Sukuma wiki aka collard greens are quite popular in East Africa. It is mostly had with ugali (steamed cornmeal) and fried with onions, tomatoes and spices of choice. It is also a great side dish for meat dishes.
As it is easily available and cheap, it can get boring fast, so one has to look for ways to spice it up. Like we did here with bacon.
You can also mix it up with Swiss chard, cowpea leaves or amaranth greens.
This is quick side dish that is easy to make and so delicious. If one can get younger, tender sukuma greens it is even better as they cook fast and are tastier than the big leafed mature ones.
For this recipe we will need:-
- 3-4 strips of bacon. I used collar bacon, it is very flavourful, not too fatty and does not dry out when cooked. Making it perfect for this dish.
- 1 chopped onion.
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped.
- 1 large tomato and 1 green bell pepper (grated).
- 1 tbsp cooking oil.
- A small pinch of sugar (optional).
- 1/2 tsp paprika.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 bunch of tender sukuma wiki (collard greens).
- Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon.
Let’s get started.
Chop your bacon up and add to a heated pan for it to render its fat.
Add oil to the same pan, followed by the onion and garlic.
Once softened, add the grated tomato and bell pepper mix, as well as the paprika, and sugar, if using. Cover and let cook down till its a thick sauce.
Do not forget your seasoning.
Once tomatoes have cooked down, add the greens and increase heat. Let them cook for about 8 minutes till tender. They will shrink down fast, so keep that in mind when seasoning.
Once greens are cooked, add in the bacon you had set aside and mix it in well.
Last goes the squeeze of lemon and turn off the heat.
Let it rest a short while before serving, so the flavours can meld in well.
(You can add in cayenne or hot pepper if no kids will eat it).
This is a great side dish for ugali, mashed potatoes or chapati.
It is tasty, easy to make, colourful and smells so good!
Please try it and let me know how it turned out.