Skip to main content

Sukuma wiki

A nutritious and economical dish made primarily from collard greens, known locally as sukuma, cooked with onions, tomatoes, and sometimes meat or fish. This dish is a staple for many households, serving as a way to make meals last, especially towards the end of the week when resources are low.


1 lb greens (collard greens, rinsed and thinly sliced)
1 onion (large, chopped)
2 tomato (rinsed and chopped)
2 clv garlic (peeled and minced)
2 t ginger (frehs ginger already peeled and minced)
  liquid (water or broth, as needed)
  seasoning (salt and pepper to taste)


Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they are soft and translucent.

Add the minced garlic and ginger to the onions, cooking for about a minute until fragrant.

Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until they break down and form a thick sauce, about 5-7 minutes.

Add the sliced collard greens to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine with the tomato mixture.

Add a little water or broth to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the greens are tender but not mushy. Adjust the seasoning as needed.

Serve hot alongside ugali, rice, or your choice of starch. Squeeze a bit of lemon over the greens for an added zest if desired.

Sukuma wiki is traditionally served with ugali, a staple in many African countries. It can also be served with rice or chapati for a different twist. The dish is versatile and pairs well with a variety of meats, making it a perfect side dish for grilled chicken, beef, or fish.


To prepare the greens, start by thoroughly washing the collard greens. Remove the stems and stack the leaves. Roll them up and slice thinly to create long strips.

For added flavor, crumble a bouillon cube into the pan after adding the tomatoes.


Meaty: For a heartier dish, you can add diced beef, chicken, or fish when cooking the onions. Cook until the meat is done before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.

Hot and spicy: Add 1 tsp curry powder, chopped chili peppers or a teaspoon of chili flakes with the garlic and ginger for a spicy kick.

Coconut version: For a creamy texture, add a cup of coconut milk towards the end of cooking, simmering just until heated through.


Sukuma wiki, a Swahili phrase meaning "to stretch the week," is a popular East African dish, particularly in Kenya and Tanzania. The dish's name underscores its role in providing a nutritious yet affordable meal option for families, especially during times when food supplies might be limited. 

vegetables, side dish
sautée, stew, easy
East Africa food recipes
Food in the Africa