Kuku Paka also known as Kuku na Nazi is an East African coconut curry sauce popular in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is thought that the word “paka” may have its origins in India. Kuku, however, is closer home. It means chicken in Swahili. This is a creamy, somewhat sweet, spicy and rich curry that had one of my guests asking if it was Mafe – groundnut stew. It shares the same yellowish sandy colour with groundnut soup.
1 small or medium sized chicken cut into pieces
2-3 cups of coconut milk
3-4 potatoes cut into quarters
2-3 medium sized tomatoes
2-3 spoonfuls of cooking oil or butter
1-2 chopped onions
2 chopped bell peppers
1 minced clove
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of minced parsley
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
A few whole cloves
Salt to taste
1Pour the oil into a pot and heat it on high heat
2Add the onions and bell peppers when oil becomes hot
3Continue to fry and stir the onions and bell peppers for about 5 minutes
4Add the minced garlic, spices and salt and continue to stir.
5Add the chicken to the pot and continue to stir as the chicken browns on all sides for another 5-10 minutes. Add more oil if needed or if the chicken begins to stick.
6Cook the potatoes seperately until they begin to become tender.
7Add the potatoes when they are halfway or three quarters way through being ready to the pot of chicken
8Add the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes more.
9Add the coconut milk, reduce heat, and gently stir and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the sauce thickens.