You are currently viewing Basic Sukuma Wiki Recipe (No Tomatoes)

Basic Sukuma Wiki Recipe (No Tomatoes)

Sukuma Wiki is the most commonly consumed vegetable in Kenya, often served alongside ugali, the country’s staple food, making Ugali & Sukuma Wiki a quintessential Kenyan dish. The popularity of sukuma wiki stems from its affordability and widespread availability. Known in English as collard greens, these vegetables are frequently mistaken for kale.

If you’ve tried kale, you’ll find that collard greens are less bitter and offer greater nutritional benefits. But why are collard greens referred to as sukuma wiki in Kenya and East Africa?

Also Read: Authentic Kenyan Ugali Recipe: Step-by-Step Guide

Also Read: Recipe: Ugali Kisiagi (Wholegrain)

What does Sukuma Wiki Mean?

In Swahili, Sukuma Wiki directly translates to “push the week,” meaning “stretch the week” in the context of food and budgeting. This reflects its role in extending meal budgets, as it is cheaper than meat and many other vegetables. If you are on a budget in Kenya, you’re likely eating Sukuma Wiki almost every day.

You Have Been Cooking Sukuma Wiki Wrong

Many people dislike Sukuma Wiki due to its bitterness, but this is often the result of overcooking. When prepared correctly, Sukuma Wiki should be crunchy and green, not overcooked and gray.

Sukuma Wiki is actually alkaline, contrary to the common belief that it is acidic and therefore unsuitable for those with ulcers.

Now, let’s get to the recipe. This is one of the simplest ways to prepare Sukuma Wiki, without tomatoes. Not only does this make an already inexpensive dish even cheaper, but I believe it also tastes better without tomatoes.

The combination of just onions and Sukuma Wiki really highlights the raw flavor of the greens. Of course, you can add tomatoes if you prefer, but it will alter the taste and you won’t experience the pure flavor of Sukuma Wiki.


Sukuma Wiki Ingredients
  • Spring Onions
  • Sukuma Wiki
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper(Optional)
  • Mala-Fermented Milk (Optional)- You can substitute with sour cream or buttermilk!
  • Beef Bullion cubes(Optional)

Check the recipe card below for precise measurements

If you are in Kenya then you probably get your sukuma wiki readily washed, and thinly sliced ready to just toss in the sufuria(pot) and cooking it up.

However, if you get sukuma wiki bunches then you have to first wash the leaves individually clean to remove any diet and debris, sort for leaves with parasites, remove the stalks by pulling then leaves away, bundle the leaves together tightly then thinly chop them, and now you are ready to follow the procedure as below.


Sukuma Wiki Preparation
  1. Start by preparing your onions. Separate the green parts of the spring onions from the white parts and chop them individually.
  2. Heat your sufuria or pot over medium heat. Once warm, add vegetable oil or any neutral oil like sunflower, corn, or canola oil. You can also use flavored oils like olive oil, but for authenticity, stick with vegetable oil, which is commonly used in Kenya.
  3. When the oil is hot, cook the white parts of the onions until they are fragrant and transparent. Be careful not to burn the onions, as this will make your Sukuma Wiki smoky and bitter.
  4. Once the onions are done, add the Sukuma Wiki and mix to ensure it is all coated with oil. Lower the heat, cover with a lid, and let it cook for up to 2 minutes, making sure it doesn’t burn. If the Sukuma Wiki is too dry, add a splash of water. If it’s still moist from washing, that should be enough to cook it without drying out.
  5. After 2 minutes, add salt or any other seasoning. Sukuma Wiki pairs well with green Knorr beef cubes, which is optional but highly recommended if available. Ensure the Sukuma Wiki remains moist by adding a splash of water if necessary, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Finish by adding the green slices of spring onions as a garnish. To enhance the flavor, add 3 tablespoons of fermented milk (mala).
  7. Serve on a plate and optionally drizzle with additional fermented milk or sour cream. Serve alongside ugali.
A Serving of Sukuma Wiki

Sukuma Wiki

Easy Sukuma Wiki Recipe

Sukuma Wiki is a popular leafy green vegetable in Kenya, known in English as collard greens.
This simple recipe involves cooking the greens with onions and a touch of seasoning, optionally garnished with fermented milk. Serve alongside ugali for an authentic Kenyan meal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad
Servings 2 people
Calories 200 kcal


  • 1 Pot/ Frying Pan
  • 1 Wooden Spoon


  • 3 bunches Sukuma Wiki (collard greens), washed and chopped
  • 2 stalks Spring onions, separated into green and white parts and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil (or any neutral oil like sunflower, corn, or canola oil)
  • 1 pinch Salt and seasoning (optional: green Knorr beef cubes)
  • 3 tbsp fermented milk (mala) or sour cream (optional)


  • Prepare Onions: Chop the green and white parts of the spring onions separately.
  • Heat Oil: Warm a pot over medium heat and add vegetable oil.
  • Cook Onions: Cook the white parts of the onions until fragrant and transparent.
  • Add Sukuma Wiki: Add the chopped Sukuma Wiki and mix to coat with oil. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Season: Add salt or seasoning (optional: green Knorr beef cubes). Ensure the greens remain moist; add a splash of water if needed.
    Cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Finish: Garnish with the green parts of the spring onions and stir in 3 tablespoons of fermented milk (optional).
  • Serve: Serve with ugali, optionally drizzling with more fermented milk or sour cream.


  • When cooking Sukuma Wiki, avoid overcooking to retain its crunchiness and vibrant green color.
  • Sukuma Wiki is alkaline, not acidic, contrary to common belief, making it suitable for most diets except for individuals with specific conditions like ulcers.
  • Pairing Sukuma Wiki with ugali, a maize porridge, is a traditional and nutritious Kenyan meal.
  • Use caution when adding seasoning; start with a small amount and adjust to taste preference to avoid oversalting the dish.
  • For enhanced flavor, consider adding fermented milk (mala) or sour cream as a garnish.

Serving Suggestions

Sukuma Wiki goes with ugali, you can even serve up with rice but it feels just different, ugali is the perfect pairing! It is the preffered source of starch, you can add proteins if you please, for this serving it is sukuma wiki + ugali + chilli sauce+ mala(fermented milk);

Other ways to serve up sukuma wiki include;

  • Ugali+ Sukuma+ Eggs
  • Ugali+Sukuma+Chicken Stew
  • Ugali+Sukuma+Beef Stew
  • Ugali+ Sukuma+Beans
  • Ugali +Sukuma+Matumbo (tripe)

Related Links

Creamy Bitterless Managu Recipe; (African Nightshade)

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