Mchicha (spinach) is widely consumed in Kenya. Most people mix it with sukuma wiki or cook it just plain on its own. It is available through out the year, owing to the fact that Kenya is a tropical country with no extreme weather variations.
Mchicha is one of the foods that is fed to babies when being weaned because of its soft texture once cooked, not forgetting the health benefits. It is on the list of super foods. Make sure to buy fresh, crispy leaves and wash them thoroughly to remove any grit or soil.
So, what is the best way to cook spinach? My recommendation is high heat and a large airy pan. Searing spinach in butter ensures that it wilts fast and retains it vibrant green colour.
In Kenya mchicha is made more creamy and decadent by adding either coconut cream, dairy cream or peanut sauce. This elevates the meal to a whole new flavour dimension. I cooked mine in vegetable cream.
- A bunch of mchicha leaves
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 2″ ginger, finely minced
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Salt to taste
- Bunch of coriander leaves
- 1/4 green bell pepper (hoho)
- 20g unsalted butter
- 100ml vegetable cream
- 2 Tbs vegetable oil
- Wash and roughly chop your spinach leaves
- Heat oil in a sufuria and add butter to melt.
- Add the onions and cook for about two minutes until softened then add the ginger and garlic and cook them off for about a minute.
- Crack black pepper and mix it in thoroughly before adding the spinach.
- Keep stirring occasionally until the spinach wilts completely.
- Once most of the natural juices from the mchicha have evaporated add the vegetable cream and stir to mix.
- Cover and simmer for about three minutes for the cream to lose its raw taste and thicken.
- Taste for seasoning and serve.