How to make umqombothi

2018-11-18 00:04

Mogau Seshoene shared her umqombothi recipe from her new cookbook, The Lazy Makoti's Guide to the Kitchen, with #Trending.

The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen
Mogau Seshoene 
Quivertree Publications
R269 at bookstores nationwide

What’s a celebration without umqombothi? This has become one of my favourite recipes to share, especially since I went to a friend’s family event where there was no one to brew the beer ¬– that’s because no one knew how, except an aunt who wasn’t there! Yet umqombothi is an important beverage that is essential in celebrations and communication with the ancestors. I found it sad that we’re losing so much of our heritage and culture because we’re not learning, and working to preserve it. So here goes: when the time comes, here’s the recipe.

2kg maize meal
2kg sorghum + 1 kg extra – King Korn umthombo (green packet)
11 litres water
Brown sugar (optional: it helps beer ferment more quickly)

Day 1
In a plastic container or bucket, combine the maize meal, 2kg sorghum and six litres boiling water to make a paste. Seal tightly. Put mixture in a dark, warm place to ferment over two to three days.

Day 2
By the second day, the mixture should have started fermenting and bubbles will appear on the surface. Set aside 2 cups of this fermented mixture (imithombo). Boil 2 litres of water in a pot and add all the paste from the bucket slowly while stirring continuously. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for an hour to a porridge consistency. Allow to cool completely.Pour back into bucket and add the 2 cups of fermented liquid you set aside. Stir with a wooden spoon and add 3 litres of cold water and another 1kg of dry sorghum to the mixture. Stir till well combined (drinking consistency). Seal container, cover with a blanket to insulate and return to a dark, warm place to ferment.

Day 3
By the next day, the fermented mixture should smell a little pungent and tiny bubbles will be popping on the surface. Strain the mixture through a kitchen sieve and serve.

Tip: The solid bits of sorghum left behind in the sieve are called izinsipho and may be frozen and used to make a new batch of umqombothi. They help to ferment the beer more quickly.


Read more on:


Next on City Press

Saartjie lives, so does Khwezi

September 17, 2019
Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

September 15 2019