Sukuma Wiki: A Tasty Kwanzaa Tradition to Love

Kwanzaa is a time to come together and celebrate African heritage, unity, and culture. One dish that beautifully represents these values is Sukuma Wiki, a delicious and nutritious Kenyan side dish made from collard greens. In this article, we’ll share the background of Sukuma Wiki and provide a simple yet flavorful recipe that you can enjoy during your Kwanzaa celebrations or any time of the year.

Background of Sukuma Wiki

Sukuma Wiki, which translates to “stretch the week” or “push the week” in Swahili, is a popular East African dish made from collard greens sautéed with onions, tomatoes, and spices. This affordable and nutritious dish is a staple in many Kenyan households and can be enjoyed with various accompaniments such as chapati, ugali, or rice.

Sukuma Wiki Recipe


  • 1 large bunch of collard greens, washed and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, if needed
  • Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)


  1. Prepare the collard greens by removing the thick stems and chopping the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the minced garlic and ginger to the skillet, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, ground coriander, and ground cumin. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, allowing the tomatoes to break down and the spices to blend with the mixture.
  5. Add the chopped collard greens to the skillet and season with salt and black pepper. Stir well, ensuring that the greens are evenly coated with the onion-tomato mixture.
  6. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water to the skillet if the greens appear too dry. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the collard greens are tender but still vibrant in colour.
  7. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the Sukuma Wiki warm with your choice of accompaniment and lemon wedges, if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Sukuma Wiki?

Sukuma Wiki is a popular East African dish from collard greens sautéed with onions, tomatoes, and spices. It’s a nutritious and flavorful side dish often enjoyed during Kwanzaa celebrations.

What does “Sukuma Wiki” mean?

Sukuma Wiki translates to “stretch the week” or “push the week” in Swahili. The name reflects the affordability and versatility of the dish, as it’s often used to stretch meals throughout the week.

Can I make Sukuma Wiki vegan?

Yes, the recipe provided for Sukuma Wiki is already vegan, as it uses vegetable oil for cooking and does not include any animal products.

How do I serve Sukuma Wiki?

Sukuma Wiki can be served as a side dish alongside various accompaniments like chapati, ugali, or rice. It pairs well with other Kwanzaa dishes or African-inspired meals.

Are there regional variations of Sukuma Wiki?

While the core ingredients of Sukuma Wiki remain similar, regional variations may include the addition of spices like turmeric, paprika, or curry powder or using coconut milk for a richer flavour.

Sukuma Wiki is a delightful and healthy addition to your Kwanzaa feast or any meal throughout the year. This versatile dish can be enjoyed with various accompaniments, making it an excellent choice for family gatherings and celebrations. As you share Sukuma Wiki with your loved ones, you’ll embrace the flavours and traditions of East African culture.

Rusty Burlington


  • Rusty Griswold

    Since 2015, I have been building my light display to celebrate the holiday season and experimenting with various recipes to bring people together around the table. I have learned many do's and don'ts in both areas along the way, and share them with everyone via the website. M Mike
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