Mutakura - Peanut and Beans Dish from Zimbabwe

Bambara or Jugo beans
Bambara or Jugo beans.
  • Total: 14 hrs
  • Prep: 12 hrs
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Mutakura, as it is known in Shona, is a peanut and beans dish that is certain to bring on nostalgic emotions. To many in Southern and other parts of Africa, this meal was what boarding school was all about and can be made in a variety of ways using corn and beans or hominy (samp) as in South Africa's umngqusho. In fact, Zita from Cameroon jokes about the Central African variation of this dish and calls it cornchaff with weevils; the weevils adding an extra protein punch to the dish. We do not think weevils were the intended ingredient, however, when mass cooking for students, you must sympathize with the cooks who may have found it too laborious to pick out every single weevil. But this sure does bring back memories.

When examining the ingredients in this dish, one can assume this is a complete beans dish, considering that peanuts are in fact legumes. On the other hand, the bamabara beans used in this dish are known in many African countries as round nuts or bambara nuts. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to obtain bambara nuts outside of the African continent. A suitable substitution is black-eyed peas or cowpeas.


  • 6 ounces/180 g peanuts (shelled raw, monkey nuts in the UK)
  • About 1 pound/500 g bambara nuts
  • 10 cups water (for boiling; or more as needed)
  • 2 teaspoons of salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. The first step is to pre-soak the bambara nuts and peanuts separately in cold water, preferably for at least 12 hours or overnight.

  3. When ready to cook, drain the bambara nuts and top up with water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring this to a boil and simmer for 50 minutes.

  4. At this point, drain, then add the peanuts, remaining salt, and additional water to the bambara beans and boil for the remaining 1 hour and 10 minutes.

  5. After the cooking process is complete, taste for seasoning and ensure the peanuts and beans are cooked well.

  6. Enjoy as a snack or side dish. 


Since it is extremely difficult to obtain bambara nuts outside of the African continent a good substitution is black-eyed peas or cowpeas.