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Easy Kenyan Matoke Recipe

 This post is an easy-to-follow Kenyan matoke recipe, using as few as possible and readily available ingredients, nutritional information, and taste profile discussed.

Matoke is a special species of bananas called the East African Highland Bananas. This dish is high in starch, and low in sugar, compared to plantain. Matoke is not plantain

If you get the wrong type of bananas, they won’t cook even hours later, so ensure you’re sure you bought matoke and not plantain or any other banana.


Matoke Bananas | Highland Bananas
  •  6-7 green bananas (matoke)
  •  1 large onion, finely diced
  •  2 tomatoes, diced
  •  2 cloves of garlic, minced (OPTIONAL)
  •  1 teaspoon ginger, grated (OPTIONAL)
  •  1 green chili, chopped (adjust according to your spice preference) (OPTIONAL)
  •  1 teaspoon turmeric powder (OPTIONAL)
  •  1 teaspoon cumin powder (OPTIONAL)
  •  1 teaspoon coriander powder (OPTIONAL)
  •  Salt to taste
  •  Curry Powder or Royco Cubes
  •  2-3 Tbs, Vegetable Oil

Recipe Notes

Feel free to skip any optional ingredients and it’ll still turn out fine, infact I skipped all the optional ones for this recipe.

After cooking, feel free to garnish with aromatics, like spring onion or fresh coriander (dhania leaves).

You are welcome to use any cooking oil: sunflower, canola, olive, or peanut oil. I went with vegetable oil as it is the widely adopted option here in Kenya

Bell Peppers are a great add-on if you love those in your food.


1. Start off by oiling your hand, yeah that sounds kinda zesty but just do it. This will help to mitigate the glue from the raw banana peels from sticking into your hand. 

The glue is dark-blueish and it is really a pain to get off once it sticks, not even the best detergents can handle it, so by applying vegetable oil to our hands and rubbing, we are creating a barrier between our skin and the glue so it will be sliding off instead of sticking on our palms.

2. To peel your bananas effortlessly, cut off the opposite ends then slide your knife along to get off the peelings, be careful not to dig into the bananas.

If you want cleaner cuts, there is an extra step involved where you have to draw a shallow line across the skin of the banana along its length then boil it in water for 10 minutes, and the outer skin will come off easily if not by itself, but I hate extra steps, so I went with classic raw- peeling.

Peeled Matoke

these are not the cleanest peels, so be sure to do a better job than me, and I will be proud of you, (unlike your dad)

The dark colors are the glue oxidising with the air, we were talking about earlier, be free to trim it off. It doesn’t bother me so I proceed to the next step.

3. Cut the matoke into pieces, like 4-5 pieces per medium banana and immediately toss them into a pot covered with water. The reason we should add pieces to water is to prevent them from changing color further upon exposure to air, you are welcome to add 2 tbs of vinegar to your water for more effectiveness, let that sit for like a good 5 minutes.

Matoke Raw

While your matoke is sitting in water, use those 5 minutes to prepare your tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, ginger and garlic; or whatever veggies and aromatics you are using.

4. Start by adding oil to your sufuria, followed by diced or sliced onions, and cook those till translucent, add bell peppers and tomatoes next, add salt, and ensure you now cover the sufuria and lower your heat to low. Cook till broken down and almost pureed.

The purpose of salt addition at this stage is to help quickly and further break down the tomatoes. If you are using garlic, add it at this point, adding it earlier will result in it burning off.

Once everything is cooked to perfection and all mushy-soft, drain the matoke dry and add the chunks to the sufuria with cooking aromatics. stir around to coat everything together and cook that for a good 3 minutes on low

The key is cooking on low heat to allow flavors to develop

Cooking Matoke

5. Once you hear your matoke is drying out and sizzling, don’t let it burn, add water at this point. You can optionally add beef broth. But water will just do fine, add enough till it covers all the matoke chunks. 

Add beef cubes at this point if you are using those and cover, simmer on medium heat while ensuring your sufuria is covered

6. 10 to 15 minutes later your matoke will be almost cooked, it is here where you can now go crazy with the dry spices you desire; turmeric, curry powder, coriander powder, and cumin, all add them at this point, adjust for salt if needed too

Don’t worry bout the extra water at this point, the spices will thicken it all into a good curry/ stew to be served with

Cook for another 5 minutes or till your matoke is cooked through and edges start softening off, and a fork can pierce through the middle without resistance.

7. Once you are certain your matoke is cooked through the insides, now add freshly chopped dhania leaves( coriander/ cilantro), for that freshness lift to the dish, turn the heat off, let matoke set, and develop flavors for like 10 minutes before the proceeding to serve.

Matoke Dish


Easy Kenyan Matoke

Matoke, a popular East African dish made from green bananas, is traditionally cooked with a variety of spices and often served as a hearty side dish.
Can be enjoyed alongside rice or on by themselves.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 1
Calories 89 kcal


  • 7 pcs Matoke Bananas
  • 1 Onion Large
  • 2 Tomatoes Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic Minced(OPTIONAL)
  • 1 tsp Ginger Grated
  • 1 Green Chili Chopped
  • 1 tsp Turmeric OPTIONAL
  • 1 tsp Cumin OPTIONAL
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder OPTIONAL
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Royco Cube OPTIONAL


  • Select firm, unripe green bananas.
    Peel the matoke and cut them into chunks.
  • Prepare onions, tomatoes, garlic, and desired spices (e.g., turmeric, cumin, chili).
    Heat oil in a pot and sauté onions and garlic until softened.
    Add tomatoes and cook until they form a thick sauce
  • Stir in the matoke chunks and spices, coating them evenly with the sauce.
    Add water or broth to cover the matoke.
    Cover the pot and simmer until the matoke is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Once cooked, serve the matoke hot as a side dish with rice, or your favorite protein.


Feel free to omit any optional ingredients, and the recipe will still turn out well. In fact, I skipped all the optional ingredients when making this dish.
After cooking, you can garnish with aromatic herbs like spring onion or fresh coriander (dhania leaves).
You can use any type of cooking oil such as sunflower, canola, olive, or peanut oil. I chose vegetable oil, as it’s commonly used in Kenya.
Bell peppers make a delicious addition if you enjoy their flavor in your dishes.

What Does Matoke Taste Like?

Matoke dishes have a unique taste and texture. When cooked, they are starchy and have a mildly sweet flavor. 

The texture is firm, similar to that of potatoes, but they can become softer when fully cooked. The taste is influenced by the spices and ingredients used in the preparation.

I’d say; the overall flavor is a delightful combination of the natural sweetness of the bananas and the savory notes from the spices and other ingredients used in the preparation.

Matoke Stew

Nutritional Information

For a serving of 100g, here are the approximates

  •  Calories: Approximately 89 kcal
  •  Carbohydrates:  22.8g
  •  Dietary Fiber:  2.6g
  •  Sugar: About 12.2g
  •  Protein:  1.3g
  •  Fat:  0.3g

Matoke is particularly rich in certain vitamins and minerals, including:

  •  Vitamin C: A good source of vitamin C, which is important for immune function and skin health.
  •  Potassium: Provides a notable amount of potassium, which is crucial for maintaining proper heart and muscle function.
  •  Vitamin B6: Contains vitamin B6, important for metabolism and nervous system health.
  •  Folate (Vitamin B9): A source of folate, essential for DNA synthesis and cell growth.


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