Kenyan cuisine is a tapestry of vibrant flavors and cultural influences, and one dish that stands at the heart of it all is Sukuma Wiki. Translated to “stretch the week” in Swahili, this humble and nutritious dish has been a staple in Kenyan households for generations. Sukuma Wiki, made from collard greens, is a celebration of simplicity and sustainability. Let’s dive into this iconic recipe that embodies the spirit of Kenyan cooking:

Sukuma Wiki: A Nourishing Tradition


  • 1 bunch of sukuma wiki (collard greens), washed and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Prepare the Collard Greens:
    • Wash the sukuma wiki thoroughly and chop it into small pieces, discarding any tough stems.
  2. Sauté the Aromatics:
    • In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
    • Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent.
  3. Add the Flavorful Base:
    • Stir in the minced garlic, ginger paste, and cayenne pepper. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  4. Incorporate Tomatoes:
    • Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook until they soften and release their juices.
  5. Cook the Collard Greens:
    • Add the chopped collard greens to the pan. Stir well to coat the greens with the tomato and onion mixture.
    • Cover the pan and let the sukuma wiki cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The greens should become tender and wilted.
  6. Season and Serve:
    • Season the Sukuma Wiki with salt to taste and stir well.
    • Serve Sukuma Wiki as a flavorful and nutritious side dish alongside ugali (maize porridge) or rice for a complete Kenyan meal.

Nurturing Roots and Sustainability

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Sukuma Wiki embodies the resourcefulness and sustainability that are deeply ingrained in Kenyan culture. This dish originated from the practice of “stretching the week” by using available ingredients to create nourishing meals. Collard greens, a leafy vegetable rich in vitamins and minerals, became the star of this dish, providing essential nutrients to families across Kenya.

As you savor each bite of Sukuma Wiki, you’re not just enjoying a dish; you’re participating in a tradition that speaks to the resilience and ingenuity of the Kenyan people. The simplicity of the ingredients allows the flavors to shine, reminding us that often, the most satisfying meals come from the heart of tradition.