All Things Kenyan

Dinnertime Recipes

An average Kenyan household generally eats ugali na sukuma wiki or chapati na sukuma wiki. Ugali is a stiff porridge (reminds me of play dough) made out of maize meal (white corn meal). Sukuma wiki is similar to collard greens usually boiled with some tomatoes and onions. Chapatis are a flat round bread on the idea of a thick tortilla. These two meals, ugali na sukuma wiki and chapati na sukuma wiki, do not require any silver ware. You simply use the ugali or chapati to pick up the sukuma wiki and then you put it in your mouth to eat it.

Here are the recipes for the ever popular ugali na sukuma wiki and chapati na sukuma wiki…


This is a very stiff maize meal (cornmeal) porridge. Actually, it’s like the consistency of play dough.

4 cups water
3 to 4 cups maize meal

Bring water to a boil in a pot. Add the maize meal and stir to prevent lumps. Add more maize meal to make a thick porridge. Keep stirring until the maize meal is well cooked. Tip out onto a plate – the ugali should hold its shape. Best served hot with sukuma wiki. 4 servings.

Sukuma Wiki

This is made out of any leafy green vegetable, mainly collards or kale. Incidently, sukuma wiki means ‘to push the week’ which implies that sukuma wiki is a food used to stretch the meals to last for the week.

2 tablespoons fat (oil or shortening)
1 Onion
1 Tomato
A bunch of Sukuma (kale or collard greens), chopped

Melt fat in a pot and add the onions. Stir well and saute for a bit. Add tomato and saute. Add sukuma and saute for a short time. Add 1/2 cup water and the add salt to taste. Let the mixture simmer until the sukuma has reached a desired tenderness. 2 servings.

Making ChapatiChapati

This is sometimes served with sukuma wiki instead of ugali.

2 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon

Mix dry ingredients well. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the flour mixture. Then add enough water to form an elastic dough. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll out 1 ball into a circle and spread 1/4 teaspoon oil over it. Roll the circle up, like a jelly roll, then roll it up again. It should resemble a snail shell. Do the same for the other three balls. Let the dough sit 20 minutes to 8 hours, depending on when you make them. Roll out into circles 10 to 12 inches in diameter. Melt a bit of shortening in a pan and wait until it is hot to cook the chapati. Fry rapidly and watch them bubble up. Makes 4 chapatis.