Sukuma Wiki – Immaculate Bites

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Sukuma Wiki Recipe – This healthy and economical braised collard greens recipe is bursting with flavor and spices. They’re collard greens done right for a perfect weeknight side dish! 💚

You can make these tasty African greens with minimal ingredients or take them over the top with protein and spices. Of course, I went over the top, adding protein, garlic, and spices, including coriander, curry, garlic, and cayenne pepper for some heat. One of the great things about sukuma wiki is how easy it is to customize it. 

And while the super greens and the foodie worlds are smitten with kale, not many people realize that collard greens are right up there with kale. They provide vitamins A, C, K, and calcium, and they’re quite tasty, too! A side-by-side comparison even gives collard greens a slight edge. 😉

Another great thing about this recipe for sukuma wiki? Most people love cooking their greens for a prolonged time, but not me. This recipe comes together quickly! It takes 7-10 minutes, tops!

Sukuma Wiki with collard greens and beef

What Is Sukuma Wiki?

Sukuma wiki is a rustic African dish enjoyed in many parts of East Africa. Kenya and Tanzania are just a couple. The Swahili phrase means to stretch the week, which it does quite well, especially when paired with ugali, a cornmeal fufu.

What You Need

What you need to make amazing collard greens (sukuma wiki)
  1. Collards – Get a nice fresh bunch of collards for this recipe. Or, substitute kale if you must. 😜
  2. Protein – Chopped or ground beef or chicken can turn this side of greens into the main course. But it’s optional.
  3. Veggies – Tomato, garlic, and onion add loads of flavor and variety of texture, too.
  4. Spices – Smoked paprika, coriander, curry or turmeric, cayenne pepper, bouillon powder, and lemon juice make the perfect spice combo, IMO.

How to Make Sukuma Wiki

Prep the collard greens, saute the aromatics, and assemble
Simmer collard greens until tender, enjoy
  • Saute – Heat the oil in a medium-large skillet, add onions and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
  • Base – Add the tomatoes, curry powder, coriander, and paprika. Stir with a heavy wooden spoon for about 2 minutes.
  • Meat – Add ground or minced meat, if using, and the bouillon powder. Stir well and simmer for about 5 minutes. 
  • Cook Collards – Next, throw in the chopped collards, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. 
  • Simmer – Continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes until flavors blend and the greens cook to your preference. 
  • Serve – Adjust the seasonings to taste, including salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and serve!
Enjoying a soul-satisfying bowl of sukuma wiki and ugali

Recipe Variations

  1. Make it vegan. Skip the meat and use vegetable bouillon powder for totally plant-based goodness.
  2. Make it spicy! Add a jalapeno or other spicy pepper to the sauteed vegetables and some crushed red pepper. 🌶️
  3. Protein swaps. Don’t limit yourself to ground beef or chicken. Shrimp, sausage, bacon, or any other meat tastes delish in this dish. 😋

Tips and Tricks

  1. Select fresh greens. Choose collard greens that are fresh, vibrant, and crisp. Avoid wilted or yellowing leaves, as they may be past their prime and turn bitter.
  2. Clean your greens thoroughly. Collard greens can be gritty, so be sure to clean them thoroughly. Submerge them in cold water and swish them around to remove sand or debris. Repeat until the water runs clear.
  3. Remove tough stems. Collard greens have tough stems that can be fibrous and chewy. Remove them by folding the leaves in half and slicing along the stem to remove it. Or strip the leaves off the stems with your hands.
  4. Cut them uniformly for easy eating. After removing the stems, stack several leaves on top of each other, roll them into a tight bundle, and slice them crosswise into thin strips for even cooking.

Make-Ahead Instructions

This deliciousness is a great make-ahead dish. Just let it cool and refrigerate it in an airtight container for 1-2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Serving and Storage Instructions

Serve sukuma wiki hot as a main dish or side.

Refrigerate leftover collard greens for 3-5 days in an airtight container. Reheat them in a pan on the stove over medium heat until heated through. You may need to add a couple of tablespoons of broth or water if it seems too dry.

Serving up a delectable bowl of sukuma wiki (African collard greens) with ugali or fufu

What Goes With Sukuma Wiki

For a traditional African meal, serve this dish with ugali. Sukuma Wiki also goes great with classic Southern dishes like fried chicken liversblack-eyed peas, and skillet cornbread. 🤤

More African-Inspired Recipes to Try

  1. Chicken Stew
  2. Stewed Spinach
  3. Hot Pot Potatoes
  4. Maafe
  5. Red Red

This blog post was originally published in January 2015 and has been updated with additional tips and delicious-looking photos

Sukuma Wiki

This healthy and economical braised collard greens recipe is bursting with flavor and spices. They’re collard greens done right for a perfect weeknight side dish! 


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