Sukuma Wiki and Ugali

Photo from Allison Riley's Y'All Taste This (Miami, FL)


The July 22 farm share from Glade Road Growing is slated to include: tomatoes, curly kale, yellow onion, 1 jalapeno pepper, Greenstar lettuce mix, carrots, and lemon cucumbers. Here's a recipe for the kale, tomato, onions and jalapeno.

Eighteen months before Katrina hit, I made a trip down New Orleans to attend the Jazz and Heritage Festival Since it was the tenth anniversary of South Africa's independence, there were all sorts of musicians and crafts from that country.

I ended up in the food exhibits indoors when my SPF 30 sunscreen proved no remedy for the Southern sun. That's where I first got to eat this recipe for greens and maize (what we would call grits or polenta.)  The name I've given you is in Swahili from Kenya.  I couldn't find the South African name for the greens.  The maize there is called "stywe pap."


1.  Wash and drain in a colander two pounds of greens.  Since the kale is a bit tougher by summer, you can chiffonade it.  Cut out the center stalk and chop finely.  Then roll a few leaves at once and cut crosswise into fine shreds.  You can use kale only, but it's even more delicious if you mix the kale with collards and spinach, chard or beet greens.  Or, if you have trouble with the oxalic acid in the latter, you can use sweet potato greens, if you can find them. (or grow them?)

2.  Chop two or three tomatoes.  When they're not in season you can used canned unsalted diced tomatoes.

3.  Chop the yellow onion.

4..  Chop the jalapeno pepper (optional) discarding seeds and membrane and stem.  Be careful not to touch your eyes until you wash your hands really well, as the oil from the pepper stings badly.

5.  Juice one lemon (or you can use 3 TB lemon or lime juice)

6.  Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a large pot with a steamer filled with the greens.  Cover and steam until greens are nearly tender.

7.  While greens are cooking, combine the lemon juice with a tablespoon of whole wheat flour in a small bowl or cup and stir well until mixture is smooth.  In a cast iron skilled lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil, saute together the onions, tomatoes and jalapeno.

8.  Add the tomato/onion/pepper mixture to the pot.  Stir in lemon juice mixture. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Cover and simmer until greens are tender and the mixture has thickened.  If you'd like you can add cooked leftover chicken or cooked beans.

9.  Serve over cooked grits, or another grain such as quinoa, millet or rice.