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
- In a wok/kadai, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds.
- When they sizzle, add the onions and cook till soft. Approximately 6 minutes on medium heat.
- Now add the tomatoes, garlic and spices.
- Cook for 2 minutes and then add the chopped kale.
- Now mix well, add salt and pepper, pour in the water and cover the pan.
- Let this cook for 20 minutes. Add a bit more water if it becomes dry.
- Once ready, juice the lemon on to the “sukuma wiki” and enjoy with chapati or rice.