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South Africa's finest 🇿🇦 Stywe pap with sheba: Perfect this South African staple

Stywe pap with sheba (phutu and relish) is a delicious, hearty and comforting staple of South African cuisine, an explosion of South African flavour if you will. It’s made up of two parts: first, we’ve got stywe pap, which is like a stiff porridge made from maize meal. And then, we’ve got sheba, a spicy and flavourful relish made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, and all sorts of tasty spices. When you put the two together, it’s a match made in foodie heaven!

It’s the perfect dish to share with friends and family at a braai or any other social gathering. Are you ready to take your taste buds on a tantalising journey? Here, Renée Nesbitt shares her recipe for this classic South African dish.

Stywe pap with sheba

Ingredients for the pap (serves 6):

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 ½ cups maize meal

Maize meal


  1. Pour the water into a large pot, add the salt and butter and bring to the boil.
  2. Slowly pour the maize meal into the pot to form a cone in the centre but don’t stir!
  3. Cover with the lid, reduce the heat to low and allow the pap to simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Using a large fork (such as a carving fork), stir it until crumbly and cover again with the lid. Simmer for an hour on low heat.

Cooking pap on the stove

Ingredients for the relish (serves 6):

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, halved and sliced
  • 1 tin tomato purée
  • 600g punnet of baby rosa tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup of dry white wine
  • 2 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 3 tbsp of chopped fresh herbs (I used 1 tbsp each of oregano, parsley and coriander)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Tomato and onion preparation


  1. Heat the olive oil in a small pot or saucepan and fry the onions until translucent.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the pot and allow the sauce to simmer for approximately 1 hour.

Cooking tomatoes and onion

  1. Serve hot with pap and garnish with fresh herbs.

Enjoy! (Your taste buds will thank you) 😋

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