Ujeqe nobhonsisi (steamed bread with sugar beans)

Ujeqe nobhonsisi (steamed bread with sugar beans)

You must be logged in to favorite a recipe.Login

Thanks for your rating!

You must be logged in to rate a recipe. Login

  • 5
  • Easy
  • 2 -3 hours
  • 1 hour

When my sister Lungile Molefe went to university she would sometimes ask our mum Sindi Molefe to cook this meal for her. When I was younger, I never understood the hype but when I grew older it just made sense. The slight sweetness of the steamed bread and the savoury flavor of the beans makes the best combination.


  • For the ujeqe: 
  • 1 kg cake flour 
  • 2 t salt 
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water 
  • 30 g butter, melted 
  • 2 T sugar 
  • 1 x 10 g packet dry active yeast  
  • For the ubhonsisi: 
  • 500 g sugar beans  
  • 1 onion 
  • 1 T oil 
  • 1/2 green pepper 
  • 2 t curry powder 
  • 2 large tomatoes, blended 
  • 2 beef or vegetable stock cubes  
  • 2 litres water 
  • salt, to taste 

Cooking Instructions

1. To make the ujeqe, mix the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the water, sugar and yeast. Cover and set aside until the yeast starts to rise, about 15 minutes.
2. Once the yeast has risen, whisk in the melted butter and slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix until a stiff dough starts to form.
3. Knead for 8–10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Place in a greased heatproof bowl and allow to rise until doubled in size. Knock down and return to the greased bowl. Allow to rise until it has doubled in size again.
4. To make the ubhonsisi, soak the beans in 2 cups water for 2–3 hours. Bring the remaining water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once boiling, add the beans and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour or until soft, stirring every 15 minutes.
5. In a separate saucepan pour 1 T oil and sauté the onion until soft and lightly browned. Add the green pepper and cook until soft. Add the curry powder and cook for 2 minutes.
6. Deglaze the pan with the tomatoes. Add the stock cube and cook for 10 minutes.
7. Once the beans are cooked, add them to the sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve warm.

Find more South African recipes here.

Photograph: Toby Murphy 
Styling: Khanya Mzongwana

Mmabatho Molefe Recipe by: Mmabatho Molefe
View all recipes

Mmabatho is the head chef and owner of Emazulwini restaurant in Cape Town. She is the winner of the 2022 Eat Out Naked Malt Rising Star Award.

Social Media

Related Recipes