Makande (Kidney Beans and Maize)

One of the joys of living and cooking in a different country or region is learning about and incorporating different ingredients and styles of cooking into your meals. While there are certainly ingredients I’m used to having that I don’t have ready access to, there are many others that I am discovering.

One of these ingredients is dried corn or maize. It is a staple in many parts of the world. Here in east Africa, it is often ground and made into a stiff porridge called ugali. It is eaten with the hands and is dipped in a sauce or sautéed vegetables.

Another dish that is popular in many regions of Africa is combining maize with beans. Both are soaked overnight and then cooked until soft. The spices can be simple or more complex. In Tanzania this dish is called Makande, in Kenya it’s Githeri. There is a wide variety in the basic recipe. Some versions have very simple seasonings, others are more complex. Some versions add potatoes or other vegetables.

Here are two versions of Makande I created. One is simple yet flavorful. The other kicks it up a notch with ginger, cumin, cardamom and some tasty coconut cream.

Prep time
Cook/Dehydrate time
Total time
A corn and bean recipe from East Africa with three variations
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: African
Serves: 6-8 Servings
  • 1 ½ cup dried kidney beans
  • 1 ½ cup dried corn (maize) substitute with 2 ½ cups frozen or fresh corn if you don’t have dried.
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp tumeric
  • 1 hot chili pepper, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp salt

For the spicy version add the following to the above:
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  1. Soak the dried beans and maize in water over night or for at least 5 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse
  3. Put beans and maize in a large heavy bottom pot and cover with water.
  4. Add the chopped vegetables
  5. Add the spices and remaining ingredients (except the salt)
  6. Simmer over low to medium heat until beans and maize are soft
  7. Add salt to taste
  8. Serve with rice

Here is the spiced up version and the leftovers we had the next night. I combined the leftovers with the remaining rice added some chopped greens and a bit of water:


There are endless ways to cook beans. Give these a try and then add your own special twist. I’d love to here about what you create. Come share your recipe and a photo over on our Facebook page.

Opt In Image
Say Goodbye To Boring!
Free Ebook Download

I love great food don't you? I've learned how to create delicious, flavor-packed dishes inspired by world cuisines. No boring dishes allowed in my kitchen!

I want to share my secrets with you. Enter your name and email below and get access to my ebook, Unlocking The Secrets To A Flavor Filled Vegan Kitchen.

You'll also get recipe and blog updates by email. Unsubscribe anytime.

(We will never share your email address.)

Ama Opare on EmailAma Opare on InstagramAma Opare on PinterestAma Opare on Twitter
Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Helping my coaching clients go from vegan wanna-be to Unshakably Vegan! From meal-time boredom to loving what they eat. From self-sabotage to taking control. From tempted by all the wrong choices in their non-vegan world to making the right decisions. And from sick and tired to vibrant and healthy. Discover your personal recipe for success and abundant health! BE UNSHAKABLE!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.