Life. Love. Food

Kuku wa Kupaka

I get excited when my readers from outside Kenya get excited and curious about Kenyan food. I get even more giddy when they try the recipes out!! I got a call one late evening a fortnight ago from a New York Times editor curious to know how I make kuku wa kupaka. “There are many variations of the recipe, but how do you make yours special?” She asked. I explained to her exactly how I usually make mine, detailed it for her New York Times article and I thought it would also be dope if I shared the recipe with you guys right here. My kuku wa kupaka recipe (which is basically chicken cooked in a coconut sauce) is easy, delicious and regardless of your nationality, you will be able to try this out and enjoy it as well. <3

PREP TIME: 10 MIN          COOK TIME: 25 MIN      SERVES:2


For the marination

400g chicken breast

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon of rosemary

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1/2 a teaspoon of chili flakes

For stewing

1 white (or white) onion, finely chopped

1/2 a teaspoon of minced ginger

4 cloves of minced garlic

1 tomato, cubed

1/2 a teaspoon of tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric

1/4 teaspoon of paprika

1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper

1 cup of coconut milk

Salt to taste

Vegetable oil for frying

Fresh dhania (coriander) for garnish


First, marinate your chicken breast (You can use any other part(s) of a chicken- broiler). Place the breast in a bowl along with all the marinate ingredients and let this sit for about an hour minimum but preferably overnight. I often switch between Apple Cider Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar. Any other vinegar except white vinegar would be perfect for this.

Marination is really important as it allows flavor to sink into the meat itself. Remember, the longer you marinate, the deeper and stronger the flavors. I marinated mine overnight.

There after, sear the chicken until golden brown on both sides OR put to broil with a little bit of water or chicken stock- either method shall take about 5 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken breast. I prefer searing over broiling. Once almost done, set aside. It will finish cooking through in the coconut sauce so worry not :))

For the coconut sauce: add your white onion (red onion would be perfectly ok!), coriander stalks, minced ginger and the remaining garlic. Allow that to cook until the onions are softened and garlic is fragrant. Coriander stalks (i.e the stem to which dhania leaves emerge from) add a ton of flavor! Do not throw those out. They transform everything they are incorporated to.

Add your tomato and tomato paste along with some salt, my turmeric, paprika and black pepper+ abit of water/stock to facilitate the cooking down of the spices. This should simmer for about 5-10 minutes. For some people, they prefer not to add tomatoes and/or tomato paste to their kuku wa kupaka, which is totally ok. But I like mine richer and saucier that is why I add both. You can try both and settle on the one you like best.

Next, add the coconut milk and mixed it in and let it reduce  for about 7-10 minutes on low heat so that all the flavors come together.

Remember that almost cooked chicken? We are gonna add it to the sauce at this point so that it completely cooks through and in the process also absorbs the flavors of the mchuzi. Allow it to simmer on low heat for an additional 5 minutes for all flavors to sink in occasionally mixing & rubbing the sauce over the chicken.

Once done, garnish and serve with your favorite starch. Saucy! Meaty! Coconut-y! PERFECT!!

You could never go wrong with a coconut and chicken combination. And I feel regardless of whether you are Kenyan or not, this Kuku wa Kupaka recipe can be attempted by anyone and everyone! You deserve to eat fantastic food! Let this be top on your list <3

I paired my kuku wa kupaka with veg pilau as goat/beef pilau would take away from the meaty of the dish and make it too meaty. Veg pilau, which I made with peas, beautifully brought out the kuku wa kupaka flavors and was a match made in heaven. This saucy dish would also go so well with ugali, rice, chapati and any other starch.



Get your downloadable recipe here :))

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  1. Barrack Brian

    can i get the recipe for the rice served with the chicken as well looks too delicious. gotta try it this weekend. thank you…. oooh btw do you have a you tube channel?

  2. G

    i cant wait to try this out!!!!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      BEST OF THE BEST!!! You will ENJOY this one! <3

  3. Mart

    Aww…this dish looks yummy. A nice recipe, should use it soon

    • kaluhiskitchen

      You will enjoy this one!

  4. Jane

    Hey Kaluhi May God bless you for turning us into amazing cooks…am an ardent follower of your blog and I soo love your unique and refresshing.
    This kuku wa kupaka is going to be my weekend gig…it is so amazing.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Awwwwwwwwwww!!! {{{HUG}}} Thank you so very much for your kind words. So thrilled to know that I am adding value to your life <3

  5. Wamae

    This is getting me hungry and I just ate breakfast!

    • kaluhiskitchen


  6. John

    very healthy and delicious Kenyan dish.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Kenyan food ROCKS!!!!!

  7. Emmah

    thanks for the recipe….a must try

    • kaluhiskitchen


  8. stella

    Kaluhi’s kitchen i have been seeing your name on Facebook but i didn’t know that you have blog. i will try this and post it here to see if i t looks alike. this is yummy

    • kaluhiskitchen

      I always leave lionks on each facebook post. When you click on the link, it leads you to the blog. I would love to see your creations, send me pics of what you prepare on social media :)). It is not possible for you to upload pictures to my blog.

  9. Juliet

    yummm! Cant believe i nailed it … Kaluhi, your the best!!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      See how absolutely easy it is!!! So thrilled you aced this one! It is a beautiful recipe! <3

  10. Lettie

    Hey Girl!!! I absolutely love your recipes!! I have to commend you for your hardwork and consistency!!!

    I would like to request for the recipe for the rice. It looks so darn good.

    Keep up the good work!!!!

    • kaluhiskitchen


  11. Trizah

    Hey I tried this out it was the best cooking is my hobby I would love to try out more

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Best news I have heard all day!!! Glad you enjoyed!!! <3 <3 <3

  12. Gladys

    Was wondering what to cook…. Just got my meal for the day! I hope it turns out as yummy as it looks here… Bless you

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Hope it turned out well and that you and your fam loved this one as much as I enjoyed creating it <3 <3

  13. Trevor

    Two questions:
    For how long did you boil the chicken?
    Does the soup have to be thick?

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Under 10 minutes; as the post indicates.

      Yes, the mchuzi has to be thick, and will be thick by default because of the coconut milk used as an ingredient. If it is watery, that will not be kuku wa kupaka

  14. Elizabeth Maina

    Can’t wait to try. Thanks for the tips on amazing chicken recipes… My hubby looooove chicken!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      That is so AMAZING!!!!! Thank you so much!

  15. Ozlem Tolonguc

    I made this today and it turned out to be sooo delicious !! My husband loved it too!! I am sure this will get into our regular routine! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Kaluhi

      So happy to know this!! Cheers to many many more!

  16. Serena Nduta Gitari

    Hey😊, I am so excited trying this today for my momma and sister. I can’t wait 🎉

    • Kaluhi

      You will all love it!

  17. Virginia

    This is definitely on my bucket list of dishes to try😍

    • Kaluhi

      You will love it!

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