September 21, 2017mayurisjikoni
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Githeri is a one pot traditional Kikuyu dish that is made from beans and white maize (corn). It is a delicious, easy to prepare, protein rich dish which can be enjoyed on its own or with ugali or chapati.

A Bit About Githeri

Pronounced as guh theory, Githeri is a typical Kikuyu dish. Both the beans and maize used can be fresh or dry. Nowadays some add curry powder, garlic and other spices. Traditionally, both are boiled in water till well done and the water has evaporated. Add salt and oil or fat just before serving. Here, my reference to the maize is the white variety and not sweet corn.

Originally from Central Kenya, it is now a popular dish all over Kenya. Depending on the area githeri goes by several different names, muthere, muthiri, isyo, nyoyo,mbegu. Fresh Beans and Maize makes the dish more tastier. However, when not available the dried ones are soaked and cooked. Nowadays it easy to find canned githeri which makes it so much easier to cook. The beans and corn is already cooked and one just needs to add the spices and other vegetables as they prefer.

Sometimes meat and vegetables like potatoes, greens were added. With influence from other cultures, Githeri takes on new forms but the equal combination of beans and maize are the core ingredients.When mixed with potatoes, plantain, cassava and greens it is called mukimo. What I’ve been made to understand that other vegetables, beans and meat are added for special occasions only. To make it wholesome meal on its own add any of the below suggestions to your basic githeri.

Here are some vegetables that you can add to Githeri to make it into a stew:

  • Carbohydrates: potatoes, sweet potato, plantain, cassava, yam, etc.
  • Greens: spinach, collard, amaranth leaves, green beans, peas, carrot, fresh pigeon peas, etc.
  • Beans: Kidney beans, Cowpeas, Pinto beans, dried pigeon peas- soaked, dried peas -soaked


A Bit About Kenya:

When one mentions Kenya, marathon runners, safari and wildlife comes to ones mind. Kenya is no doubt a beautiful country. From Mountains to beaches. Mount Kenya, the 2nd tallest mountain in Africa, is a mountain climbers dream with jagged peaks. Grasslands or Savannah, pristine beaches, The Rift Valley, every part of the country there is something to see. Kenya is well known for its wildlife like lions, cheetahs, leopards, zebras, gazelles, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, giraffes, rhinos and so much more. Shrubs to baobab trees, filled with all sorts of flora and fauna.

The famous song in Lion King, Hakuna Matata means no problem. Simba means lion in Kiswahili and Rafiki means friend. You’ll always be greeted with a friendly Jambo or Hello. Kenyans are a very friendly lot. It is a tradition to greet even if you you don’t know each other. It is considered rude if you don’t say ‘Jambo’.



Ingredients Required For Githeri:

There are two ways I prepare Githeri. One is where I add other vegetables and make it a wholesome meal on its own. I don’t mash up the stew as we enjoy we prefer to have vegetables we can bite on.

The second way I prepare it, is a simple way using only beans and maize, a bit of onion, tomato and salt. When prepared in this manner we love to have with ugali. Ugali is a cooked corn meal which is another staple food in Kenya.


My ingredient list is for both:

  • Fresh or Dried Beans – I prefer to use fresh red beans. If you use dried ones then you need to soak them overnight in warm water. You can used canned beans. Sometimes, I use canned githeri which is easily available in the supermarkets in Kenya.
  • Fresh or Dried Maize (corn) – as I mentioned above the traditional recipes use white corn kernels. If you use dried, you must soak them overnight in warm water. I prefer using fresh white corn. Nowadays it is easily available in the freezer section of the supermarkets in Kenya. You may find white variety corn at a grocery store that specializes in African Food Ingredients.
  • Onion – any, red, white or yellow. Peel and chop.
  • Garlic – peel and slice or mince it. Optional.
  • Tomato – finely chopped
  • Salt – according to your taste
  • Coriander Powder 
  • Turmeric Powder – its known as manjano in Kiswahili.
  • Any Starchy Vegetable – potato, sweet potato, cassava, plantain, yam. Peeled and cut into cubes. Optional.
  • Fresh Green Leaves – spinach, fresh amaranth or fresh cowpea leaves. Use whatever is available. Optional.
  • Fresh Peas – either normal peas or pigeon peas. Optional.
  • Oil – any vegetable oil
  • Red Chilli Powder – traditionally not added, but nowadays many prefer a bit of heat. Optional.


Dietary Tips:

  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
  • Protein sources in this recipe are beans, maize, pigeon pea, spinach.

By no means am I claiming or supporting any sort of fad diet that are the latest craze in the fitness world. I’m just trying to include non meat non fish dishes from which you can get your protein source. 


Sunset at English Point Mombasa


Githeri is a one pot traditional Kikuyu dish that is made from beans and white maize (corn). It is a delicious, easy to prepare, protein rich dish which can be enjoyed on its own or with ugali or chapati.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course, Main Meal
Cuisine Kenyan
Servings 2



  • 1 cup mixture of boiled beans and white maize kernels
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium tomato finely chopped
  • ¾ -1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil


  • 1 cup mixture of boiled beans and white maize kernels
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic peeled and sliced or minced
  • 1 cup cassava /any starchy vegetable peeled and diced
  • 1 cup spinach finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh pigeon pea/ peas
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 -2½ cups water



  • Heat oil in pan over medium heat.
  • Add chopped onion and stir fry till it becomes soft.
  • Add chopped tomato and salt.
  • Mix well. Cover the pan and let the tomatoes cook over low heat till they become soft.
  • Mash the tomatoes up a bit with the spoon.
  • Add the beans and maize.
  • Cover the pan and allow the githeri to cook for 5-10 minutes and most of the water has evaporated.
  • Serve with ugali, rice or chapatti.


  • Heat oil in pan over medium heat.
  • Add chopped onion and stir fry till it becomes soft.
  • Add garlic and stir fry for a few seconds.
  • Add chopped tomato, salt and the spices.
  • Mix well. Cover the pan and let the tomatoes cook over low heat till they become soft.
  • Mash the tomatoes up a bit with the spoon.
  • Add the beans, maize, cassava and pigeon peas.
  • Add water and mix well.
  • Cover the pan and allow the mixture to simmer till all the vegetables are cooked. If required add more water.
  • Cook till most of the water is evaporated.
  • Add chopped spinach and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes and serve hot githeri. Its usually eaten on its own.


  • To reduce the cooking time, boil the beans and maize beforehand. Can store them in the freezer.
  • As mentioned above you can add your choice of vegetables.
  •  Add meat or fish of your choice.
  • These days its common for busy people to use ready made curry powder. 
  • I've not added any chillis in the dish. However, if you prefer you can add either fresh green chillis or red chilli powder.
  • If you don't find white corn or maize, you can use sweet corn. However, the taste will be a bit different.
  • To save time pressure cook the beans and maize.
  • I sometimes used canned githeri to save time.
Keyword githeri recipe, how to cook githeri

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Check out what other Mega Blogging Marathoners have made for Day 18:






  • Sharmila- The Happie Friends Potpourri corner

    September 21, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Healthy bowl of protein.. Makes a absolute filling meal..

  • Sowmya :)

    September 22, 2017 at 3:45 am

    Never heard of this dish before…it looks so wholesome and flavourful. Bookmarked!!!

  • vaishali sabnani

    September 22, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Wonderful pick ! I was watching a show on telly which featured this dish , somehow these shows on travel never give you the recipe ! Great share , bookmarking .

  • Archana Potdar

    September 22, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Wow, Mayuri now I want to visit Kenya.It sounds so beautiful and Simba and his friends bring back such beautiful memories of my daughter and her childhood.
    This is delicious bowl of healthy food. One bowl and I am done. Can I substitute fresh pigeon peas with peas?

  • Srivalli

    September 22, 2017 at 10:30 am

    So wonderful to read about Kenya, such lovely things you have to share..this one pot meal sounds very filling and good to enjoy any time!

  • Impera Magna

    September 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    This sounds delicious! Not sure I've ever seen dried white corn here in the US but will be on the lookout because I'd like to try this recipe. Could you suggest a substitute if I am not able to locate the white maize kernels? Thanks!

  • Sapana Behl

    September 22, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I love these kind of bean based one pot meals. Looks very healthy and inviting.

  • Gayathri Kumar

    September 22, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    That is an interesting read. This looks like a filling bowl of githeri. With beans and corn I guess, it is absolutely yum..

  • Priya Suresh

    September 23, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Such a hearty Githeri, glad to know about Kenya and their Githeri, a complete meal Mayuri, hope i will give a try to this beautiful dish.

  • Ruchi Indu

    October 5, 2017 at 6:35 am

    HEalthy bowl of protein. And an interesting read…

  • Helan

    April 24, 2021 at 11:15 am

    5 stars
    Thanks For Sharing this Amazing Recipe. My Family Loved It. I will be sharing this Recipe with my Friends. Hope They will like it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 24, 2021 at 10:13 pm

      Helen thank you so much for trying out a traditional Kenyan dish. I am so glad that your family loved it.

  • Lisa

    July 2, 2021 at 9:43 am

    5 stars
    This dish has such an interesting story behind it! I love the photos of Kenya! You are lucky to live in such a beautiful country 🤩🤩

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 3, 2021 at 11:53 am

      Thank you so much Lisa, living in a corrupt has its challenges which is getting worse. However, Kenya is a very beautiful country.

  • Archana

    October 21, 2021 at 11:24 am

    5 stars
    Wow! Yum and yum. I still love this dish Githeri! The name itself is so musical! I hope to find some traditional maize, (unfortunately, we are constantly flooded with sweet corn). I want to make some of this yum stew some bread on the side and we are settled for the day.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 23, 2021 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you so much Archana. Go ahead and give it a try with the sweet corn but add less. Add other veggies and am sure you’ll love it.

  • Seema Sriram

    October 21, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    5 stars
    I was watching a news show recently that described this dish. I love the way you have described much better as now it makes sense. I will love to try this hearty recipe soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 23, 2021 at 7:32 pm

      Thank you so much Seema. Please do try out the recipe and so many different veggies can be added. It sure is a hearty meal.

  • Preethi Prasad

    October 22, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    5 stars
    This protein rich Githeri bowl is so nutritious amd filling . Got to learn a new recipe from Kenyan cuisine today. Thank you for the detailed insight about this dish. Would love to try it sometime.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 23, 2021 at 7:30 pm

      Thank you so much Preethi. It very much is a doable recipe so give it a try.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    October 23, 2021 at 5:58 am

    5 stars
    Kenya is definitely a travellers delight who wish to see wild life and mountains. Hope to visit sometime. Githeri looks tasty and an easy to make dish. Liked the one with various vegetables in it, it is filling on its own too.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 23, 2021 at 7:27 pm

      Thank you so much Jayashree, it definitely is a filling and healthy meal. I too hope one day you will be able to visit Kenya.

  • Priya Vj

    October 24, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    5 stars
    I faintly remember this name Githeri when I watched a show on discovery Channel as a kid about Africa and Kenya. Then it dint make any sense to me,but now after seeing this post of yours I was able to relate it. Githeri is deftly nutritious and healthy with so many wonderful veggies and beans

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 26, 2021 at 2:53 pm

      Thank you so much Priya. We have grown up enjoying githeri as it is so nutritious and healthy too.

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