AeroFarm Garden/Garden/Teaching Kitchen
Role of Teacher
Classroom Management, Curricular Tie
Ingredients: Greens (Kale or Collards) / Tomatoes / Salt / Pepper / Onion / Garlic / Olive Oil / Cumin / Turmeric / Smoked Paprika / Ginger / Fennel / Cinnamon / Lemon / Water or Vegetable Stock
Equipment: Cutting Boards / Knives / Measuring cups & spoons / Medium-sized Kitchen Bowls / Mixing Spoons / Wok or Large Skillet / Bowls for harvesting / 1 large pot / Stove Top / Bowls (for each student) / Spoons (for each student)
- Sukuma Wiki is a traditional dish found in many East African countries. Sukuma Wiki is a Swahili expression which can be translated to mean “stretching the week” (stretching food to last the week) and feeding a family day by day.
- Swahili is the most commonly spoken language in Africa, with around 5 million people speaking Swahili as a native language and over 100 million more as a second language.
- Swahili is a Bantu language blended with Arabic. Swahili is Arabic for “coastal dweller” and is spoken in Tanzania, Burundi, Congo (Kinshasa) Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, UAE and the USA.
- There are over 1,500 different languages spoken in the 54 countries of Africa.
- Jambo means “hello” in Swahili.
Topics / Goals / Learning Objectives
- Learn about the most commonly spoken language in Africa
- Learn and practice simple expressions in Swahili
- Learn that preparing dishes from locally grown food is common for people all around the world
- Learn that community gardens and family gardens are important to people in African just as they are for our school
- Make a traditional East African dish using freshly harvested greens
- Reinforce concepts of seasonality
- Reinforce concepts of community
Opening / hook
“Sukuma wiki” is a Swahili phrase meaning “week-pusher,” “push the week,” “stretch the week” or “feeding a family day by day”
In Kenya, and many other East African countries, families grow collards and many other greens near every home with soil and enough water nearby to irrigate. Hearty greens are a staple of even the most frugal diet in the rural communities of Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, and other African nations. They are readily available, found in the most basic garden, and so they are used to “stretch the week,” when other supplies have run out or meat is scarce.
Sukuma wiki can be found in many forms. Sometimes it is highly spiced as in the Indian-influenced cuisine of East Africa. Sometimes it is a very plain and basic dish of greens, with nothing but oil and a little onion to round it out.
For those of us who love greens and eat them regularly, this kind of basic dish of simple greens is one of the building blocks of healthy weeknight meals. Make it any way you like — enjoy the taste and chew of robust greens.
Procedures / Activities
- Prepare trays with spices on display for students to observe.
- Set up work stations for students with cutting boards, knives, and bowls for prepped veggies.
- Wash and prep ingredients for students to process. If students will be harvesting, identify areas in garden for harvest and have harvest bowls for students.
- Students wash hands and sit at a work stations. Welcome students to kitchen and intro the lesson. Review knife skills and students begin prepping.
- If students will harvest, begin class in garden to harvest and move class to cooking areas in garden or back to classroom or teaching kitchen.
- Once students are finished cutting the vegetables, they join teacher at cooking area.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep pot, or a large wok. When it is hot, add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
- When the onion is getting soft, stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, and turmeric and other spices.
- Stir in the tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the greens one handful at a time, stirring constantly to coat them with the onions, oil, and spices.
- When they have all been added, sprinkle the salt and a generous amount of fresh pepper over them and stir.
- Pour in 1 cup water or broth. Cover the pot and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the greens are tender to your taste.
Extensions / Adaptations / Games
- The lesson can be done in the garden if there is a grill or portable cooktop.
- Students can learn and practice expressions in Swahili.
- Students can bring recipe cards home and prepare dish with their families.
- Students can plant a plot in garden or harvest for another class.
- Connect lesson to spice trade.
Recipe: Sukuma Wiki Recipe Card