A Lifestyle Blog With An African Twist

Hoontoo (Sierra Leonean Steamed Beef and Polenta Dumplings)

The other day I was watching Master Chef and I heard one of the judges telling the contestants that the recipe they were about to use had one hundred and five steps.  Goodness gracious me, it is just food not a car.  I am pretty sure that dish would taste different and having the experience of tasting it would be worth all one hundred and fifty steps but it still sounded over the top to me and I am pretty sure I am not alone.  When it comes to cooking, I like my food prepared with as little fuss as possible and this dumpling recipe is easy to prepare, delicious and healthy.  

 Ingredients I used are: 500g beef mince, 11/2 cups polenta, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 large brown onion, 6 cloves garlic, ginger 3-4cm, 1 jumbo cube and 2 small royco cubes, 4 spring onions, 1 green chilli, and 1 red chilli, 1/2 cup water, salt to taste.
blend half of the brown onion together with the ginger and garlic.  In a large mixing bowl, add the onion mixture to the mince, polenta, cayenne and stock cubes
 Use your hands to mix the ingredients together, adding the water a little at a time
 Shape into balls
 Arrange the dumplings in a large steamer, top with chopped red and green chillis, spring onions and brown onion wedges.  Cover and steam for 20 minutes.  Serve hot.  Enjoy.


  1. Wow! I can't believe I haven't tried these before hun they look yummy!
    and thanks so much for sharing all these Sierra Leonean recipes. I've missed the food back home but now I can finally learn how to make them.




  2. I'm cooking these now and they are smelling delicious :) Do you usually serve them with anything...a side dish of some sort? I'm going to do a salad but was wondering if there was something it was traditionally served with. Thanks!

    1. Hi Theresa, thanks for trying this recipe out. Did you enjoy it? This is an evening snack which we have on its own or sometimes with onion gravy. Salad sounds great. Sorry for the late reply, its due to the time difference. I was asleep when you left this comment.

  3. No problem! I loved them and so did my friend who is from Seirra Leone, I made them for her as a surprise, of course she dipped hers in my cayenne pepper :)
    I've also made your black eyed peas recipe 3x I enjoyed it so much. I can't wait to try out more of your recipes especially the baking. Love your outfits too! Thank you for sharing.


Thanks for checking out my blog and leaving me a comment. I love reading your views as they inspire me to continue doing this blog. Love Elsie

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