One of the best ingredients to add to your no-meat food is beans. Plain and simple. You can’t change my mind. Kidney beans stew, to be specific, is one of the vegetarian African foods that goes so well with rice, pap, or chapati. But don’t be surprised if you see it being eaten alone because it is just sooo good! And Kenyan recipes and variations of this food do not disappoint either. That’s why we are taking a dive into creamy, delicious, Maharage Ya Nazi, also called Maharagwe. You’re going to leave here wondering where this recipe has bean all your life. 

kenyan-recipe maharage-ya-nazi, a delish vegetarian African food
maharage ya nazi

Good Maharagwe will bless your food lifestyle. But if you’re wondering how following a no-meat food diet works in Africa, check out this article on why some don’t bother.

What is this vegetarian African food?

Maharage ya nazi is Swahili for ‘beans in coconut’. It is popular in East Africa, as it is part of Kenyan recipes and is even a national food in Tanzania. To make this kidney beans stew, take your original pot of perfectly cooked bean stew and add coconut for an extra punch of creaminess. This no-meat food will not leave you missing anything. The texture, flavor, and even the look of Maharagwe will leave you so satisfied. You’ll be wondering if anyone will judge you for eating kidney beans stew, or any other types of beans, every day… They might, but who cares? As long as your body is okay with it!

Maharage Ya Nazi Ingredients

Related: Tanzanian Foods Staple Products

Not persuaded yet? Check out more beans in Benin to decide what type of beans to try out. 

Kidney bean benefits

Speaking of your body; we know your tastebuds will love this, but what about your other cells? Kidney beans look like our very own kidneys so they should be good for them… right? 

red kidney beans-soaking makes  vegetarian African food also can be used for Kenyan Recipes.
raw red kidney beans soaking
  1. The answer is yes! And no. Vegetarian African food and other no-meat food diets rely on foods like legumes and grains. This slows the progression of Chronic Kidney disease, so beans are good in this case. However, studies show that in half a cup of cooked beans, there is 120 mg of phosphorus. So if you already have kidney failure, the phosphorus in beans may not be the best as it can’t be regulated well. You can still eat it in small amounts, but consult a doctor to be sure. No wahala dey here.
  2. The same studies show that kidney beans have lots of protein, which is good for your cells and muscles. 
  3. They have lots of fiber, which is great for digestion. 
  4. And lastly, they help lower blood pressure because of said protein and fiber.

There are many more benefits, but I’m sure your anticipation grows with every second that keeps you away from your Maharage ya nazi. It’s understandable. Who can resist kidney beans stew?

How is Maharage ya nazi taste?

The faintest coconutty, creamy stew you ever want to have. I love kidney beans stew no doubt, and I like most coconut meals. However, I hesitated a little because coconut taste tend to over-power most meals that I have experienced. With Kenyan maharage ya nazi something incredible happened. The kidney beans and the coconut milk paired well together! It tastes savory, and refreshing at the same time! I thought eating maharage ya nazi with ugali would be heavy since there is kidney beans in the stew. It turns out, this was so light to eat and I was craving more. The portions in the ingredients list below is good for one person. Now, resist the urge to eat this stew with rice. I’m starting to think not everything needs to be eaten with rice in order to retain the true flavors.

This isn’t where kidney beans’ joy ends…

We hope you enjoy this and other Kenyan recipes like we do. Because we will keep African recipes coming. For example, we have this kidney beans stew all the way from Liberia. All of Africa appreciates beans lol! Join us on our vegetarian African food journey and subscribe! Did you make this recipe? How was it? We want to know so comment below!


Delish Maharage Ya Nazi

Yield: 2.5
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes

Kenyan recipes have the best vegetarian African food for a no-meat lifestyle. Maharage ya nazi, a.k.a kidney beans stew is simply yummm!


  • 2 small vege cubes
  • 1 cup coconut milk or cream (save quarter cup for décor)
  • 1 cup red kidney beans raw
  • 2 small fresh tomatoes diced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4cup Salsa
  • 2 TBSP gmo-free canola oil
  • ¼ Onion diced
  • 1 habanero pepper diced
  • 1/4cup of water


    1.Start by soaking your raw beans overnight or 1hr if you are short on time. Soak the beans in by making sure all the beans is fully submerged in water, use 2 cups water to soak the red kidney beans. After the beans is soaked, toss the water the beans was soaking in and rinse the beans. After that, add the beans to a medium cooking pot and pour enough fresh water to fully cover the beans. 2 cups water should do it. Boil the red kidney beans uncovered for 20minutes on medium heat. Check back on the beans to remove any foam from the top.
    2.After the beans is fully softened, or based on how firm you like your beans, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the stove. You can use a cleaned pot or remove the red kidney beans from the pot and set aside.
    3.Place the empty pot on the stove and turn the heat on to low heat. Add to the pot 2TBSP oil. Once the oil is hot, add your diced onion and habanero to the oil and Sautee for 2mins. After that, add the diced fresh tomatoes and salsa and stir into the onion mixture. You want the water from the fresh tomatoes and salsa to dry down so cook for 2mins. Add in your vege cubes.
    4.Next, add in your cooked red kidney beans to the tomatoes mixture, and make sure if there is water in the cooked beans make note of the amount. Stir the mixture, add in your Salt and increase the heat to medium. Note, do not walk away, beans burn quickly. After a minute, add in the 1/4water. Cover the pot and cook for 5mins on low to medium heat.
    5.After that, pour in 0.75cup of coconut milk (remember do not add the full 1cup because we want to keep some milk for garnishing which is why it if less than 1cup). Stir the coconut milk into the beans mixture very well. After that, taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Cover the pot and cook your Mhawarge ya nazi for 15-mins. This time limit is based on how you like your stew consistency. If you like it thick, cook it longer and cook it shorter if your like your stew light/watery. Cook on low heat or simmer.
    6.Are you ready to eat? Your Kenyan Mahawarge is ready. What will you eat it with? Chapati or Ugali, or both? This stew is fragrant and pleasant to look at. Enjoy!

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