Known as Ugali in Nairobi and upcountry or Sima at the Coast, this starchy simple meal made of maize flour and water is the most common staple food in the local Kenyan cuisine. It is more typically served with Sukuma wiki (collard greens) and/or meat stew, fresh or soured milk. Sukuma wiki on the other hand is a Swahili name used for collard greens or kale meaning “week-pusher” or “push the week”. These hearty greens are also a staple diet in the Kenyan cuisine and are available all year round in every part of Kenya.
Ingredients for Ugali/Sima
4 Cups of water
2 Cups of white cornmeal / maize flour
1 teaspoon Butter (Optional, I use it for the Ugali to be richer and softer!)
Boil water (and butter) in a saucepan
Add maize flour slowly while stirring with a wooden cooking utensil till the consistence thickens. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking smashing any lumps until the mush pulls away from the pot and becomes very thick like dough
For a softer Ugali/Sima more hot water can be added
Place Ugali/Sima in a serving dish up-side-down and serve it hot with Sukuma Wiki
Ingredients for Sukuma Wiki
2 bunches collard greens, washed and shredded
1 bunch of spinach (optional), washed and shredded
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, copped
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
½ cup water or broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon royco mchuzi mix
A bunch of fresh coriander for garnishing
In a pan or wok heat vegetable oil and sauté onions till translucent, add tomatoes and simmer till tender
Add the collard greens one hand full at a time, stirring constantly so that they are all coated with the mixture of oil, onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle the salt over and stir. Cover the pot/wok and turn down the heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes
Mix water or broth with Royco mchuzi mix and stir to the collard greens, keep cooking for another 5-10 minutes or until they are tender to your taste. Add salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot!
Maize meal is the most commonly used for Ugali/Sima but it can also be substituted for sorghum, millet or coarse cassava flour.
Beef stew, chicken or fish can be served as a side dish to go with this menu.