Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Food Tuesday: Sukuma Wiki

Recently, while looking for new recipes to try, I came across a Kenyan dish called Sukuma Wiki (braised greens with tomatoes). While you may not have heard of the name, I’m pretty certain you’re well acquainted with the ingredients. The name of the dish means “to push/stretch the week” and the dish is suited just for that purpose. It is a dish you can eat alone or mix with other ingredients to stretch your groceries for the week. It’s also super affordable and delicious.

There are quite a few variations on the web in terms of spices and what to serve it with. I'm just sharing the recipe I used. I’ve seen recipes that only call for salt in terms of seasonings and there may be versions that are more authentic. That said, I think the spices in this particular recipe added a depth of flavor and gave the dish its magic. Here’s the recipe:

Sukuma Wiki*
2 medium tomatoes (about ½ pound)
1 large white onion (about 1 pound—I used a red onion because I prefer the flavor)
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or oil of your choice—I used avocado oil)
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)

1 pound of kale (or collard greens—I used kale)


Chop the kale into rough 1-inch pieces, including the ribs. Roughly chop the tomatoes. (If desired, reserve about 1/4 cup fresh tomato pieces for garnish.) Peel and dice the onion.

Heat the oil in a large, deep pot, or a large wok. When it is hot, add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. When the onion is getting soft, stir in the cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the greens one handful at a time, stirring constantly to coat them with the onions, oil, and spices. When they have all been added, sprinkle the salt and a generous amount of fresh pepper over them and stir.

Pour in 1 cup water. Cover the pot and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until the greens are tender to your taste. (I like mine fairly toothsome, so I only cook them for about 10 minutes.)

Remove the lid, turn off the heat, and toss the greens with the lemon juice. Serve hot, garnished with extra tomato, if desired.

I served the dish over creamy mashed potatoes and it was perfection for my palate. I also think it would go well with farro, quinoa, brown rice, couscous, polenta or grits, etc. Pretty much any grain will work. You can also serve it with ground meat (which is a bit more traditional) or vegetarian crumbles. Ash had it with some shredded chicken he had from a meal the night before.  Essentially, the dish goes well with whatever you choose to serve it with.   Experiment and enjoy!

*Recipe from The Kitchn.

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