Mchicha - Tanzanian Spinach & Peanut Curry.

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 35 mins

Mchicha is a very traditional dish in Tanzania & can be made like this with peanut butter - homemade or natural is best - or it can be made with a whole coconut (grated flesh & milk) instead. Posted for ZWT 4.


  1. Wash the spinach & roughly chop. De-skin the tomato, peel and chop. Peel and chop the onion.
  2. Mix the peanut butter with the coconut milk in a jug & set aside.
  3. Heat the ghee . butter over a medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the onion, tomato, salt and curry powder / paste and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion becomes soft.
  4. Add the spinach, continue cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the spinach is cooked.
  5. Pour the peanut butter and coconut milk mixture into the pan & stir gently to mix.
  6. Simmer, for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly, to ensure that the mixture does not stick to the pot.
  7. This dish makes a lovely side dish, & can also be eaten with rice, ugali or samp and beans to form a delicious main course.
Most Helpful

This was good and very rich. A little definitely fills you up. I used crunchy peanut butter and upped all the spices plus added pepper. Thanks!

sofie-a-toast September 16, 2013

Great version of mchicha! I went to high school in Tanzania and learned how to make it from my friends' parents. In the Iringa area they didn't use peanut butter or peanuts, though, and usually added garlic to the onion. I love how much thicker and creamier it is with the peanut butter addition! Sometimes, depending on availability, mchicha would be just tomato, onion, garlic, and greens (the greens would be a bit different from our spinach here). When money was tight, you'd eat it with ugali, a sort of corn mash thicker than grits, but over rice was my favorite.

Tau Kai June 11, 2010

I've been making this for a couple of years (although I just had it to look again because MyCookbook lost a bunch if its links) and it's amazing! We love it over white rice with some naan on the side. (Yes, I know it's not Indian, but it really works well with naan!)

Rhiannon Deux May 16, 2010