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What is Matumbo? And How is it Prepared?

Learn how to make your matumbo, soft and tasty to accompany any dish. Matumbo is mostly the stomach muscle lining and intestines of cows and goats. So matumbo is not essentially tripe, as tripe is the stomach lining alone. Matumbo is the overall mixture of tripe and intestines, and soft organs

Forget about those fancy overpriced steak cuts; Matumbo(Tripe) is the main character whenever you want something meaty and cheap, that is also delicious and nutritious. A Kg of matumbo will run you about KSh 280, while beef is KSh 520, and steaks at 600.

The reason matumbo is cheap is that it is a by-product of a slaughtered animal, and not many high-income people fancy it, so being undesirable explains the low price.

To be honest, raw matumbo doesn’t look thaaat appetizing, looks more like remnants from a science experiment gone South. There is evidence just below to back up my statement.

Raw Matumbo, Tripe
Raw Matumbo

While matumbo can be from any livestock that can be slaughtered, the common type is the beef matumbo from cows.

The cooking phase will make your kitchen stinky, but that is just a small price to pay for this delicacy. It cooks longer than beef, lamb, or pork before it can become edible. Boiling alone on the stovetop takes over 1 hour.

However, everything changes the moment your matumbo is cooked to completion, the transformation is just surreal. Suddenly it looks appetizing and once you throw one piece into your mouth, it is just bursting with flavor

Even when cooked to completion, matumbo will still be chewy, that is just its character and may take a little getting used to


To keep it as simple as possible, here is what you will need. Feel free to skip the ingredients marked as optional as your matumbo will still turn out fine.

  •  500g Tripe(Matumbo),
  •  1 Onion, Medium,
  •  1 Tomato, Medium,
  •  2Tbs, Vegetable Oil,
  •  Salt
  •  1 Bunch, Fresh Coriander (Dhania)
  •  1Tbs, Curry Powder, (OPTIONAL)
  •  4Tbs, White Vinegar, (OPTIONAL)
  •  2Tbs, Ginger-Garlic Paste (OPTIONAL)
  •  1Tbs, Tomato Paste (OPTIONAL)

Special Equipment(s)

  •  Pressure Cooker (OPTIONAL)


Here is a brief procedure on cooking matumbo, the details for each step will be explained in the notes section below

  1. Wash your matumbo thoroughly with running water  Then boil water and optionally add vinegar or lemon juice and soak the matumbo for at least 15 minutes, then drain.
  2. If you are using a pressure cooker, cook under the meat function for 20 minutes. If you are boiling on the sufuria, make sure it is covered and boiled for up to 1 hour or till soft and cooked. Make sure you add more than enough water to cover the matumbo
  3. As the matumbo is boiling, prepare the fresh aromatics by slicing onions, dicing tomatoes, and dhania. For dhania cut the stems and leaves separately. If you don’t have ginger garlic paste, just grate fresh ginger and garlic
  4. When matumbo is done through, drain all the water but make sure to save at least a glassful for the next steps
  5. Now add the dry cooked matumbo back into a sufuria or pan. You can also use a pressure cooker but now on stew mode. Take at least 2 minutes of dry cooking to remove any water that is still soaked up in the tripe lining. Be sure to stir around to prevent sticking.
  6. When the matumbo is getting toasty and smelling like nyama choma, add 2tbs of vegetable oil and coat everything, let it all shallow fry for 2 minutes then go in with your onions, cover and cook till onions are translucent
  7. After the onions are nicely done, add tomatoes followed by salt, and cover. Cook till tomatoes are broken down and mushy. This should take like 3 minutes
  8. Now add your ginger and garlic paste if you using it, follow with dhania stems too. After a minute of cooking add the 1 cup of drained matumbo water and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes
  9. After a 20-minute simmering, if your stew has reduced below the consistency you like, feel free to add any extra matumbo water or use water. then add curry powder or any spices you use. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes
  10. After 10 minutes, taste your matumbo to see if it is cooked to your liking, if not feel free to extend it. But for me, 30 minutes of simmering has it done perfectly, add the dhania leaves and simmer for an additional 5 minutes then take off the heat, and you are done.


  1. Hot water and vinegar or lemon juice help remove the smell from the matumbo. as they have been soaking dripping blood in the butchery basin.
  2. Don’t use extra oil as matumbo is normally fatty on its own. The reason we even add oil is to cook the onions and tomatoes
  3. The water from boiling matumbo is so fatty, so if you do not like that you can just let it settle and then decant off the fatty layers that will settle at the top 
  4. Follow the procedure of adding in the aromatics as it actually matters, adding your garlic at an earlier stage will burn it off and ruin your entire dish with a smoky taste
  5. This is just personal, but I find sliced onions cook better than diced ones. You are also free to blend your tomatoes instead of dicing them; if you don’t want tomato pieces in your tripe 
  6. Be patient and cook on low heat to allow the flavors to form, cooking on high heat won’t result in the best matumbo experience. 
  7. Adjust the matumbo consistency to your liking, If you want to dry fry then cook completely till no liquid is left, for wet fry cook it almost dry but moist with some little thick flowing soup.


It is at this point where I should show my result, but unfortunately, I spilled the entire dish while trying to plate it, with chapatis. I have to re-do the recipe and update it soon. Sign up for the blog updates at the end if you feel sorry for me

Anyway here is a close-up of one of the pieces that survived 🙁

Matumbo, TRIPE

Matumbo(Tripe) Recipe

Tripe, matumbo, is a dish made from the stomach lining, intestines, and soft organs of cows and goats.
Despite its initial appearance and odor, matumbo offers a budget-friendly and flavorful alternative to traditional meats.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 3 people


  • 1 Pressure Cooker OPTIONAL


  • 500 g Tripe (Matumbo)
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 medium Tomato
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 bunch Fresh Coriander, Dhania
  • 1 tablespoon Curry Powder, 4 tablespoons White Vinegar, 2 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste, 1 tablespoon Tomato Paste OPTIONAL


  • Thoroughly wash the matumbo with running water.
    Boil water and optionally add vinegar or lemon juice, then soak the matumbo for at least 15 minutes. Drain.
  • If using a pressure cooker, cook under the meat function for 20 minutes.
    If boiling on the stovetop, cover and boil for up to 1 hour until soft.
    While the matumbo is boiling, prepare aromatics: slice onions, dice tomatoes, and chop dhania.
  • After boiling, drain the matumbo, reserving at least a glassful of water.
  • In a pot under low heat, dry cook the matumbo for about 2 minutes to remove excess water.
  • Add vegetable oil to the pan, then fry the onions until translucent.
    Add tomatoes, and salt, and cook until broken down and mushy.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste (if using) and dhania stems, followed by the reserved matumbo water.
    Simmer for 20 minutes.If needed, adjust consistency by adding more water. Add curry powder (optional) and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Taste the matumbo and adjust seasoning if necessary.
    Add dhania leaves, simmer for 5 more minutes, then remove from heat.
    Serve and enjoy


  • Soak the matumbo in hot water and vinegar or lemon juice to remove any unpleasant smell.
  • Avoid using excess oil as matumbo is naturally fatty.
  • Save the water from boiling matumbo to use in the cooking process.
  • Follow the order of adding aromatics to prevent burning.
  • Adjust the consistency of the dish according to your preference.
  • Cook on low heat to allow flavors to develop fully.
  • Experiment with different serving options to find your favorite combination.

What to Serve Matumbo With

The following are the common pairings that matumbo goes well with, feel free to experiment with your own combinations but these are the standards;

  1. Matumbo + Ugali
  2. Matumbo + Ugali + Sukuma Wiki ( Balanced Diet)
  3. Matumbo + Chapati
  4. Matumbo + White Rice
  5. Matumbo + Mashed Potatoes
  6. Matumbo + Mukimo


First, off the textures, matumbo is not homogeneous as it is several parts cooked together, and they get done at different levels.

Intestines are normally chewy and springy like rubber bands even when done, they are normally fatty on the insides as well, so they will leave your mouth with a gluey taste from the fats.

Soft tissues like kidneys and livers are normally overcooked at this point, and they just melt in your mouth. 

Meanwhile, the stomach lining, (the tripe itself) is just perfect. The outside is coarse and crunchy and the lining absorbs all the flavors, so I would say the lining is the best part of the entire matumbo dish

For the ultimate matumbo experience, don’t eat each separately; just combine all the bits at once for the universal texture and flavor explosion experience

Nutritional Information

Servings: 1 

Calories 424 

% Daily Value* Total Fat 18.6g 24% Saturated Fat 6.5g 32% Cholesterol 618mg 206% Sodium 477mg 21% Total Carbohydrate 0g 

0% Dietary Fiber 0g 0% Total Sugars 0g   Protein 60.4g   Vitamin D 0mcg 0% Calcium 353mg 27% Iron 3mg 17% Potassium 336mg 7% 

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Benefits of Matumbo

Matumbo is different from beef, lamb, or pork as it is an organ meat while beef lamb, and pork are muscle meats

Other organ meats include; livers and kidneys

Tripe is a good and cheap source of protein: Just 100g contains over 13g of protein while normal beef has double that at 26g of protein per 100g of beef, yes it has half as less protein, but it costs less than half in comparison to beef.

Protein is important for functions in the body such as growth, and synthesizing hormones and enzymes, proteins are simply the building blocks of a functional body.

Good Source of Vitamin B12:  B12 helps with DNA and cellular development, the normal functioning of nerves and cells, and also in the production of red blood cells

Anyone who eats any kind of meat will get a steady supply of vitamin B12. Matumbo is a kind of meat if you ask me. Vegans who don’t eat meat need vitamin B12 supplements to avoid getting deficient.

Mineral Rich: Matumbo is rich in minerals like Zinc, which helps in DNA development and cell development, just like Vit B12. Matumbo also has a significant quantity of Selenium that boosts the immune system. Other important minerals packed include Potassium, Iron, and Calcium

Downsides and Effects of Matumbo

Just like everything, for every good, some disadvantages come along with matumbo consumption. However, these are only significant if over-consumed. Matumbo should be consumed in moderation, not daily but at most thrice a week is decent.

  1. High levels of Cholesterol: Tripe has higher levels of cholesterol compared to muscle meats, so over-consuming can lead to accumulation which can pose a health risk
  2. Smell and Texture: The smell of matumbo even when cooked is not pleasant to many people, the texture as stated remains rubbery even when done, thus tough to chew.
  3. Can transmit parasites: Especially tapeworms if not cooked properly. Please ensure you cook your matumbo to completion to avoid this. Cooking to completion denatures the parasites and their eggs.

If you have never tried matumbo before, the next time you encounter it on a restaurant menu or at your local butchery just give it a chance.


What is Matumbo made of? Intestines, stomach lining, and soft inner tissues(kidney & liver) of a cow or a goat

What can you serve with matumbo?  Flaky Chapatis, Mashed potatoes, or Ugali

What is the English name for Matumbo?  Tripe

How long do you boil a Matumbo for? 1 hour on the stovetop, and 20 minutes on the pressure cooker

What is used to soften Matumbo? White vinegar or fresh lemon juice and soak 

How long does it take to soften tripe? 30 minutes when soaked in vinegar or  fresh lemon juice

What are the benefits of Matumbo in the body? Matumbo has a high protein content so it will help you achieve your daily required amount by over 20% from a single-serve

How do you make Matumbo not smell? Wash with hot water and soak in vinegar then drain before cooking

Does Matumbo add weight? Matumbo is generally fatty, if consumed in moderation it shouldn’t make you gain weight

What is the best way to boil tripe? In a pressure cooker, it saves time and energy used

Read more from the category: African Cuisine

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