Any day that Chef Lungile Nhlanhla can cook for others feels like Mandela Day. She shares her oxtail stew with idombolo recipe with us – in tribute to Nelson Mandela.

If any human activity can bridge the greatest divides between cultures and individuals, it is the everyday act of enjoying a meal together. And one Durban chef, food business owner and student of nutrition embodies that bridge.

Chef Lungi Nhlanhla runs a food service called Lungi’s Corner and is a MasterChef alumnus. While still studying fashion, Lungi was already baking and selling brownies to students.

Chef’s way with words and fresh take on nutritional meals has seen her become a food editor. The meal she had planned for our visit was in honour of a legend.

“We’re going to be making a delicious dish celebrating Mandela Day – with one of his favourite dishes of Oxtail Stew with idombolo, and of course we’ll be giving it our own twist,” shares Lungile.

To get your hands on the recipe here:

Oxtail stew with idombolo

Serves: 6-8

Prep time: 30mins 

Cooking time: 3-4hrs 


2,6kg Oxtail 

Salt and pepper 

2 onions, diced 

4 stalks celery, diced 

3 cloves garlic, sliced/crushed 

2 Bay leaves 

1/2 tsp Cloves 

1 tsp Fennel seeds 

1 bouquet garni

2 tsp smoked paprika 

1 tbsp tomato paste 

2 tins peeled and chopped tomatoes 

500ml (2 cups) red wine 

375ml (1 1/2cups) beef stock 

250g baby carrots 

1,5kg baby potatoes, halved


3-4 cups self raising flour

10g 1 packet yeast 

1 tsp (5ml) sugar 

Salt and pepper 

1 tbsp (15ml) dried mixed herbs 

1 egg

500-750ml lite beer 

  1. Stew: Season meat with salt and pepper and In an oiled pan brown the meat. Remove and set aside 
  2. In the same pan reduce the heat and sauté the onions, garlic, celery, all the spices for 3-5mins.
  3. Add the tomato paste and tinned tomato. Add the meat and deglaze the pan with red wine and beef stock. Allow to simmer on a low heat for 3hrs.
  4. Dombolo: In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Mix beer and egg and slowly add to dry ingredients to form a dough. 
  5. Knead until smooth and allow to proof for at least an hour. 
  6. Once the meat had softened add the potatoes and carrots. 
  7. Roll dombolo mixture into balls and add to the stew. 
  8. Close the lid and simmer until dombolo, meat and veggies are cooked through. 
  9. Serve and enjoy

“Mandela Day to me means everything about uBuntu, showing love, gratitude and giving back when you can and just being there for the ones that you love.”   

On this evening, that meant Chef’s sister Nhlanhlo Mkhize and their father, medical Doctor Albert Nhlanhla.

“My father taught me a lot about food, cooking from when I was very young. And we still have a lot of fun today… He has taught me so much about passion, family and food,” comments the chef.    

Which these days includes Nonku Williams, a client who has become a good friend of Lungile and the family.

“She’s just a phenomenal woman. She’s very kind, she’s sweet, and we just clicked. She’s just one of those people that  I take into high regard,” says business woman and reality TV star Nonku Williams.

Chef Lungile Nhlanhla is now busy with her post-grad in food and nutrition, and even eyeing a Phd. We have every confidence that if this lady is going to bring more young talent to the table, she’s going to do it properly.

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