An average Kenyan household generally eats ugali na sukuma wiki for dinner. Sukuma wiki (sue-kumma wick-ie) is similar to collard greens and usually boiled with some tomatoes and onions. In Swahili, “sukum wiki” means “to push the week” which implies this is a food used to stretch meals to last for the week. Kenyans eat this dish with their hands by pinching off a small bit of ugali (ew-gal-ie) with their fingers, rolling it into a ball, and using their thumb to make a small depression to scooping up a bite of sukuma. Sukuma Wiki can be made out of most any leafy green vegetable, mainly collards or kale.
Ugali na Sukuma Wiki – Kenyan Cornmeal Porridge with Collard Greens
- Large pot or wok
- Medium saucepan
- 1 lb Collard greens or kale
- 2 medium Tomato
- 1 large White onion, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- ½ tsp Each: ground cumin, coriander, and turmeric
- 2 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tsp Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 large Lemon, juiced
- 1½ cup White cornmeal (sub: yellow cornmeal)
- 1 tbsp Salted butter (or oil if preferred)
- 2 cup tap water
- Rinse greens. Chop leaves and ribs into 1-inch pieces. Roughly chop the tomatoes.
- Heat oil in deep pot or wok over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook over medium-high heat until softened, 7-8 minutes. Stir in coriander, cumin and turmeric. Then stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add ⅓ of greens, stir for a minute to coat. Repeat process 2 more times. Stir in salt and lots of pepper. Add water, cover pot, lower heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes covered, and 5-10 minutes uncovered until greens become tender and most of the liquid cooks off.
- Remove from heat and set cover aside. Mix in lemon juice and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve hot with a chunk of ugali.
- While greens are cooking, bring water and butter to a boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in cornmeal, one cup at a time to prevent lumps. Keep stirring vigorously with a wood spoon until it separates from the sides of the saucepan and takes on the aroma of roasted corn. Turn it out onto a serving plate and shape it into a round mound. Serve warm alongside sukuma wiki and other meat or vegetable stews.