Lesotho Likhobe (African Bean and Grain Stew)

Lesotho Likhobe, from the small land-locked South African nation, combines speckled red beans, sorghum and bulghur in a nutritious side dish.
Lesotho Likhobe

Lesotho Likhobe

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Lesotho Likhobe is my recipe of the day with the blogging group Eat the World.

Once per month we join  forces to post recipes from a different country around the  globe. This month we are focused  on Lesotho. It is a small land-locked nation which lies completely inside the borders of South Africa.

Lesotho Likhobe

Basotho  Food

Basotho are the name of the  people who live in  Lesotho. Which is mountainous and has few food products of its own due to poor growing conditions. Much  of the food eaten  there is from South Africa, and many cooking traditions overlap.

But Lesotho  Likhobe is pretty  much  totally of this country. And it uses local grains to make a nutritious side dish or  vegetarian main dish.

Ska Moteane

In researching  my recipe topic,  I came across few resources  that I could consider  absolutely authentic.  But  I did  come  across a recipe by Ska Mirriam Moteane, an award-winning  chef  of Lesotho.

She has a cookbook as well, but I was  unable to locate a copy.

I watched  her basic techniques for making Lesotho likhobe on a youtube video.  Then I adapted  it with some flavors another  person  had also used in a likhobe. Which seemed in line with that type of cuisine.

I also used bulghur  rather than wheat berries. Because it is what I had on hand and I like to use things already  in my pantry. Bulghur  is similar to wheat berries, except  they are  partially cooked.  I can’t  imagine,  after sampling  what I made, that using either one  would be  any less yummy.

Sorghum  is easy  enough to  find  in health food  stores under  the Bob’s  Red  Mill  label.

Extra Process for Red Beans and Related Beans

The speckled red beans  I  used were indigenous to the  Americas.  I think  they are close enough.  Apparently  the stock of  other beans  in the market is low  due to covid and reduced  shipping. They are  perfect enough  for this Lesotho Likhobe.

I do  still take extra steps to  prepare these beans  as I would  red beans. So as to remove  any possible inflammatory effect (an  extra  boil  helps get rid of that). Red beans have  that, and I do the extra boil with any bean  with red on them, even speckled.

I don’t want  those I cook for  having upset tummies. I don’t recall  it ever bothering  me- perhaps I am  lucky that  way.   But  I  take  care for  all who eat my food.

Eat the World


Eat the World

Check out all the wonderful Lesotho dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!

Pandemonium Noshery: Butha Buthe – Spinach and Tangerine Soup
Palatable Pastime: Lesotho Likhobe
Magical Ingredients: Lesothan Chakalaka With Papa
Making Miracles: Lekhotloane
Sneha’s Recipe: Chakalaka With Pap-Pap/A Vegan & Gluten Free Stew With Cornmeal
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Borotho – Bread from Lesotho
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Makoenva
Cultureatz: Butha-Buthe, a Spinach and Tangerine Soup
Kitchen Frau: Chakalaka with Pap (Vegetable-Bean Stew with Cornmeal Porridge)

Lesotho Likhobe

Lesotho Likhobe

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Lesotho Likhobe

Lesotho Likhobe

Sue Lau
3 from 2 votes
Bean Prep: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine African, Lesotho
Servings 6


  • 1/2 cup Dominican speckled beans or other speckled red beans
  • 1 cup sorghum grain
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup coarse cracked bulghur wheat
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion


Prepare Beans:

  • Place beans in a pan covered with 2 inches water. Bring to a boil and boil one minute. Remove from heat and let sit one hour.
  • Drain beans and rinse; then cover with two inches of water and bring to a rolling boil; boil hard for ten minutes, then rinse and drain again.

Prepare Likhobe:

  • Add beans to cooking pot with sorghum, ten cups water, coconut oil and spices.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.
  • Add the bulghur and veggies; continue cooking for 45 minutes more.
  • Mixture should be about as thick as baked beans so add water if necessary and cook until beans and grains are tender.
  • Serve as a vegetarian main dish (grain porridge) or as a side dish for other foods, such as piri piri shrimp.


From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com
Keyword Vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Lesotho Likhobe

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5 responses

    • I put some piri piri shrimp on top, which I had hoped to publish first. I did the sauce and took pix and those are great but then storms blew in the area and it was dark so the pix are dark and want to redo those. But if you like piri piri grab that when you see it. I tried to get that as close to Nando’s bottled sauce as I could.

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