Sukuma Wiki: A versatile vegan recipe made to stretch out all week

A dish of greens to make meals go further, from In Bibi’s Kitchen, by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen.

A dish of greens to make meals go further, from In Bibi’s Kitchen, by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen

(Photography by Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May)

This recipe for Sukuma Wiki is featured in the Kenya section of In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean, written by Hawa Hassan, with Julia Turshen. As they note below, this vegan dish of seasoned greens with tomatoes calls for collard greens — or you can use kale or any dark, leafy greens. Choose your favourite, what's affordable, or what's available, with this recipe that's made to be versatile.

Sukuma Wiki (Greens with Tomatoes)

By Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen

These well-seasoned greens are similar to collards, which are popular in the American South with their fragrant potlikker and are a reminder of the undeniably deep threads that tie together African and African American cooking. Sukuma wiki means “to stretch the week”—in other words, using these greens, which are affordable and readily available, can help stretch any meal a bit further. Greens are a staple in Kenyan cooking and in most East African cooking in general. Serve this dish with rice for a traditional, healthy, and completely vegan meal.


  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound kale and/or collards (or any dark leafy greens), tough stems discarded, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice


Warm the oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot set over medium heat. Add the onion, cumin, coriander, and turmeric, and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, greens, a large pinch of salt, and water. Stir everything well to combine, cover, and simmer, until the greens are very tender and soft, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, season the greens to taste with salt, and serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a few days and rewarmed in a heavy pot set over low heat (stir while you heat).

Reprinted with permission from In Bibi’s Kitchen by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen, copyright © 2020. Photographs by Khadija M. Farah & Jennifer May. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

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