Delicious blast from the past

My partner lived in Africa for a few years during her childhood. Her father is an economist, and worked for The World Bank for a while. She has a ton of fun (and some kind of scary!) recollections from that period even though she was pretty young. While we were watching Sense8 something jogged her memory.

Once she a braised kale dish that was one of her favorite foods while she lived in Africa, I had to make it for her. I searched the internet and shoved a few recipes together to get the following:

Sukuma Wiki

  • a bunch of kale (~1 lb or so)
  • one large sweet onion
  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 1 T oil (sometimes I use bacon grease, but usually it’s EVOO)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 cup liquid (you can use water, I usually use homemade chicken stock)
  • juice of 1 lime (~3 T)


First, cut a bunch of kale. (This ended up being a bit too much kale. Try to use about one pound of kale.) I normally cut the stems off, then break the leaves apart into chunks.


You can use the stems, but it’s best to chop them a lot smaller than the leaves. The next time I make this, I’m going to cut them even smaller than this. You can also set aside your stems to include in stir fry.

Roughly chop a large sweet onion and 6 roma tomatoes. You can just let them sit on your cutting board in their own little piles, or put them into bowls to look more fancy.

At medium heat, toss the onions into the pan with your 1 T of oil (I used EVOO here). Cook for at least 5 minutes, until the onions get a bit soft. Then, toss in your spices and stir it up pretty well.


Add the roma tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Then, start adding the kale! It’s best to toss the stems in first if you’re using them, they need the longest time to cook anyway. Then, add the kale leaves about a handful at a time, continuing to stir to coat the leaves with the onion/tomato/spice mixture.


Once you’ve added all of your kale to the pot, toss 1 cup of liquid in (I used chicken stock, here.)

Cover the pot and turn the burner down to about medium-low heat and cook for 20-25 minutes. Stir every so often.

Once the kale is braised to your taste, remove from heat and toss in the juice of one lemon.


We usually eat sukuma wiki with ham steak and some other side (this time it was macaroni & cheese).


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