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Bean, Corn and Potato Mash - Irio (Kenya)

This colourful Kenyan mash is made with beans, sweetcorn and potatoes to make a colourful vegetarian side dish.

Bean, Sweetcorn and Potato Mash.

Bean, Sweetcorn and Potato Mash - Irio (Kenya)

This bean, sweetcorn and potato mash is also called irio.

Irio, which is pronounced ear-ee-o, is a side dish popular in Kenya.

Potatoes are a staple crop in Kenya alongside maize, so they feature in a lot of the local dishes.

The Kikuya tribe created this tasty dish which they serve with stews.

Corn and potatoes are combined with either beans or peas to make a colourful and nutritious dish.

Irio translates to food and this dish is also called mukimo, mokimo, Kenyan mashed potatoes or African mashed potatoes.

Whatever they are called, they are delicious.


Add those greens

Peas are a common addition to irio, but also either spinach or other greens.

As well adding another layer of colour, it's also adding more vitamins and minerals.

I like to add some spinach or watercress for that peppery bite.

Can you use frozen vegetables

Frozen vegetables are a great choice.

They are flash frozen quickly after they are picked, so often have more nutrients than fresh veg which can have spent a fair bit of time travelling and in storage.

It can also be cheaper.

Just add the frozen vegetables to the water the potatoes are cooking in, towards the end of the cook time.

corn and beans

Canned corn and beans

Canned corn beans can be a good choice too.

Super convenient and really good quality.

Of course if you like to soak beans overnight before cooking, that is always a cheap way of doing it but personally I'm never organised enough for that.

What you need to make bean, sweetcorn and potato mash

These are the simple ingredients you need to make mukimo mash.

  1. Potatoes
  2. Red kidney beans
  3. Corn
  4. Watercress
  5. Parsley
  6. Butter or margarine
  7. Salt & pepper


Which type of potatoes are best for mash?

For a good creamy mash you want a floury potato.

I think the best potatoes for mashing are either Maris Piper or King Edwards.

Although Desiree potatoes are pretty good too.

How to make the best mash

Here are my tips for the best mash.

  1. Use the right type of potato, make sure they are a floury potato like a Maris Piper.
  2. Peel, then cut them in qual size pieces. I usually quarter them.
  3. Cool in a large pan of cold salted water, bringing to the boil and cooking until tender.
  4. Don't overcook the potatoes.
  5. Drain them in a colander and leave them their to steam dry.
  6. They need to be very dry before you mash them.
  7. Season and mash well with plenty of butter (dairy or vegan).

vegetable tagine traybake with chickpeas.

More African inspired recipes

Here are a few more Africa style recipes for you to try next.

Kenyan recipe, African recipe, Irio, mukimo, mokimo, Kenyan mashed potatoes, African mashed potatoes, mash
Yield: 4-6
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Bean, Sweetcorn and Potato Mash

Bean, Sweetcorn and Potato Mash

This colourful Kenyan mash is made with beans, sweetcorn and potatoes to make a colourful vegetarian side dish.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 30 Min


  • 1 kg potatoes (1 kg/2 1/4 lb) peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • Salt & pepper
  • 400g (14 oz) tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200g (7oz or 1 1/2 cups) frozen sweetcorn (or tinned corn, drained)
  • a handful of fresh watercress straight in or you can chop it
  • a small handful of fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Quarter the potatoes and boil or steam until tender, about 15-20 minutes. If you are boiling, salt the water.
  2. Add the kidney beans and sweetcorn for the last few minutes to heat through.
  3. Drain in a colander and leave in the colander for a couple of minutes to steam dry.
  4. Pop the potatoes, beans and corn back in the pot or in a mixing bowl and mash with the butter, then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the watercress and parsley and mix in.
  6. Serve and enjoy!


  • For a good creamy mash you want a floury potato. I think the best potatoes for mashing are either Maris Piper or King Edwards. Although Desiree potatoes are pretty good too.
  • You can use fresh, tinned or frozen corn.
  • Change it up and try it with peas instead of kidney beans.


4 portions = 397 calories

5 portions = 318 calories

6 portions = 265 calories

Nutrition Facts





Sat. Fat






Net carbs











  1. that looks delicious! really!

    and the picture of the corn and beans is beautiful. they look very colorful and fresh- even though you said it was from a can.

    I'm glad to get to know your blog better, as I look for good vegetarian meal ideas. we aren't vegetarians (not by a loooong shot), but I am the world's cheapest person and think it is usually less expensive to cook without meat.

  2. Will definitely try this out. Mash (of any sort) is so comforting!

  3. That looks so beautiful, and I love corn and potatos together. I'll be making this very soon, thanks! (still haven't made anything out of my celia brooks brown book yet!)

  4. looks delicious - I love mash with vegies in it - probably because when I was little my mum used to mash potato, pumpkin, peas and vegemite for us - but I think yours is more sophisticated

  5. Frannie, the beans and corn were very fresh tasting! I am not always organised enought to prepare anything the day before!

    Wendy, I concur, mash is great!

    Sara, get that book open, she is really good!

    Johanna, your mum sounds more adventurous than I am when making mash! You have given me some good ideas there. not sure about the vegmite though!

  6. The photo of the beans and corn looks so mouthwatering. Have not tried what you call a "mash" but it looks very interesting. I bet it does make a great comfort food!

  7. HiWinedeb, I suppose mash is more of a cold weather dish, so a popular choice her in Scotland!

  8. holler, i'm thrilled to be paired with you for taste & create--you have so many awesome recipes and i'm having a hard time deciding what to make! i'm thinking this or your giant beans in tomato sauce (i love greek food) or heck, maybe both! :)

  9. Thanks for this bean suggestion! I think the potato and corn would hide the beans well for me. ;)

  10. I found this link from your 5:2 Pinterest page, where you have this labelled as "231 calories per portion". How much is a portion?

    1. A quarter of the recipe. Hope you enjoy it.

    2. Thanks! I'll let you know :)

  11. Hi again, it was really good and really filling - thanks again!

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it and thanks for coming back to let me know :)

  12. My Mum used to make a similar dish, she called it Garden Mash, it basically used up the leftovers from previous meals with whatever veg Dad had grown, it was also topped with breadcrumbs. Hit the plate with a thud, but tasty and filling.

    1. I love that name for it. I must try it with the breadcrumb topping too. Nice idea!


I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x