A Kenyan Meal

Full of flavor, simple, homey, comforting, and healthy. Perfect words to describe these tasty Kenyan recipes!

I recently had the opportunity to chat with my friend Sandra Iminza Mukidza, a native of Kenya, about her food and culture. (If you missed it, be sure to catch her fantastic interview over at TasteOfThePlace.com/kenya-an-insiders-perspective.) She was generous enough to share a couple of her traditional recipes, and let me pass them on to you!

I recommend setting aside an evening to experience a taste of Kenya! Maybe put on some African music, or throw on a DVD of Out Of Africa, spend an hour or two in the kitchen surrounded by the amazing smell of veggies and spices cooking away, and then dig into this delicious feast!

A Kenyan Meal
serves 4 

Kenyan beef stew, ugali, and sukuma wiki

Kenyan beef stew on the left, ugali in the back, and sukuma wiki on the right

Sandra’s recipe for Kenyan Beef Stew

This recipe has been updated. Grab the latest version at tasteoftheplace.com/kenyan-beef-curry – see you there!

Sandra’s recipe for Ugali

Ugali is a cornmeal porridge similiar to polenta. It is often served with the flavorful sukuma wiki.

The recipe does not call for any salt, but if you find your tastebuds need a bit more saltiness, you could serve it with some salted butter or add a bit of salt to the mix.

What you need as a side for 4:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups medium or corse-ground cornmeal (white is traditional, but yellow works fine)

What to do:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, and stirring constantly with a whisk, slowly add the cornmeal to the boiling water. The ugali will begin to thicken quite quickly
  3. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring every minute or so with a sturdy wooden spoon, until the ugali begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and hold together, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn it out immediately onto a serving plate.
  4. The ugali will continue to firm as it cools, and will be thick enough to cut with a knife (similar to firm polenta).

Sandra’s recipe for Sukuma wiki

Sukuma wiki means to push or extend the week. It’s a flavorful mix of hearty greens with enough oomph and flavor to carry a meal, even if the budget for meat has run out.

Sandra's delicious version of Sukuma Wiki - so tasty!

Sandra’s delicious version of Sukuma Wiki – so tasty!


What you need as a side for 4:

Sandra demonstrates how to shred your greens for Sukuma Wiki!

Sandra demonstrates how to shred your greens for Sukuma Wiki!

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 medium (or 1 large) red onions, finely diced
  • 1 pound kale, shredded into thin strips, toughest bits of stems discarded
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream (also called heavy whipping cream) or double cream (do not substitute with whole milk. The higher fat content in the heavy cream helps prevent curdling)

What to do:

  1. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Add the shredded kale to the onions and mix well. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. After 5 minutes, remove the lid, add salt to taste, and stir in the cream. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. The cream will thicken slightly, making for a deliciously rich creamed kale and onions. Yumm!
  4. Serve it up with your favorite Kenyan stew, and a side of ugali!


Alternate version of Sukuma wiki (as pictured in the meal at the top of the post)

Recipe adapted from TheKitchn.com

What you need:

  • About 1 pound collard greens or kale, cut into bitesize strips
  • A glug of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 pinches ground coriander seeds
  • 2 pinches ground turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon

What to do:

  1. In a large pot or pan over medium, cook the onions in the oil until they begin to just soften and become translucent – several minutes
  2. Add the tomatoes, ground cumin, ground coriander seeds, ground turmeric, salt and pepper, and allow to cook until the tomatoes begin to soften – about 2 minutes
  3. Add the greens a handful at a time, stirring until all the greens are well coated with the onion, tomato and spice mixture
  4. Add the water, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the greens reach desired tenderness. (I thought mine were perfect after about 10 minutes)
  5. Remove from the heat, squeeze over a bit of lemon juice to taste, then taste for and adjust the seasonings.

Sandra Iminza Mukidza

Sandra Iminza Mukidza is an amature chef and food stylist at IminzaSandra.me , as well as a volunteer ambassador for the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution.

Learn more about her soulful cooking and style at IminzaSandra.me

Free cookbook chapter!

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It’s just one of the tasty dishes from my upcoming Taste Of The Place cookbook.

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  1. chemutai November 17, 2015 at 1:35 pm - Reply


  2. Kenyan Beef Stew Revisited April 7, 2015 at 2:57 am - Reply

    […] This gorgeous recipe for Kenyan beef stew is one of the tasty additions! Find the recipe over at tasteoftheplace.com/a-kenyan-meal […]

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