Matumbo is a Swahili word which in this context loosely translates to innards. The Western world refers to matumbo as tripe and I was pleased that they too indulge in this delicacy. It is the meat that comes from the stomach of a cow, making it an organ meat. It is cheaper than muscle meats and very nutritious.

When selecting what to buy, try finding one that has been cleaned and looks fresh. It’s however important to note that you also need to clean it further after you get home under running water. I suggest you buy a whole piece and it makes it easier to clean and when cooked you can easily cut it up to desired shape and size.

Matumbo can be deep fried or made as a stew. Normally served with ugali and vegetables of one’s choice, preferably kienyeji, nothing beats a meal of well-prepared matumbo.

Here is a step to step guide on how to make this Kenyan delight




➧1 kg Whole tripes (Washed)
➧1 Onion(Sliced/chopped)
➧3-4 Garlic cloves(Sliced)
➧Small piece Ginger(Chopped)
➧Mixed colored Peppers-(Sliced)
➧2 Chopped Tomatoes(Optional)
➧2-3 tsp Curry Powder(you can use more/less according to your taste)

Cleaning and Pre-Cooking Tripes.

  • Check and remove the slimy green at the back of the piece while washing under water.
  • Make sure you clean till the water is clear.
  • Place the washed piece into a pan with cold water and bring the water to a boil and cook for 15 minutes without covering. This is meant to sterilize the piece.
  • Drain off the hot water then put fresh water and bring to a boil and cook the piece while covered for up to 3 hours or till it is soft to your liking. Keep adding water as it reduces while simmering.
  • To check if it’s done, cut a small piece and bite into it.
  • Allow cooling before cutting them.

Cooking procedure

  1. Cut the cooked tripes to your desired shape and size. I cut mine into stripes.
  2. Under medium heat, fry the onion and ginger in minimal oil (enough just to cook the onion) till it starts to slightly brown. Add the garlic at this stage and allow to cook, add the garlic last as it tends to brown faster than the onion and may burn before the onion browns, giving an undesirable bitter taste. At this point, you may add tomatoes if you want to use. (On this recipe, I chose not to have them).
  3. Add the curry powder and stir into the onion for about 1-2 minutes while on low heat to avoid it from burning. Add the cut up tripes and stir into the onion and allow it to cook for about 3-4 minutes. Keep the heat at medium while constantly stirring to avoid the onion mix from burning. Add a little water if it gets too dry. If you have tomatoes, you can add them at this point and allow it to cook and soften.
  4. Add the cut vegetables and stir as you allow them to cook by covering the pot. Cook for a further 4 minutes or your desired taste.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning and finish by adding chopped dhania (coriander) if you have some.
Tip: The secret to note when making tripes is to boil them till they are tender and when buying, look out for the pieces with lots of white parts as they will be tougher to cook. Buy even looking pieces to make sure they cook evenly.
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