Kenyan Choma Pie and Happy Birthday Redempta


I place the cling film over the muffin tray, each of the twelve wells are filled with a mixture of sweet potato flour, okra pulp, yeast, salt and water. I am experimenting with a gluten free recipe.  I have been mulling over in my mind for a while whether okra, which when cut produces a very sticky like substance that is used to thicken sauces, could be a substitute for gluten. Gluten holds the gas produced by yeast and forms the bubbly like bread texture.  I pulled back the cover after the first prove to see a lovely mesh of bubbles, a little apprehensive whether it would hold in a full loaf tin I opted to make mini loaves in a muffin tray, I’m fairy pleased with the result, soft and moist but they could do with some work on texture so I decide not to make it as the bake for the team. I get on the phone and ask Andrew to pick up some ingredients on his way home from the field.

After the success of the pork pies I decided to make something using some of Kenya’s favourite ingredients. The choma (nyoma choma – roast meat, I used chicken), ugali (cornmeal) and sukumi wiki (kale) pies nick named “Kenyan on the inside English on the outside” hit the spot and were good enough for this clusters bake! Basically I wanted to make a Kenyan version of pork pie.  This idea had been on my mind for a little while too, and it seemd like the ideal time to give it a try for Redemptas birthday. Redemptas husband has always joked that a pie is a Muzungo (white mans) dish so I tweaked it to what I hope is a marriage of cultures.

Redempta is our amazing eye project manager, incredibly efficient, hardworking, honest and organised with a wonderful giving heart, a cornerstone in making the project work, we are incredibly blessed she is part of it all. Lucas had lots of fun blowing out the candles and we loved the cake, it is also both my sisters birthdays this week so we blew out some candles for them too. Happy birthday Auntie Celi and Auntie Azzie!

Birthday dinner at our place




“We found 37 and they will all come”

The advance team return confident from the field, Vineeth has been with them as they go door to door finding as many of the study patient’s from 5 years ago as possible.  With the help of a motivated guide they visit them one by one, explain the study and also examining them on the phone. With no training the guys followed the instructions on the phone and were so excited to see the response they were getting from the patients. A lady with a double amputation was examined on the ground at her eye level, the next day at the clinic site it took three people to lift her on to a stool and hold her in place on the multiple pieces of equipment that we use to measure the phone against. Taking expertise to the patient, rather than the patient having to come to a hospital or clinic could really have a huge impact.


Recipe – Choma Pies


To make the pie pastry please use the pork pie crust recipe and for the bread please use my simple bread recipe.

Chicken Filling:

400g boneless chicken thighs

tbsp fresh rosemary

tbsp white wine vinegar

1 vegetable stock cube (low salt)

pinch caynee pepper

medium red onion

2 cloves garlic


Sukumi wiki

1 medium red onion finely chopped

tbsp olive oil

bunch kale leaves finely shredded

2 finely chopped medium ripe tomatoes




Half cup cornmeal

1/3 cup water


1. Make the pie crust as for pork pies, cut out 12 and their lids and leave to prove in the tins with the lids aside.  Before placing in the tin sprinkle flour in the base and on the sides of each muffin hole to prevent the dough sticking.

2. Make the Chicken filling by adding all the ingredients of the filling o a good food processor or blender and press the button until it becomes very squashy with a few small piece of chicken.

3. Make the sukumi wiki by sautéing the the finely chopped onions in the olive oil for two  minutes then add the kale cover and cook with occassional stiring until it is reduced in size, add salt and blck pepepr to taste and the finely chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes.

4. To make the Ugali the Kenyan way,when it is eaten it should be like the texture of marzipan so very paleable.  Add the cornmeal and water to the pan and just keep stiring for 5 minutes until its cooked and at a consistency to mold.

5. Take a small piece of ugali squash it between your finger tips and put half a teaspoon of sukumi wiki onto the squashe ugali then fold the ugali around it to make a ball about 1.5cm diameter, repeat twelve times and set aside.

6. To fill the pies cover the bottom of each pie with chicken filling followed by a ugali and sukumi wiki ball followed by filling it to the top with the chicken filling, with a slight dome.

7. Use beaten egg pasted around the lid of each pie, then stick each lid on and seal with a fork sticking the lid to the base, poke a fork through the top of each lid to allow steam to escape.

8. Brush the lids each with egg wash then  place in a pre-heated oven at 190°C for 35 minutes, if they seem to brown too quickly as with my oven just place a silicone matt over the tops and continue cooking to make sure all the piec cooked through and a crisp base on the pie bottom.

9. These are very yummy hot as well as cold and a fat free pie! bonus! (If you use the bread dough recipe not the hot pastry recipe!)

The advance team examine patient’s at their homes





The school next door to today’s examination clinic


37 study patient’s turn up, a new record…


Chris examines patients refractive error (spectacle prescription)


Andrew ends the day with a victory drum beat, going back to his Egyptian roots…


One thought on “Kenyan Choma Pie and Happy Birthday Redempta

  1. Pingback: Kenya Flag Pie. A Peek in to the eye project… | Eye Bake - Kenya

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