Matoke With Beans

Matoke with beans in a bowl, with coriander garnish.

Vegetarian Dishes | October 24, 2020 | By

Matoke, known in English as East African Highland banana is a staple around East Africa, particularly Uganda and Tanzania. The meal prepared from unripe, green matoke is also called “matoke”. I’m sharing a delicious recipe of matoke with beans, which is filling and comforting. Just perfect for this cold time of the year.

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The East African Highland bananas are short and thick and they are valued in their green form for cooking. Ripe matoke is sweet and soft like most bananas.

Green matoke | Green East African Highland banana

Green bananas, also called cooking bananas are a dietary staple around Africa, the Caribbean, South America and South East Asia; and matoke is just one of the them. They are rich in potassium and are a good source of soluble fibre. These bananas are also quite starchy and needs to be eaten with other food sources.

Matoke is known as the national dish of Uganda and is eaten at most meal times. Like most staple food, it is readily available cheap and filling. These East African highlands green bananas are typically mashed, pounded or boiled. They are usually eaten with meats, fish or peanut sauce; and some vegetables.

Matoke with bean in a black bowl, with coriander garnish.

I added beans to my matoke recipe for added protein. It is suitable for vegetarian and vegans and it is very easy to prepare. Apart from the matoke, all the ingredients for this scrumptious dish are store cupboard items.

What makes matoke good for cooking is its high starchy content; which you would not find in a lot of bananas. Matokes is usually available in African shops in the UK. If you can’t find it around you, then green plantain or Thai green bananas (sold in Asian shops) are good substitutes.

How To Make Matoke With Beans

It is difficult to peel the skin of unripe bananas.  I have memories of battling with green plantain skin, when we made plantain chips, while I was growing up. The thoughts of the sticky sap leaving permanent stains on my clothes still scares me. I found out Jamaicans eat boiled green banana; and skin comes off easily after boiling; so I did just that for this recipe.

Feel free to add other vegetables or even meat or fish to this recipe, if you prefer.

Why not try Kachumbari and Irio, also from the East African Region.

Matoke with beans in a bowl, with coriander garnish.

Matoke with beans

Abi Olayiwola
Delicious, filling and comforting national dish of Uganda, prepared with matoke (East African Highland banana).
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine African, East African, Kenyan, Ugandan
Servings 2
Calories 412 kcal


  • 4 Green matoke
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Grated ginger
  • 2 cloves Garlic chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 can Chopped tomatoes or 400g
  • 1/2 can Kidney beans or 200g, drained
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable stock or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Coriander chopped


  • Wash the bananas very well. Remove the tops and ends.
  • Boil in hot water for 10 mins, then remove from heat.
  • Allow to cool before removing the skin.
    Boiled matoke - East African Highland green bananas
  • Heat oil in a saucepan.
  • Add onions to the pan and stir for a few minutes until the onions become translucent.
  • Add the cumin, garlic and ginger. Stir continuously for about 1 min, then add the chopped tomatoes and the beans.
  • Pour in the stock or water with a dash of salt. Add the chilli flakes and cover the pan.
    Matoke with beans cooking in a pot
  • Allow to simmer for about 10 mins.
    Matoke with beans in a pot
  • Pour in the bananas.
    matoke with beans in a pot
  • Leave to simmer for additional 5 mins under low heat, then add the coriander.
  • Use a wooden spoon to slightly mash the content of the pot to the consistency you desire.
    Matoke and beans in a pot
  • Remove from heat and serve.


Calories: 412kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 5gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 550mgPotassium: 1381mgFiber: 7gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 2801IUVitamin C: 58mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Matoke
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

1 Comment

  1. 11 Foods Of Kenya You Must Try | Travel Food Atlas

    December 17, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    […] Our favourite Matoke recipe. […]


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