If using beans:
    • 1 cup sugar beans (pinto beans)
    • ½ cup jugo beans/zulu nut (optional)
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda



    If using beans in this recipe, add the sugar beans &/or jugo beans to a bowl. Rinse well, cover with water & allow to soak overnight. If soaked for a few hours only, it may take longer to get soft when boiling. Alternatively, pressure cook the beans for 55 minutes to avoid the soaking & the wait.


    After the beans has soaked, drain out the water & add the beans to a pot.


    Cover the beans with water, add in the vegetable oil & the bicarbonate of soda. This helps speed up the cooking process on the stovetop.


    Allow the beans to boil on medium-high heat until soft but not mushy. Once the beans have boiled, turn off the heat & set aside.


    Add the samp to a bowl. Give it a rinse under running water. At this point the samp can be added to a pot. The samp can be soaked as well if preferred but I find it cooks just the same once boiled so there is no need to soak it. Once again, it can also be pressure cooked as this will reduce the cooking time.


    Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder & 800ml water to the samp. Pressure cook for 1 hour & 30 minutes. Once the samp is cooked, set aside until ready to use.


    Next, rinse & cut the mutton or lamb into bite sized pieces. I cut them a little small than my usual curry pieces as this makes it easier to get the meat with every bite when eating.


    To a pot on medium-high heat, add in the vegetable oil, chopped onions & thyme. 


    Thereafter, add in the bay leaves, star aniseed, cinnamon stick, cumin (jeera) seeds & fennel (soomph) seeds. Mix & allow to sauté until the onions are translucent.


    Once the onions are translucent, add in turmeric powder, garam masala, cumin (jeera) powder, coriander (dhania) powder, cardamom (elachi) powder, red chili flakes, chili powder or masala & ginger & garlic paste. Mix well until the spices are combined.


    Add in the lamb or mutton pieces & salt to taste. Mix well allowing the meat to coat in the spices.


    Cover with a lid & allow the meat to seal in the spices for 10 minutes. Make sure to give it a stir now & again as you do not want it to burn – also avoid adding any water.


    After 10 minutes, the meat should have a beautiful coating. Give it a stir & add in the blended or grated tomatoes, curry leaves, ¼ cup of freshly chopped coriander (dhania) & ¼ cup of freshly chopped mint. Pour in 150ml boiling water. Mix well until combined.


    Cover with a lid & allow to cook for 25 minutes. Add water during this time if needed. After 25 minutes, give the curry a stir.


    Add in the soft samp & 150 ml boiling water. At this point the cooked beans can be added as well. Mix until everything is well combined.


    Cover & allow to infuse flavours for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, making sure it doesn’t burn & add more water if needed.


    After 10 minutes, turn off the heat & give it a quick stir. Plate & garnish with freshly chopped coriander (dhania) if preferred & serve.

    ALSO SEE: Chicken Feet Recipe

    Chicken Feet Recipe

    Recipe and feature image by Denisiya Naidoo of EatMee Recipes.