Sukuma wiki is a delicious East African dish, made with a fragrant and delightful combination of collard greens, tomatoes, and spices. Serve it with low carb fufu or cauliflower rice for a delectable low carb dinner!
If you do not like collard greens, this will make a believer out of you. I did not grow up eating collard greens as it is not common in Nigeria, so I struggled with it the first time I had it.
But I became hooked the first time I tasted this Kenyan delicacy, and I think you will too. Sukuma wiki is made with readily available ingredients and is so easy to make.
You won't be able to resist its delicious, robust flavor!
What does Sukuma Wiki mean?
Sukuma wiki is the Swahili name for collard greens. The literal translation means to 'stretch the week' or 'push the week.'
Sukuma wiki is a staple in many East African countries like Kenya, Burundi, and Tanzania. Collard greens are available all year round in these regions, which makes them easily affordable.
Is eating collard greens good for you?
Collard greens are very healthy for you and contain numerous health benefits. Some of them include:
- It improves digestion and reduces constipation due to its high fiber content.
- Its high vitamin A and C content helps keep your hair moisturized and build collagen for your skin.
- Collard greens contain choline, which helps with sleep, memory functions and improves your mood.
- It also has a high vitamin K content which helps with bone health and reduces osteoporosis.
Ingredients used in making sukuma wiki
Collard greens: I use collard greens, but you can also substitute with kale.
Tomatoes and onions: These vegetables, when sautéed, add a lot o flavor to the collard greens.
Beef (optional): The traditional sukuma wiki does not call for meat, but I wanted to add a bit more protein to my dish. You can omit this since it is optional.
Spices: I use cayenne pepper, bouillon, black pepper, and salt. For bouillon, I use the powder form, but you can use cubes instead. The popular brand in Kenya is known as Royco seasoning. You can also use Maggi cubes (which is popular in West Africa). If you don't have bouillon, you can leave it out or use your favorite spice.
Olive oil: Used to sauté the vegetables.
How to make sukuma wiki
If you are going to use beef, cook it separately. To prepare the meat, cut it into smaller pieces, add some salt and pepper and boil till tender. This will take about 30 - 40 minutes.
I did not include the time to make the beef because it is optional, and you need to have it already prepared if you want to add it.
Chop the onions and tomatoes and set aside. Chop the collard greens and wash in a colander under running water.
Sauté onions in olive oil on medium heat. When translucent, add the chopped tomatoes and stir for about 2 minutes.
Add all your spices - cayenne pepper, bouillon, salt, and black pepper. If you want to use beef or any other protein, add it now and stir.
Let it cook for 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat. Keep an eye on it, so it does not burn.
Add the chopped collard greens and stir. Let it cook for roughly 5 minutes, and your sukuma wiki is done!
This recipe serves 4 and contains 4 net carbs per serving.
What can I eat this with?
Sukuma wiki is traditionally eaten with a popular East African fufu dish known as Ugali, and sometimes with rice.
Here are some great dishes to eat it with on a low carb diet:
Variations when making this recipe
There are many ways to dress up this dish!
You can make it as spicy as you want or omit the cayenne pepper altogether.
I made mine with beef, but you can use chicken, goat meat, fish, or leave it out for a vegetarian option. Another great option is ground beef or turkey.
You can mix the collard greens with kale or even spinach. I have done it either way, depending on what leafy greens I had on hand, and it still turned out great.
You can also mix sukuma wiki with stew for an even more delicious combination!
Tips when making sukuma wiki
Do not add any water to your collard greens, or it might turn out watery. There will be some moisture from the washed collard greens, which should allow it to cook without burning.
If you like your sukuma wiki chewy, let it cook for 3-5 minutes. If you want it more tender, let it cook for 5 - 10 minutes.
If using kale, it will take a bit longer to cook. You can taste and see how you like it and remove it when done.
Sukuma Wiki (Kenyan Collard Greens)
- 1 bunch collard greens about 6 cups chopped.
- 1 lb beef cooked (optional)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 tomatoes diced
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon bouillon powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Saute onions in olive oil on medium heat.
- Add chopped tomatoes and stir for about 2 minutes.
- Add cayenne pepper, bouillon, salt, and black pepper.
- If using beef, add it and stir.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes on low heat.
- Add chopped collard greens.
- Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes or until your preferred crunchy level.
- Serve with cauliflower rice or low carb fufu!
- Do not add any water to your sukuma wiki, or it might turn out watery. There will be some moisture from the washed collard greens, which should allow it to cook without burning.
- If you like your sukuma wiki chewy, let it cook for 3-5 minutes. If you want it more tender, let it cook for 5 - 10 minutes.
- If using kale, it will take a bit longer to cook. You can taste and see how you like it and remove it when done.
Thom Self says
Absolutely wonderful. So satisfying and loaded with flavor. I was sure i would need to add something to kick it up flavor wise...NOPE! It’s perfect as written...one of my fave low carb recipes
I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Thom! Thank you for the feedback 🙂
My ex-boyfriend, a Kenyan, introduced this dish to me. We ate it with both ugali or rice and a side of goat meat. The relationship fizzled, but the African dish remained. I LOVE IT ALL!!
I'm so glad you enjoyed my recipe, Tonji!