Home Lifestyle Recipes RECIPE: Phumzile Mbinda fusing the Middle East and Africa

RECIPE: Phumzile Mbinda fusing the Middle East and Africa


Another cold front on the horizon for Mzansi this weekend! Why not warm your soul with this Middle East-meets-South African dish of isigwamba and a lamb tagine.

Durban-based chef Phumzile Mbinda is a lover of creating fusion with her meals. She combines a Middle Eastern lamb tagine with African staple isigwamba. Isigwamba is a combination of two African staples, maize meal and spinach and is traditionally served as side dish for meaty dishes.

Beat the winter blues with this recipe this weekend!

READ: Durban chef channels her business ethic from motherhood



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1 cup maize meal

2 cups of chopped spinach

Olive oil


  1. Make a slurry with the maize: add one cup of maize to 3 cups of water and stir until there are no lumps.
  2. Fry spinach in a large pot over medium heat until it begins to wilt.
  3. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Add slurry of maize to spinach.
  5. Allow to simmer on medium heat for 20 – 30 mins. Serve with lamb tagine.

Lamb Tagine


¾ cup of butter beans

5 cloves of garlic

1 cinnamon stick

2 tbsp olive oil

1.5kg of lamb (shoulder cuts diced)

Salt and pepper to season

1 large onion (diced)

1 tbsp of crushed ginger

1 cup canned tomato

2 cups of beef stock

1 ½ cups of chopped carrots

Chopped coriander

5 tsp of Ras-el-Hanout spice blend (you can get it at Woolworths)


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Season lamb with salt and pepper, working in batches
  3. Brown the lamb on all sides (seal) then transfer into a medium bowl.
  4. Add chopped onion to pot on a reduced medium heat and sauté for 5 minutes until soft and begins to brown.
  5. Add chopped garlic, Ras-el Hanout and ginger and carrots, then stir.
  6. Add tomatoes and browned lamb with all excess juices.
  7. Bring to the boil and gradually add dissolved beef stock.
  8. Reduce and cover, occasionally stirring until lamb is soft and tender. This should take about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  9. Stir in butter beans and simmer until evenly heated. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

READ: Durban chef channels her business ethic from motherhood


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Noluthando Ngcakani
Noluthando Ngcakani
With roots in the Northern Cape, this Kimberley Diamond has had a passion for telling human interest stories since she could speak her first words. A foodie by heart, she began her journalistic career as an intern at the SABC where she discovered her love for telling agricultural, community and nature related stories. Not a stranger to a challenge Ngcakani will go above and beyond to tell your truth.


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