Sukuma Wiki

The recipe below has some sentimental values attached to it. My mother makes our sukuma wiki dish in this particular way. Often, everyone at the table enjoys every bit of the portion served gladly.

The fact that this recipe requires less effort but results in great returns in both nutritious and satisfaction values makes it the best. The fun fact about this meal is that it used to be associated with the poor, and actually got the name “sukuma wiki” which means to “stretch the week”. Now, we all enjoy this dish with our meals.

Another amazing dish from our Kenyan reader Angie. 

More cooked greens recipes:

Gomen (Ethiopian Collard Greens)

African Style Braised Kale and Tomatoes

Vegan Instant Pot Collard Greens

Vegan Southern-Style Collard Greens

Beet Greens

Lacinato kale in garden for sukuma wiki

What is sukuma wiki?

This sukuma wiki recipe below is the best because of its ease of preparation and the pleasure generated from this simple meal.  The ingredients used, greens, onions, and tomatoes help in making this nutritious and delicious meal readily available and simple. This recipe for sautéed greens is a quick dish for anyone, even the most inexperienced cook. These greens are usually readily available in supermarkets, health food groceries, and local farms or farmer’s markets.

What is the English name for sukuma wiki?

The English name for sukuma wiki is collard greens, which you probably know of since they are so common all over. Sukuma wiki is green in color when healthy but often turns yellow in the process of going bad. They are classified generally as greens. In terms of appearance, they are similar to spinach however, they have a tougher feel than spinach, similarly to kale.

Often, they are sold in bundles and depending on the number of people being prepared for the meal, you get to decide the number of bundles to purchase. Usually, they are easily stored against going bad thus making them more economical.

Sukuma wiki has an East African origin, especially found in Tanzania and Kenya. It is a food type that can be consumed by vegans and those who are gluten-free. It is also good for cats and dogs when it is cooked.

What are collard greens?

Collard greens, like broccoli, cabbage, spinach, mustard, and kale, are leafy greens and a part of the Brassica genus. For hundreds of years, Southern Americans have consumed these plants, which originated in North America. They’re available throughout the year, but the best months are January through April. 

Collard greens, like other Brassicas, are high in nutrients and provide numerous health benefits when consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet. They’re a New Year’s custom, and because of their likeness to folded money, they’re considered “lucky.” Collard greens are thought to bring success in the next year if eaten on New Year’s Day!

Collard greens nutrition:

Sukuma Wiki is a cruciferous vegetable that contains many health benefits.  It fights cancer, improves digestive health, offers detox benefits, and is one of the best sources of vitamin A, C, K, and soluble fiber.

 They also contain vitamin B6 and minerals including calcium, magnesium, and choline.

Sukuma Wiki is also closely related to kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, cauliflower, and Brussel’s sprouts.

A cup of cooked Sukuma Wiki provides

  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Vitamin A: 308% of the daily requirement
  • Vitamin C: 58% of the daily requirement
  • Folate:44 percent of the daily requirement
  • Vitamin E: 8% of the daily requirement
  • Vitamin K: 1045% of the daily requirement

How to clean collard greens?

Cleaning your collard greens properly is one of the most important steps in preparing collard greens. You want to make sure all the dirt and sand that the greens are grown in are completely removed.

You want to soak your collard green leaves in salted water to remove sand, dirt, and anything else that might be clinging to the leaves. 

Fill a large basin or the sink with water, add salt. Submerge your collard green leaves in the water let it soak for about 5 minutes. Swish around the leaves, pour out the dirty water. 

Replace with clean water.  Next, I love to take each individual leaf and wash it on both sides rubbing the leaf to make sure there is no dirt or sand clinging to each leaf. 

chopped kale for sukuma wiki

How to cut collard greens?

I remove the stem that runs down the middle of the collard greens most of the time. There I times that I really don’t bother, I just chop up the leaves. It is not necessary for you to remove the stem, it actually has lots of nutrients and fiber. However, a mature stem might be bitter and tough.

Sukuma wiki recipe:

  • Bundle of sukuma wiki – I used Lacinato Kale from my garden, you can also collard greens.
  • Avocado Oil 
  • Onion
  • Spring Onion – spring onion produces a stronger taste, while the onion has a more moderate taste.
  • Tomatoes
  • Curry Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Cilantro

 cooking veggies onion, garlic, tomatoes, peppers in a black saucepan

How to make sukuma wiki?

  1. When you buy collard greens, often the greens are on the stalk. Cut out the thicker parts of the stalk, since it will not become soft when cooked.
  2. Wash the leaves. As you wash, keep checking for any faults, like the presence of dark spots.
  3. Using a sharp knife and a chopping board, slice the leaves into uniform small sizes. 
  4. Chop the onions, tomatoes, and remove the stems of the cilantro.
  5. Heat a cooking pot on medium heat and add some oil for frying. Add the chopped ingredients into the cooking oil and stir until soft. If the amount of greens being cooked is not much, you can use a pan.
  6. When the mixture is well cooked, add the sukuma wiki. Lower the pot to medium-low heat.
  7. Season the pot to taste, and stir thoroughly to ensure every bit of the sukuma wiki has been well seasoned. 
  8. After 3 to 5 minutes, the dish will be ready to serve.

cooked vegetables for sukuma wiki

Additional tips

  • You could also mix spinach with the Sukuma wiki to counter the tougher texture.
  • You can exclude the tomatoes; some people prefer this dish without the tomatoes since they have a way of making the sukuma wiki slightly more sour.
  • Sukuma wiki is best if fresh, so if you can, opt to have some in the kitchen garden or pick from a local farm.

How to store sukuma wiki?

This recipe is easy to store. It can be stored for 3 to 7 days without going bad in a refrigerator. When Sukuma is cooked, let it cool, then store it in a sealed plastic dish in the refrigerator.  You could also avoid overusing many tomatoes to lengthen their durability. Tomatoes have a nature of increasing how fast the food goes bad.

What to eat with sukuma wiki?

Sukuma wiki is often eaten with dry foods like chapati or pancakes as a topping. It is also commonly served as an accompaniment to mashed potatoes, ugali, white/brown rice, or Nigerian fufu (mashed yam/cassava). You will enjoy this delicacy!

Other Related Recipes

  1. Jollof Rice
  2. Kachumbari
  3. Ugali
  4. Cassava Leaf Soup
  5. Black-Eyed Peas Fritters

sukuma wiki in black bowl on wooden background

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email & I’ll send it to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!

Save Recipe

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from Healthier Steps.

Sukuma Wiki

Sukuma wiki is a dish from the tropics that will amaze you. The recipe is easy to do, and produces delicious results you cannot deny.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: African, East African, Kenyan, Tanzanian, Uganda
Keyword: Sukuma Wiki
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 86kcal


  • 1 pound kale or collard greens washed and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 stalk green onion cut into slices
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 fresh fresh lemon juice


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Add green onion and tomatoes, and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in curry powder, bouillon cubes, and chopped kale, and keep stirring until the kale has wilted.
  • Add water, cover the saucepan, and cook until kale is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add salt to taste, chopped cilantro, and lemon juice.


Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 0.04mg | Sodium: 245mg | Potassium: 154mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 371IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating