Sukuma Wiki

This literally means ‘stretch the week’ in Swahili. This rustic African dish, common in many parts of East Africa, is usually made with collard greens, but can be just as tasty with kale. Robust, leafy greens are readily available in Kenya; they are grown in most gardens and eaten for dinner almost every day.

Sometimes the dish is served plain with nothing but onions and oil, and at times, it’s spicy and tangy, reflecting the Indian influence. I make Sukuma wiki with kale, peanuts and loads of spices almost every other week. My favourite, not my family’s, as they hate the crunchy texture of kale. More for me, as I keep saying to them!


Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 500g/1lb 2oz collard greens or kale, washed
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • Handful of chopped peanuts
  • Salt, to taste
  • 250ml/9fl oz/generous 1 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon

1. Heat the oil in a medium-size pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin, black pepper and onions and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions turn translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes.

2. Add the greens, turmeric, peanuts and salt and cover with the water. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 10–15 minutes until the greens are tender and the water has evaporated. I like my greens crunchy and firm so I cook for a shorter time. Remove from the heat and drizzle over the lemon juice.

3. Serve hot, garnished with extra tomatoes. The best way to eat sukuma wiki is with Ugali Kenyan Chapati.


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