Vegetarian Dishes | November 10, 2018 | By

Githeri is a corn and bean one pot meal which originated from the Kikuyu tribe of Kenya. It is also known as muthere or mutheri. It is traditionally prepared with dry beans and corn, however, to prepare this amazingly delicious recipe, I used canned beans and frozen corn for ease and convenience; so, it is perfect for those times when you need to whip something healthy up quickly.


This meal is very popular in Kenya and there is a funny story about the “Githeri man”. During the last elections in Kenya, “Githeri man” was spotted eating githeri from a transparent plastic bag absentmindedly; while waiting on a queue to vote. He became an overnight internet sensation and provided some comic relief in that period as he was photoshopped into pictures of popular movies and celebrities.

Githeri is similar to many one-pot beans and corn combinations, which are a staple dish in in many parts of Africa; with slight variations in additional ingredients and spices.  It is known as “adalu” in the part of Nigerian that I come from; there is “makande” in Tanzania; and “cornchaff” in Cameroon. It was interesting to learn that Githeri was one of the main meals fed to secondary students in boarding schools in Kenya because “beans and corn” was one of the main meals in the boarding school that I attended in Nigeria too.

One of the reasons for the popularity of beans and corn combination in diets worldwide is because they are both incomplete sources of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.  Corn protein lacks some basic amino acids which beans have; while beans lack some basic amino acids, which corn have; hence why they complement each other well.

How to Prepare Githeri

Githeri is quite adaptable, you can use any type of beans to prepare the meal. You can also add any vegetable or spices that you like, to make it yours. I particularly like the combination of curry powder and paprika because they work well together to give a pleasurable taste and aroma which is not too overwhelming.

I hope you like this Githeri recipe as much as I did.




Abi Olayiwola
This quick way to prepare githeri, using canned beans and frozen sweetcorn saves on time, but tastes so amazing.
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine African, Kenyan
Servings 2
Calories 302 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 Onion medium chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chilli ground
  • 1 can Red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Frozen sweet corn
  • 1/2 can Chopped tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 stalks Spring onions chopped
  • Coriander a few sprigs chopped


  • Heat the oil in a pot under medium heat.
  • Cook the onions in the oil until it is soft, then add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the curry powder and paprika, while stirring for another minute to prevent burning.
  • Pour in the beans, corn and tomatoes into the pot
  • Add 1 cup of water.
  • Add salt, cover the pot and allow to cook for about 15 mins.
  • Add the spring onions and leave for another minute.
  • Remove from heat and mix in the chopped coriander.


Calories: 302kcal
Keyword Githeri, Kenyan Githeri
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Caribbean Rice and Beans · Eat Well Abi

    April 29, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    […] beans and rice recipe is so easy to throw together and is suitable for vegetarian and vegans. Githeri is another recipe where a grain is combined with beans for an easy, tasty and nutritious […]

  2. Kenyan Irio With Caramelised Onions · Eat Well Abi

    December 4, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    […] no exception to this. It is a filling meal; typically dipped in stews or eaten with roasted meat. Githeri is another filling and nutritious dish from the Kikuyus in […]

  3. 7 Kenyan Dishes You Have To Try – Big 7 Travel Food Guides

    July 27, 2020 at 5:23 am

    […] 5. Githeri […]

  4. 12 Traditional Kenyan Foods You Must Try - MarocMama

    July 27, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    […] Githeri is simply a perfect blend of corn/plantains and beans.  You can also substitute beans with green peas. Traditionally, the ingredients are boiled together, then fried with onions, and enriched with your preferred spices. […]

  5. Just another home cook

    September 10, 2020 at 12:39 am

    5 stars
    After making this recipe, I have new appreciation of the robust heartiness of corn and beans! Great flavors and textures, and sooo easy.

    Since my spices tend to be of dubious age, I added an extra shake of all and was also quite heavy-handed with the cilantro. Corn is quite sweet (I used canned), so I liked the extra spice in mine. I was a bit lazy and ate it cold the next day, and that was pretty good too!

    • Abi Olayiwola

      September 13, 2020 at 7:40 am

      Thanks for always coming back with a feedback.


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