Life. Love. Food

Coconut Milk Stewed Matoke

Think about your childhood for a moment… If you were like most kids, there was always that meal you never liked to eat, despite it being healthy for you. Be it pumpkin, broccoli, peas or fish, there must have been something that you could not get down your throat. For me it was Matoke. I just found it absolutely unappealing, yet a month would not go by without my mum preparing it for us. With time, however, I really grew to like it and today it is one of my favourite Kenyan dishes.
One of my readers asked how she can prepare a meal without the use of spices and still make it tasty. My answer was simple: use the original source of the spice. For instance, instead of using ground garlic, use freshly pounded garlic cloves. I always cook with spices so I took this as a challenge and decided to make one of my favourite dishes, without spices. And let me tell you, it turned out better than I could have ever imagined.
From my heart to yours, I hope you enjoy this coconut milk stewed matoke as much as I did.

Matoke is what Kenyans call plantain. It is cooked differently across Africa. Some fry it, some roast it, Ugandans stew it together with powdered groundnuts, but in our home we stew it with coconut milk.
Cooking without spices can open you to a world of richer flavors, as I discovered. But also, cooking with spices offers quick access to ingredients you may find difficult getting in its original form. Unless it is by doctors advice, I believe spices are not bad for you. They just need to be taken in moderation, just like sugar, fats and everything else in life. Moderation is always key.
For this fantastic dish, here is what you will need:

10 thinly sliced plantain/matoke
2 cups of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Finely chopped fresh coriander
Finely chopped rosemary
2 green bell pepper
4 grated tomatoes
1 finely chopped large onion
½ fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves.
One table spoon of vegetable oil

Peel the garlic cloves and crush them into a fine pulp. Cut the ginger and onion into into fine pieces. Put these three into a sufuria with your heated vegetable oil. Fry them until the onions become soft.
** Be careful not to burn the garlic as this will make your entire dish bitter.
Add your grated tomato and let it sauté for about 4 minutes. Then add your table spoon of soy sauce. The soy sauce makes the mixture richer, both in color and flavor. I always use it when I want my dish to have more depth.

After two minutes, add your sliced plantain and the chopped rosemary then mix. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes then add ¾ of your coconut milk.

Cover with a lid and on medium heat, allow the matoke to cook through.
Poke with a fork to see if they are almost done. When they are almost soft, add the rest of the coconut milk and the chopped bell pepper then let it boil until all of them are soft. Another indicator as to whether they will have cooked through is the change of color, from off-white to mustard yellow.

Lastly, add you freshly chopped coriander, mix and then serve immediately.

Believe me when I tell you that this is the tastiest, healthiest, richest matoke you will ever have. The warmth of the ginger goes so well with the depth of the soy sauce and these two are perfectly complimented by the nuttiness of the coconut milk.

This is one way of getting kids and everyone else in your family to enjoy healthy meals, simply make them tasty.

Do try this and tell me what you think!
Till next time,


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  1. Eva

    I hated matoke all through my childhood and pretty much most of my teen years, and being a luhya from right at the border as well as possessing some Ugandan ties did not help my prospects of not seeing this meal at dinner every other week! The only way for it to actually go down is when I make it with the groundnuts or with coconut. I’m so happy you did this post cause when I make it with coconut, I completely minimise on spices and the dish literally turns out white like the milk. I guess for me the aim is to completely overpower the taste of matoke so when you put such heavy flavours together, the wwe match that goes on in your mouth is quite intense, the food will be down before you know it!

    • Kaluhi Adagala

      I can see we relate on that matoke predicament :-D! The beauty about cooking is that you can transform anything unappealing into something fantastic! Big flavours that compliment one another make all the difference.
      Cheers to good food!

  2. Ciku

    Many thanks for this Kaluhi 🙂 i can now confidently cook this for my family, and boldly ask them to dig in 😉

  3. mukasechic

    Love love it…i am giving this a try.i love your blog.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Thank you so much!
      That’s nice to hear! Let me know how it goes :-). You can also share the recipe with your friends, I am sure they will enjoy this too.

  4. Sally

    Hey Kaluhi,

    I am so loving your blog. I hope to try this out this recipe tonight.


    • kaluhiskitchen

      Hey Sally,
      Thank you for stopping by :), and for giving that recipe a try. It is one of my favourites! Let me know how it goes… 🙂

  5. Funmi

    Do you use ripe or unripe plantain?

    • Funmi

      Have you tried the Nigerian way of cooking plantain porriage (matoke). Palm oil, onions, cray fish, scotch bonnet, two-third unripe plantain and one-third ripe plantain to sweeten it, spinach and any type if meat you want or fish.

      • kaluhiskitchen

        WOW! That sounds like an interesting recipe. I never knew you can make porridge with matoke, and from the way you describe it, it sounds like a rich dish. I must give it a try. Thank You so much Funmi

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Hye Funmi,
      The plantain has to be raw

  6. Grace

    Wow! We tried it today, but with potatoes as well and it was quite the meal. Delicious. Thank you!!!

    • kaluhiskitchen


  7. Sarah

    Hi Kaluhi!
    I tried this and I loved it! I have a quick question though: I used dark soy sauce from the picture and used raw green banana as opposed to plantain the dish though nice felt slightly overpowered by the soy. Do you think I should try using light soy sauce next time? And did using green banana instead of plantain effect the dish? I loooove your blog! Thanks for sharing your talent with us.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      How much soy sauce did you add??????

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