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Githeri (Kenyan Beans and Maize Stew) - Jikoni

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Githeri (Kenyan Beans and Maize Stew)

Githeri (Kenyan Beans and Maize Stew)

Made primarily of just two ingredients, beans and maize, this hearty vegetable dish is one of Kenya’s most popular. Like anything popular, it has a lot of haters, so the best way to make sure you make great githeri is to keep your ingredients fresh and soft for a deliciously savory and wholesome meal.

Although mostly known for its popularity among the central Kenyan communities like the Kikuyu, Meru, and Mbeere, it is also popular in most communities around Kenya, and other Bantu communities from Ethiopia to South Africa, going by different names. In Tanzania, it goes by a few different names like Kande, Pure, Ngate, for example. The dish has a much bigger footprint than just Kenya.

Like many Kenyan children, I first encountered it in school. Served all over the country as a school lunch option, you’re lucky to have a lunch lady that likes their job, as they will serve this. 

This is how my family enjoys githeri.

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Githeri (Kenyan Beans and Maize Stew)

  • Author: Rumasha Beni
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes



½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup small diced potatoes

1 large red onion, finely diced

3 tomatoes, finely diced or 1 1/2 cups of tomato puree

½ a green bell pepper, chopped

½ cup of chopped spring onions

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

A handful of fresh coriander (dhania), chopped

1 teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon cumin powder

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 cup boiled kidney beans

1 cup boiled soft maize

½ teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat up ½ cup of vegetable oil in a saucepan, fry your diced potatoes until golden brown, and use a spider to remove them and set them aside for later.


  • Pre-boil your maize and beans until cooked through, keep in the freezer for whenever you’re ready to make a quick batch of Githeri.
  • Prep all your veggies and spices before you start to cook to keep the cooking process flowing.

In Swahili, Jikoni means kitchen. At our core, that’s what we are. A space to cook, to share, to create.

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