Sauteed Kale (aka Sukuma Wiki) How To Make It and Why You Should Eat It

Sauteed Kale (aka Sukuma Wiki) and All The Reasons You Should Eat It!

A bowl of Sukuma Wiki, also known as Sauteed Kale

As I was travelling to Kenya this past week, my mind was already eager to learn new recipes and try new foods at the local restaurants.

Click here to go straight to the recipe!

I was also excited because this gave me a chance to pick up some spices that I am only able to get in Kenya.

I was excited about the loads of fresh vegetables and variety of fresh fruits that are there at home.

Some of the foods I was excited about were “sukuma wiki” (aka sauteed kale), fried liver, fried bananas, and passion fruit juice. Many of these foods we can get anywhere in the world but just they never taste the same; the foods in Kenya are different, and they are absolutely delicious.

My first meal in Nairobi had the one thing I was craving, sukuma wiki ( sauteed kale ). In Kenya kale is locally grown in backyard gardens, so it is fresh and tastes great.

There is a lot of buzz about the health benefits of kale today. Growing up, sukuma wiki was a staple for me, and I still eat a lot of it today. 

Kale is the most affordable and most diversly eaten vegetable by most Kenyans. Most households probably consume it at least twice a week and these are some of the benefits it has to your health.

Sukuma Wiki contains high amounts of Vitamin A which strengthens the eye and boosts night vision. It also contains vitamin C which is vital for the body cells repair and skin smoothening.

It’s also a very fibrous food. It grows in cool climate with good hydration. It contains fibers which are good for digestion and help lowers the cholesterol levels in the body. Kale helps pick up cholesterol from the guts and push it down to where it is eliminated.

Kale is rich in iron, a mineral responsible for blood formation and oxygen holding. This thus helps boosts the immune system by fighting viruses and bacteria. It helps more oxygen get to your blood and greatly helps those who are anemic!

The fiber in ‘Sukuma wiki’ not only aids in digestion and cholesterol-lowering, but also keeps the liver healthy and maintains ideal blood sugar hence aiding in weight loss or weight maintenance.

Kale has a very high calcium level, this makes it vital in bone formation and strengthening. It also has Vitamin C which aid in cartilage and joint flexibility.

Growing up we never ate it raw, it was always cooked and served with a starchy dish…therefore eating it raw has taken getting used to and guess what, I now enjoy it.

Sukuma wiki can be cut in different ways. Here are two examples

This is shredded sukuma wiki aka kale. Sukuma wiki is usually shredded when it is being cooked on its own as a base vegetable.
This is chopped sukuma wiki. Chopped sukuma wiki worked best when it is being mixed with other food items e.g. beef or chicken when it is being cooked.

I find a dish of home made sauteed sukuma wiki (kale) and Ugali (corn meal) to be a great trip down memory lane, taking me back to our typical Nairobi dinner table. To take that trip with me you will need the following:

Sukuma Wiki

The Recipe:

  • 1 bunch of Kale
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt

The How-to:

  1. Wash kale leaves in cold water, then shred finely.
  2. Put oil in pan and add onions and fry on low heat.
  3. Once onions are tender add tomatoes, and salt.
  4. Fry, stirring until tomatoes are tender.
  5. Add the shredded kale and stir continuously.
  6. Let the kale cook until it’s just a little limp and still green.

Try this recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

Sauteed Kale (aka Sukuma Wiki)


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