Cooking Corner Recipe: Coconut Milk Stewed Matoke

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Hai Afrika is delighted to bring you the first installment of our Kaluhi Cooking Corner series, a series of special recipe blog posts outlining dishes that remind the author of their loved ones. In this post, (author) will tell you her version of cooking the delicious Coconut Milk Stewed Matoke, much loved by her sister.


Cooking Corner: Coconut Milk Stewed Matoke

Matoke is what Kenyans call plantain. It is in the banana family but it is a lot more starchy and has a bark like texture when raw, and really soft like potatoes when cooked. It is green when ready, but if you want it sweeter, you can store it longer until it turns dark brown but still not rotten inside.

Plantain is grown widely in the Western and Nyanza Provinces of Kenya but is loved throughout the country. It is very healthy, very filling, and can be cooked in a variety of ways. I like mine in the form of a rich stew with casserole.

My younger sister, Musimbi, has always loved this dish ever since she was little. Now in college and studying away from home, I make this dish for her when she comes over for the weekend. From my heart to yours, I hope you enjoy this coconut milk stewed matoke as much as my sister and I did!


Fresh plantain, known as Matoke in Kenya

Fresh plantain, known as Matoke in Kenya


Prep time: 20 Min

Time: 1hr 15min




  1. 10 thinly sliced plantain
  2. 2 cups of coconut milk
  3. 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  4. 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  5. 2 tablespoons of allspice mix
  6. 4 grated tomatoes
  7. 1 finely chopped large red onion
  8. ½ of a thumb-sized ginger root
  9. 5 garlic cloves.
  10. 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and salt to taste


How to prepare coconut milk matoke demonstrated by Kaluhi Adagala

How to prepare coconut milk matoke demonstrated by Kaluhi Adagala




Peel your plantain and latitudinally slice them into ¼ inch thick pieces. Let them stay in a bowl of water as soon as you peel them so that they do not darken as a result of the oxidation process.

Peel the garlic cloves and ginger, and crush them into a fine pulp. Dice the onion and put these three into a sufuria (sauce pan) 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 the tomato paste let it sauté for about 4 minutes. This allows the tomato paste to cook through and lift that metallic taste that raw tomato paste usually has. Then add your tablespoon of soy sauce.

After two minutes, add your sliced matoke (plantain) and mix. Let it simmer for about 3 minutes, then add ¾ of your coconut milk. Cover with a lid and put it on medium heat, which will allow the matoke to cook through. This may take around 40 minutes. Do note, however, that the thinner the plantain are sliced, the faster they will cook.

Poke with a fork to see if they are almost done. When they are almost soft, add the rest of the coconut milk and allow to boil until all of them are soft.  Add your freshly chopped coriander as a garnish if you want to. Mix and then serve immediately.

Serve your dish with dry fry beef stew, chicken curry, or simply on its own!