How to Make Madombi

Sift Flour into a Bowl
F. Muyambo
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    Madombi - Dumplings from Botswana

    Madombi, a national favorite from Botswana, is a type of steamed bread usually eaten with stew. These are otherwise known as dumplings. Use the following ingredients:

    • 3 cups of plain flour
    • 6 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 300mls warm water (100ml boiling mixed with 200 ml cold)
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  • 02 of 15

    Sift 3 Cups of Flour

    Sift Flour into a Bowl
    F. Muyambo

     Measure 3 cups of plain flour and sift into a bowl. This should be about 450grams or 18oz in weight.

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    Add Remaining Dry Ingredients

    Ingredients for Bread/Dumplings
    F. Muyambo

    Add 6 teaspoons of baking powder, one and a half teaspoons of salt, 2 teaspoons of instant yeast and 2 teaspoons of sugar to the plain flour in the bowl. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

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    Measure 300mls of Warm Water

    300ml Warm Water
    F. Muyambo

    Measure 300 milliliters or warm water to add to the dry ingredients. If you are unsure how warm it should be, simply measure 100 milliliters of boiling water and add an additional 200 milliliters of cold tap water.​

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    Add 300mls of Warm Water

    Add Warm Water to Dough Mixture
    F. Muyambo

    Add the warm water to the dry ingredients gradually. 

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    Mix the Madombi Mixture with the Water

    Mixing Dumpling Dough
    F. Muyambo

     Give the madombi mixture a stir to initially incorporate the water to form a dough.

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    Mix Dough by Hand

    Mix Dough by Hand
    F. Muyambo

    Once the mixture has formed a sticky dough, use your hands to continue to mix the dough and initiate the kneading process.

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    Stretch and Knead Dough

    Stretch and Knead Dough
    F. Muyambo

    Lightly flour your worktop in order to prevent the dough from sticking to it. Remove the dough from the bowl and place onto the floured surface. Begin to knead the dough, stretching it as well in the process.

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    Knead Dough for 10 Minutes

    Knead dough for 10 minutes
    F. Muyambo

    The dough needs to be kneaded for at least 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Even the sticky bits on your hands will not be sticky anymore. 

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    Allow Dough to Prove for 45 Minutes

    Leave Dough to Prove for 45 minutes
    F. Muyambo

    Place the dough back into the bowl. You may oil the bowl prior to placing the dough into it if you prefer to prevent it sticking to the bowl. Cover the dish with a damp cloth and allow to rise for 45 minutes in a warm area.

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    Risen Dough Should Double in Size

    Risen Dough has Doubled in Volume
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     After 45 minutes your dough should have doubled in size.

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    Divide the Dough

    Divide Dough into Smaller Balls
    F. Muyambo

    Divide the dough into 6 to 8 portions or more. The portions will more than double in size so you can always divide them into 8 portions for 8 guests without a worry.

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    Steam the Madombi Dough

    Steam Dough Balls on Stew
    F. Muyambo

    Place the dough balls on top of a stew at least 30 minutes prior to the stew being ready. Push the dumplings into the stew till about halfway, cover and allow to steam over a medium heat for 25 minutes. 

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    Ready to Serve the Madombi!

    Ready Steamed Dumplings
    F. Muyambo

    After 25 minutes you will have large cooked balls of ​madombi with a firm and shiny surface on top and stew soaked underneath. The madombi is now ready to serve.

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    Serve Madombi with Stew

    Madombi (Dumpling) and Stew
    F. Muyambo

    Depending on how large you made the madombi dough balls, you may choose to cut them in half to serve or as a whole. Serve with beef stew or chicken potjie.