Life. Love. Food

Curry & Coconut Cream Njahi

I totally get and respect the fact that we all like different things because we are different people. But aki you guys – especially my twitter family- huwa mnaongea mbaya sana juu ya njahi lol! It’s actually not many people who talk smack, it is just a few people who are loud about their dislike; so it seems like the whole world hates njahi. The likening of njahi to soil, to a mattress, to rocks, to sweat; are really hilarious to be honest, but it kinda breaks my heart too that some people are actually living life without having ever tasted delicious njahi. In my book, anything and everything can be made delicious. If you match up your ingredients well and play up on fresh herbs, anything -including njahi- can be tasty!

If you have been looking for a perfect njahi recipe, this one is for you. If you already love njahi, here is another recipe to make you fall inlove with it once again!

I made a dope vid to accompany the blog post. Do watch below, and subscribe!

PREP TIME: 24hours     COOK TIME: 30 min        SERVES: 8

(prep time includes soaking and boiling time)


For boiling

500g of uncooked njahi

1 teaspoon of whole cumin

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon of chopped ginger

For stewing

1 red onion chopped

1 cup of chopped dania stems

1/2 green hoho (green bell pepper)

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

1 tomato, chopped

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 cup of coconut cream

1/4 teaspoon of chili paste

1 teaspoon of curry

1 teaspoon of garam masala

1 teaspoon of paprika

Dania leaves to garnish

Salt to taste


Njahi are a type of bean that belong in the black bean family. They have a very rich, delicious, assertive taste, which pairs so well with other fresh ingredients making them super fun to cook. I also find them really pretty too!

This recipe would work well not only with njahi, but with any other bean as well.

Begin by soaking your njahi overnight. They will soften, swell up and change from black to brown. Once they are softened the following day, put them to boil with some garlic, whole cumin and ginger. A pack of whole cumin costs 69 bob in any well stocked supermarket and garlic and ginger are even cheaper at Mama Mboga. We boil then with garlic, ginger and garlic so that the beans absorb those exact flavors allowing the beans to have inherent flavor of their own outside of the stew.

Once completely cooked through and soft, set aside and prep for stewing.

For stewing, we begin with the onion, garlic, ginger, dania (cilantro) stems and hoho. We are adding more garlic and ginger which will not only make the base flavor notes of the njahi very herby, but also tie together those same notes that we used to boil our njahi in. That brings alot of synergy of flavor which is always welcome.

As for dania stems, as we always say on twitter, they go at the very beginning with onions and dania leaves go at the end as a garnish.

Once softened, add the tomatoes and tomato paste, followed by the spices. Add a tiny bit of water (or stock) to facilitate the cooking down of the spices. This will take about 10 minutes.

Once the tomatoes are cooked down into a thick sauce, add the njahi we had earlier on cooked then mix them in.

Follow this by then adding the coconut cream. Coconut milk would be fine too, but I prefer cream because of the higher fat content and general thickness. Both coconut milk and coconut milk are very much easy to get at any well stocked supermarket too but if you live at the coast, freshly made coconut milk/cream is even better.

Mix it in and then let it simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat. This not only allows the flavors to come together well, but also really thickens the stew. Someone said on twitter that njahi is dry, but I ask: why do you voluntarily choose to cook dry njahi, only for you to complain that it is dry? If you don’t want dry food, do not cook dry food. Imagine it really is that simple. You are always in control when you cook. If you want silky, saucy, delicious, luxurious njahi, then decide to make exactly that. You are in control! You get to decide the kind of food you want to eat.

Once done, garnish with some dania leaves and serve! What a gorgeous plate!

I love how the warmth of the ginger and garlic and the assertive kick of the chili brough this to  life. I love how the nuttiness of the coconut cream complimented the earthy flavor of the njahi. The fullness of the cumin also brought this to life, and transfromed what would otherwise have been a kawaida dish into an unforgettable one!

Do my pictures look too good to be true? I invite you to watch my YouTube video and see second by second how easy it is to make delicious and beautiful food!

Happy Wednesday!


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  1. Paul Vincent

    Nailed to perfection…

    • kaluhiskitchen


  2. Sinead

    This looks really really good!! Perfect vegan meal

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Facts only!!

  3. Brenda

    I used to hate njahi but my lifelong testimony is KALUHI CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT NJAHI!!! Now i raise my son on good njahi and vile kunaenda he will grow up only knowing good njahi

    • kaluhiskitchen

      YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! Now that’s what I love to here!!!

  4. Wacuka

    I see those “njahi haters” on twitter na me hushangaa why complain everyhour when you can use that energy to learn how to cook it well?? It’s fashionable to hate njahi on twitter but kwa ground we cook it well and we live it

    • kaluhiskitchen

      To each their own. But for us, we will always love the queen that njahi is!

  5. Sarah

    Can’t wait to try this out and show my mom! Looks so good!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      You will both really enjoy this!

  6. Mae

    Black beans are quite the challenge. The ones we have here in thr US look abit different but if you cook them wrong, they taste like hell. Also, if you make them right, you will be addicted!! Can’t wait to try this! I love African (in this case, Kenyan) vegan recipes!!!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Yes this recipe works with all types of black beans and for sure you will love this!

  7. Britney Breaks Bread

    This is one of the best recipes that I’ve ever made! Flavorful and SO delicious!

    • Kaluhi

      So happy you loved this one!

  8. Andrea

    Loved the flavors of this recipes. The coconut cream was a great touch.

  9. Chenée

    This was delicious! I love the coconut cream especially.

  10. Aly

    I couldn’t find njahi beans, but I switched them out for dark red kidney beans. This was unbelieveably good! I have beans on a regular basis and this dish is definitely going in our dinner rotation.

  11. Desirée

    Omg. The smell of this dish ALONE was a hit! It tasted even better! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Nij

    As vegans, beans are a staple of our diet. We thought we had enjoyed every bean there was. We are always excited when we discover new treats like njahi. This was a fantastic dish that will be in heavy rotation

  13. Marta

    I couldn’t find njahi, so I substituted black beans in their place. I’m so glad I skipped past the negative opinions and tried the recipe. Next time I’m going to order njahi and make it the RIGHT way. Thanks for another amazing recipe, Kaluhi.

  14. Tamara

    Thank you so much for sharing this traditional recipe with me. It is full of robust and delicious flavors.

  15. Chef Mireille

    I love the additional of the coconut cream. Wow – what a difference to boring old beans, plus all the seasonings added. I love the versatility of this in that I was able to substitute other beans easier for me to find.

  16. Katrina

    This was my first time making Njahi and I love it!! All of the spices and red onion made this dish full of flavor!

  17. Samantha

    Beautiful photos and a delicious vegan recipe!

    • Kaluhi

      Thank you!

  18. Capri Lilly

    The flavors of this dish are so dynamic! I love the creaminess from the coconut cream! So delicious!

    • Kaluhi

      It really is so perfect!

  19. Immaculate Ruému

    A very delicious and rich vegan recipe!

  20. Jazz

    Love the use of coconut cream in this recipe. Such a rich final dish!

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