African Chicken with Dumplings

Janneke came across a very simiple recipe for chicken with dumplings titled “Umleqwa and dombolo” in a magazine. It translates, aparently, as “African Chicken and Dumplings.” The recipe is quite simple, and also available online. The recipe as published seems to contain a serious typo. It claims that for 4-6 people, the dumplings require 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp of yeast and 2.5 kilograms of flour!

After much deliberation (and reading the back of the yeast packet), it was decided that they meant 2.5 cups of flour, not kilograms. We also reduced the sugar to 3 tblsp, which seemed about right. So, without further ado, the recipe!


For the chicken

  • 1 large free-range chicken
  • 500 ml (2 cups) of water
  • 2 cubes of chicken stock (those that are meant for 400ml water)
  • 1 medium (or large!) onion, chopped

For the dombolo (dumplings)

  • 250 ml (1 cup) warm water
  • 2.5 cups (625 ml) cake flour
  • 3 tblsp (45 ml) sugar
  • 2 ml salt
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) dry/instant yeast


  • Mix all the dombolo dry ingredients with the warm water
  • Cover the mixture with a cloth, and knead down after 15 minutes
  • Recover the dombolo mixture and start with the chicken!
  • Put whole chicken in a large pot
  • Add the water and stock cubes. You may want to pre-dissolve the stock cubes with a bit of boiling water
  • Cook for 20 minutes on low heat
  • Add the onions
  • Divide the dombolo dough into 6 portions, and place in the pot. It should rest on the chicken and not be submerged in the stock
  • Cover the pot and simmer for 1.5 hours
  • You can put the chicken under the grill for a couple of minutes to brown it if you like


The chicken should be falling off the bone when it is done. The original recipe doesn’t call for grilling, but somehow, in spite of the recipe only calling for boiling, the picture shows a browned chicken! That’s why we decided to do a quick grill. The dombolo seems to absorb some of the chicken flavour while cooking, which is quite nice. So there you have it; simple, cheap and tasty chicken!