Ugali and Sukuma Wiki (East African Power Lunch)

Submitted by

Thomas Payne (University of Oregon, SIL International)

Story behind this recipe

This is a very low fat, high protein, high vitamin and iron meal. Sukuma wiki means "Week pusher" in Swahili. This is because collard and maize meal mush (ugali) is the staple weekday food for many families in East Africa. The version with meat is sometimes called "karanga," e.g., "beef karanga," "Chicken karanga," etc. The tuna fish version is my own invention. When cooked without oil, it is a virtually fat free, high protein and very satisfying meal. Perfect for the linguist who needs sustenance for a long afternoon of field research.


4 cups water
2 cups white maize meal (white corn meal)
1 bunch collard greens
1 onion
1 large or 2 small boullion cubes (chicken, beef or vegetable)
2 tomatoes
Curry powder (optional)
Garlic (optional)
Beef or chicken cut up in small pieces (optional)
1 can of tuna fish can be substituted for the meat.
1 cup of cooked beans can be substituted for the meat
Hot pepper (optional)

Cooking time

30 min

Serving size


Measuring units


Cooking Instructions

Boil the water.
Add the maize meal slowly and stir.
Stir some more.Don't turn the heat down unless absolutely necessary.
Keep stirring.
Use a wooden spoon with a strong handle.
Stir until it become a fairly solid mass.
Turn pot upside down on a plate untill the ugali falls out.

Sukuma Wiki:
Cut up the onion, tomato and 1 garlic clove.
Remove stems from the collard leaves, rinse the leaves,
and roll them into a tight roll. Cut the roll in thin
strips -- the thinner the better. Then cut the strips
cross-wise to make small squares. The more time you have,
the smaller the squares will be.
In a large frying pan or wok, fry the onions and garlic
in the oil.
Add the meat or beans (if used)
When the meat is browned (three or four minutes), add the
cut up collard leaves and tomato
Add two cups water, curry powder and boullion. Other
spices (such as cumin, garam masala, and/or hot pepper)
can be added to taste.
Bring to boil and simmer for about half an hour.
Serve the sukuma wiki over the ugali. Can be eaten with fingers, using the ugali as a "spoon" for the sukuma wiki.