Sukuma Wiki (Sautéed Collard Greens)

Time 20 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Thinly shredded collard green leaves are sautéed with tomatoes, garlic and ginger in this quick vegetable side dish.
(Silvia Razgova/For The Times; Prop and food styling by Kiano Moju)
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Swahili for “pushing the week,” sukuma wiki is an affordable green vegetable dish that rounds out virtually every meal in Kenya. While many recipes call for cooking the greens in onions, Moju prefers to leave them out because they can make the greens too bitter if cooked too fast; too sweet if cooked too long. Instead, chopped tomatoes, ginger and garlic flavor the finely shredded greens.
Though the greens will wilt down dramatically, this dish makes enough for four people as a side dish, eaten alongside meat and Kenyan Chapati. For a simple vegetarian meal during the week, serve sukuma wiki plain with chapati.


Arrange the leaves into two separate stacks. Starting from one long side, roll one stack into a tight bundle like a cigar. Using a sharp knife, slice the bundle crosswise as thin as you possibly can; repeat with the other stack.


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the tomato, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes completely break down and are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the collard greens, season with salt and stir with tongs to coat in the oil and aromatics. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and vibrant yet dark green in color, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a dish and serve immediately.