Recipe: Hearty & Simple Githeri Recipe (Kenyan Corn & Beans)

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Today, I am excited to share an all-time favorite simple recipe with you – Githeri. Githeri is a one-pot meal made with corn and beans and a staple cuisine of the Gikuyu, Meru, Mbeere, and Embu peoples of Kenya’s central and eastern provinces. 

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It is also popular in other regions of the country and abroad. You’ve probably heard of it under different names like “Adalu” in Nigeria, “Makande” in Tanzania, “Corn Chaff” in Cameroon, and generally called “succotash” in English. Githeri is a real crowd-pleaser and is so easy to make.

Despite the ease of making this dish, the key to its perfection is in the ratio of beans to corn in Githeri. Traditionally, it is a 2:1 ratio, meaning you should always have more beans than corn. The 2:1 ratio of beans to corn in Githeri is consistent in Kenya cuisine, providing the dish with the perfect consistency and balance of flavors and textures. But of course, you can always tweak the ratio to your preference.

For this recipe, using the 2:1 ratio for beans to corn in Githeri, you’ll need 2 cups dried beans and 1 cup dried corn. Soak the dried beans and corn overnight, drain and rinse them the next day and boil. You can use fresh or canned beans and corn instead to save time. I recommend kidney beans or honey beans, but feel free to use whatever you have. 

And for the Githeri ingredients, you’ll need some onion, tomatoes, garlic, cumin powder, vegetable oil, salt, and green bell peppers. In a large pan, heat some vegetable oil and sauté the onion, tomatoes, garlic, and cumin powder. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the cumin is fragrant. Then, add the cooked corn and beans to the pan and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 10-15 more minutes. And your Githeri is ready to serve! Easy breezy!

Serve it with your favorite side dish. Whether rice, chapati, or ugali, you won’t be disappointed. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can use it as a filling for sandwiches or wraps. The possibilities are endless with this dish!

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Want to see the recipe come to life? Watch Chef Scovia Mwikali as she expertly guides you through making the delicious and authentic simple Githeri recipe. Chef Scovia is a Kenyan native who loves to bring her passion for authentic African cuisine to your kitchen.

Save This Simple Githeri Recipe

Githeri Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried corn 
  • 2 cups dried beans (kidney beans or honey beans)
  • 1 medium-sized onion (finely chopped or blended)
  • I medium-sized spring onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium-sized green bell pepper
  • 2 fresh tomatoes (finely chopped or blended)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Cilantro leaves (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How to Make Githeri:

  1. Rinse the dried corn and beans separately and soak them in water overnight. Drain and rinse them again before using them.
  2. In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the corn and beans and cook for 20-25 minutes until they are tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. 
  4. Once heated, saute the onion for some minutes until golden brown. Then, add tomatoes, garlic, and cumin powder. Allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the cumin is fragrant.
  5. Add the cooked corn and beans to the pan and stir to combine. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add a cup of water and stir.
  8. Cook the Githeri for 10-15 more minutes until heated through.
  9. Garnish the Githeri with some spring onions and cilantro. 
  10. Serve warm with your favorite side dish!

Keep in mind that this simple Githeri recipe is just a base. You can always add more or less of any vegetable or spice, based on your preference. Some variations of Githeri include adding diced carrots, bell peppers, spinach, and even potatoes for added color, flavor, and nutrition. 

Githeri is a vegan dish, but if you wish to add some meat for an extra protein boost, go for it! It is all about personal preference. You could add diced or shredded chicken, ground beef, pork sausage or bacon, lamb, or fish.

When adding meat to Githeri, remember to cook it properly before adding it to the dish and adjust the seasoning accordingly. And always use your culinary instincts and taste as you go along.

I hope you enjoy this simple yet hearty dish as much as I do. If you try this recipe, let me know how it turned out in the comments. I love seeing your recreations! 

Happy cooking!

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See Also: Easy Homemade Ghanaian Waakye Recipe

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Mary Gialiam Elijah
Mary Gialiam Elijah
I'm a passionate and professional writer who loves to write in the most conversational tone possible, top-notch content that engage, educate and inspire my readers.

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