Cape Malay Sugar Bean bredie

Cape Malay Sugar Bean bredie

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cape Malay
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Soaking time: 12 hours
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 358kcal
Author: Razena Schroeder
Cape Malay Sugar Bean bredie is the quintessential comfort food, flavorsome and filling.
Print Recipe


  • 2.5 litre water, divided enough to cover the beans completely
  • 250 grams dried sugar beans (half white pinto beans), soaked overnight
  • 45 ml oil approximately 3 tablespoons
  • 280 grams onions, finely diced approximately 2 medium onions
  • 800 grams lamb pieces on the bone is best
  • 15 ml crushed garlic approximately 1 tablespoon
  • 1 medium tomato, grated
  • 15 ml tomato paste approximately 1 tablespoon
  • 3 green chillies, sliced use less if you want it less spicy
  • 5 ml salt adjust to taste
  • 1.25 ml black pepper, freshly ground adjust to taste
  • 30 ml granulated sugar approximately 2 tablespoons, adjust to taste


Preparing the Beans

  • Soak the beans overnight in 500 ml water or enough to cover the beans completely. Cover and refrigerate.
  • The following day, rinse the beans and place them in a medium size pot. Cover with 1 liter cold water and bring to the boil. 
  • Remove the beans from the heat as soon as it boils, decant into a colander then rinse under running water.  
  • Rinse any scum from the pot then put the beans back in and cover with fresh water again and bring to the boil once more. 
  • Reduce the heat and cook gently for 1 1/2 hours or until fully cooked and soft. Add more water if required. See notes for alternative cooking method.
  • Do not strain the cooked beans and set aside until ready to use. 

Making the stew

  • While the beans are cooking, heat the oil in a medium sized pot then add the onion and saute for 20 minutes on medium high until softened and beginning to caramelize. Do not let the onions burn.
  • Add the lamb pieces and garlic and cook on medium low for another 25 minutes until the lamb is brown and the onions are disintegrating into a caramel color sauce. 
    Lamb knuckles for Cape Malay Sugar Bean bredie
  • Add grated tomato, tomato paste, chillies, and salt and cook on low for a further 40 minutes until the meat is tender but not falling apart. If it gets too dry add one cup of the beans cooking liquid.
    Vegetables for Cape Malay Sugar Bean bredie
  • Add the beans and sugar with the remaining cooking liquid and cook together for a further 10 - 20 minutes or until the flavors have melded.
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper, as required.
  • Serve with cooked basmati rice or fresh bread and tomato and onion salad.


  • You can also use a pressure cooker to cook the beans according to the manufacturer's instructions. In this case do not add all the beans cooking liquid to the stew when adding the beans as it may not have reduced enough as with slower cooking.
  • Do not add salt to beans when boiling because it will toughen them.
  • The cooked beans can be frozen for up to 6 months.
  • The cooked stew can be frozen for up to 3 months.


Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 346mg | Potassium: 712mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 210IU | Vitamin C: 10.6mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3.5mg