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Let’s talk about two South African classics; samp and the traditional potjiekos (directly translating to “small-pot food”). What makes these two well-known local dishes so special is that they represent two very different cultures in South Africa. And when combined (or eaten separately), they are undeniably delicious. Who knew that you could add samp to a South African potjie and get an entirely new taste sensation? If you haven’t done it before, there’s no time like the present! Let’s cook up a samp and potjie storm!

Before we get elbows deep into a new recipe, let’s take a look at where both samp and the traditional potjiekos come from.

The History of Potjie in South Africa

Potjiekos is food cooked in a round, 3-legged, cast iron pot. The food is cooked until it becomes delectably tender and flavourful – which can take hours (in fact, that’s the aim). It’s probably the reason most South Africans have turned potjie meals into great reasons to gather and socialise – much like the braai! Most South Africans have gulped back a good few bowls of creamy chicken potjie in their life time. Rich game or beef potjiekos is also quite popular.

Where does this dish even come from? Potjiekos is more than just great South African cuisine. Its roots are from further afar. In fact, the actual potjie pot is similar to the Dutch oven which was brought over into South Africa from the Netherlands many years ago…the 17th Century in fact. The Voortrekkers are responsible for just how well-known potjiekos is in South Africa. They used to make potjiekos using meat and veggies while on route across the country.

The History of Samp in South Africa

In South Africa, samp and beans needs no introduction. Most kids tasted it growing up as a delicious side dish to a main meal. Some ate it as a staple food. And today, it is sold pre-packaged as “samp and beans” ready to be cooked up and enjoyed. The word “samp” itself travelled over to South Africa with the British colonists, although the food was already enjoyed in the country, but called “Umngqusho”, which is the traditional Nguni name for it. It is typically eaten with beans and gravy. Over the years, creamy samp recipes have done the rounds in African cultures as well as Afrikaaner kitchens – it’s undoubtedly a food that brings cultures together!

Ultimate Creamy samp recipe:

Why settle for just a creamy samp recipe when you can have the ultimate recipe? Let’s check out a creamy chicken potjie with samp recipe! Here goes… get ready to cook up a storm! For this one, we are going to add a hint of Cape Malay flavours in the potjie, which will be offset perfectly by the creaminess of the samp. The creamy samp should be served as an accompaniment to the potjiekos and yes, it’s so creamy that people will think they are eating samp with Cremora ingredients! Get ready for a taste sensation.

For the Cape Malay Chicken Potjie (What You Need):

  • 10 chicken portions
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of masala
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 2 tomato chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 large potatoes chopped
  • 3 carrots chopped

What to do:

  • Set your potjie pot up and heat the oil inside.
  • Add the cloves, cardamom, cumin seeds, cinnamon and fry lightly until you can start to smell all of the fragrances mixing.
  • Add your chopped onion to the pot and stir. Let it fry until the onion starts to brown.
  • When the onion becomes brown-ish, add the chopped green pepper.
  • Stir in the garlic and ginger and let it cook for around 2 minutes.
  • Add a pinch of salt and all the other ground spices and stir meticulously to ensure that everything is well combined.
  • Let this simmer for a bit, ensuring that it doesn’t catch or start to burn.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and allow this to cook for a further 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and then immediately add the chicken pieces, potatoes, and carrots. Stir well to make sure that all the pieces of chicken, carrot, and potato are well coated in the mix.
  • Add a cup of water to the mixture and bring to the boil. Once it starts to boil, you need to reduce the heat.
  • Make sure that the pot is over low heat coals. Put the lid on and let it cook until the chicken, carrots, and potatoes are cooked through. Now is a great time to relax and socialise.
  • Add the chopped coriander just at the end and allow it to cook in for a minute or two.

Voila – you have a delectable Cape Malay style potjiekos. The best word of advice is to not to rush it. The longer the potjiekos takes to cook, the tastier it will be in the end.

For the Creamy Samp (What You Need):

  • 4 cups of samp (dry)
  • 500ml of fresh cream
  • 100mg of salted butter
  • 6 cloves of grated garlic
  • ½ red onion finely chopped
  • ½ a green and ½ a yellow pepper (finely chop these)
  • 1 tablespoon of Aromat
  • 1 teaspoon of dry parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Pepper to taste

What to do:

  • Rinse the samp and discard the water.
  • Place the samp into a large pot (or a second potjie pot).
  • Cover the samp with water and let it cook very slowly on low heat for about 7 or 8 hours. Keep checking to ensure the water hasn’t evaporated too quickly. When the samp is cooked it will be tender.
  • In a pan, melt the butter and sauté your onions and peppers. Just cook them until they go soft – don’t overcook them.
  • Add the garlic, garlic powder, pepper, parsley, and Aromat to the mixture and stir well. Let this simmer for a few minutes on low heat.
  • Pour the cream into the pan and stir it into the mixture. It should slightly thicken but not too much.
  • Add your cooked samp to the creamy sauce and gently stir it in so that all of the samp is coated in the creamy mixture.

Simply serve this with your chicken potjie and you will have the meal of your dreams!

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