Spiced Matoke Curry

Spiced Matoke Curry

  Matoke, an East African staple food has been integrated into Indian cooking by those who migrated to East Africa many generations ago. 

I love this as it shows how traditinal cooking has been adapted and changed by using the local produce and ingredients of a place the indians adopted as their new home. 

My family has been in Kenya for generations and I definitely consider it my home.

Matoke are green bananas which are really versatile. I love them spiced and here is my recipe. They are sweet so this has a wonderful contrast with the indian spices.


  • 2 matokes (green bananas available in most asian shops), sliced.
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 beef tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana jeeru (cumin and coriander powder)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Coriander to garnish, chopped


  1. In a pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds and black peppercorns.
  2. When they start to sizzle, add the onions and cook them on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the ginger, garlic and green chillies and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes and add all the spices except the garam masala.
  5. Let this cook for around 5 minutes and then add 1 and a 1/2 cups water. 
  6. Add the sliced matoke and cover the pan.
  7. Let this cook for around 8 minutes and then add the garam masala and adjust the salt according to taste.
  8. Cook until you have a gravy like consistency and then take it off heat and garnish with coriander.
  9. Best served with chapatis or rice and enjoyed hot.



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  1. October 19, 2015 / 1:57 pm

    Never heard of these before. Are they just ‘normal’ bananas that have yet to ripen or a specialist fruit?

    I’ve only ever had bananas in banoffee pie, banana split and in an Italian chicken dish with a white sauce which was delicious

    • October 19, 2015 / 2:02 pm

      Hello no these are different. You can use plantains or in indian shops they are called matoke. Let me know if u find them!

  2. April 26, 2016 / 5:01 am

    We use the flower and stem for stews we don’t waste it either.

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