nyama-choma
Food & Drink

9 Kenyan Foods You Need To Eat When You Visit

Eating new food for anyone can either be very exciting or not worth it all. I love my Kenyan food but then again I grew up eating cooked maize flour, kales and meat and love every bit of it. There is no gurantee that you will enjoy all the meals but you will certainly feel like you traveled to a different country and didn’t have to be cooked up in a hotel eating the same food you ate in your country. Here are the Kenyan foods you need to eat when you visit.

1. Ugali which is one of the most common meals in Kenya.

This is our staple food and though it looks uninteresting it is very tasty especially with beef stew and kales. It is made from cornmeal that is added to boiling water and heated until it turns into a dense block ugali.

ugali
Image: Immaculate Bites

2. Mukimo/ Irio

It is a mixture of green peas and potatoes which are boiled and then mashed up before whole kernels of maize (corn) are added to give the mash some extra starch and texture.You can eat this with nyama choma and kachumbari (salad of tomatoes, onion and garnished with lemon juice and salt).

Mukimo-Recipe
Image: health guide 911

3. Githeri

A mixture of boiled beans and maize and can either be served with vegetables or a salad. This is usually fried with onions, tomatoes, green pepper and preferred vegetables.

githeri
Image: Good Eats

4. Nyama choma

This is grilled meat and is our ultimate go to meal. It is sumptuous and also very inexpensive.  Fat and the grizzle from the meat is the choice part of the animal, and is consumed with a quick dip into a pile of salt for extra flavoring. It can be complimented by Ugali, fries, roast potatoes or mukimo.

nyama-choma
Image: pambazuka.org

5. Plantain bananas

Although this dish is originally Ugandan, Kenyans also love their plantain bananas which is also known as matoke. The bananas are cooked until they become soft and begin to form a thick sauce with the other vegetables and preferred spices. It can be served with meat stew, cabbage or kales.

matoke
Image: cookpad.com

6. Chapatti’s

This is also a meal that we probably acquired from the Indians but we have perfected the art of cooking it and it is one of our staple meals. Kenyan style chapatis are made with a flour dough that is wound into a coil before being rolled into a flat round circle. The dough is then fried on a skillet accompanied by plenty of oil until it is

Chapati
Image: Chitra’s Food Book

7. Chips masala

Instead of boring old fries we like to take it up a notch. The chef will most likely fry the chips with tomato sauce, chili sauce, herbs, coriander and spices such as garam masala to give it that spicy rich taste it usually has.

Chips-masala
Image: An African Man Chronicles – WordPress.com

8. Mandazi

This is one of our snacks and is also very easy to make. It is made from dough and a bit of sugar, as you soon as the smell wafts through any room you will have no choice but to salivate. Some mandazi’s have cardamom depending on who is making it. It is served with tea, soda or juice.

deep-fried-mandazi
Image: Kenyan Vibes, Swaville Style – WordPress.com

9. Mutura

This is our own Kenyan sausage and despite the fact that the process to make it sounds disgusting, it is highly addictive and cheap too. It is basically goat intestine wrappers that are stuffed full with the combination of ground meat parts and goat blood. The sausage is boiled until it is almost cooked through and then thrown on the grill to dehydrate the meat and give it that sensational smoky taste.

mutura
Image: Migrationology.com