Kenyan style “Sukuma Wiki”


Growing up in Kenya, greens such as spinach and kale,  were always readily available in markets, grown at home or in the vegetable aisles in supermarkets.

Sukuma wiki is a popular dish, a staple in many homes, which has been cooked and adapted in different ways due to cultural influences in East Africa. For example, my version is a spiced one, which fuses together my indian heritage and my Kenyan upbringing.

So here is a little Swahili lesson. Sukuma, in Swahili, means to push, and wiki means week and this translates loosely into a dish, cooked with all your leftover ingredients to last the week, to be frugal, or to avoid food wastage.

Here is my version of the recipe using kale, which is a superfood full of lots of nutrients.


  • 200 grams kale, washed and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dhana jeeru (cumin and coriander powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. In a wok/kadai, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds.
  2. When they sizzle, add the onions and cook till soft. Approximately 6 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Now add the tomatoes, garlic and spices.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the chopped kale.
  5. Now mix well, add salt and pepper, pour in the water and cover the pan.
  6. Let this cook for 20 minutes. Add a bit more water if it becomes dry.
  7. Once ready, juice the lemon on to the “sukuma wiki” and enjoy with chapati or rice.
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  1. I love sukuma wiki and this is a brilliant take with kale.
    On a side note, that wooden spoon is divine! And wherever did you find yourself a jiko?

    Posted 4.17.16 Reply
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