Kenya is famous for its fascinating wildlife and its courageous marathon runners. Indeed, the intriguing biodiversity is the reason why people flock to this country and mark off one of the most prominent bucket list items for travelers and animal lovers alike – going on a safari.
A lesser-known detail about Kenya is that its cuisine is one of the top ten food destinations in Africa, despite being a little under the radar of the western food world. Travelers now have another compelling reason to include Kenya on their list of must-visit African countries. Here are Must Try 10 Best Food In Kenya
Ugali, Kenya’s national meal, is the perfect way to kick off this Kenyan cuisine guide. Not only in Kenya but across the entirety of East Africa, it is often considered to be Kenya’s most beloved meal. Maize flour or cornmeal is thrown into the water, brought to a boil, then constantly stirred until it thickens into a dough-like consistency; this is a staple cuisine in Kenya.
Sukuma wiki, as mentioned, is a common accompaniment to ugali. Swahili for “colewort” or “collard greens,” Sukuma is the star ingredient in this hearty Kenyan side dish. The name of this meal comes from the phrase “to push or stretch the week,” referring to the fact that this particular vegetable is inexpensive and widely accessible all year long in the region where it is traditionally prepared.
Irio, which means “food” in Kikuyu, is a staple of the Kikuyu diet and a well-loved Kenyan dish. In certain preparations, it is comprised of mashed potatoes, maize, and either peas or greens. If you’re looking for a healthy and hearty side dish, try this one out. It goes great with grilled steak or nyama choma.
Githeri is another simple cuisine that originates from the Kikuyu tribe in Kenya. It is commonly eaten in the central and eastern regions of the country. Githeri consists of maize and beans that have been blended and stewed in a pot or sufuria. It is also known as muthere or mutheri.
It seems the Kikuyu people are master chefs, as they have made numerous delicious additions to Kenyan cuisine. The people living in the beautiful Mount Kenya areas are responsible for another Kenyan staple: mukimo. It consists of mashed potatoes and greens cooked with corn and/or beans. Use it as a side dish with stews and grilled meats like nyama choma.
Deep-fried bhajias are popular in Kenya and Tanzania. Thinly sliced potatoes are battered in gram flour with cumin, coriander, parsley, chili powder, and ginger. Kenyans love them with madras, a mango chutney.
Kenyan bhajias and madras are Indian-influenced. Indian workers supplied the most skilled labor for railway building. Many Indians settled in Kenya and created Kenyan delicacies.
Madras is a Kenyan condiment well-known for its distinctive flavor when combined with various types of Kenyan food. The mango serves as the primary component of this particular style of chutney. Ginger, garlic, tomatoes, onions, coriander, and chili peppers are incorporated into the mixture before being stirred. To achieve a smooth and runny consistency, all of these ingredients are mixed together while oil and vinegar are added.
Another Indian-inspired Kenyan delicacy is chapati. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Burundi are known for their unleavened flatbread.
East African chapati is thicker and multilayered, unlike Indian chapati, which is thin and oilless. To make it crispier, the outer layers are coated with oil and cooked on both sides in a skillet. Its preparation is more like Indian paratha than chapati.
Pilau appears to be one of the most popular rice dishes in Kenya, and it is also one of the tastiest. Eastern Africa’s Kenyan staple. Kenyan jollof rice is offered on public holidays, weddings, and religious festivals like Eid and Christmas.
Cinnamon, cardamom and cloves make Kenyan pilau flavorful. This Kenyan dish can be enjoyed with a bottle of Tusker and chicken or beef.
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Many Kenyans regard nyama choma to be their country’s signature dish. In Swahili, it means “barbecued meat,” which is a term for roasted meat that hasn’t been heavily seasoned. Nyama choma is traditionally prepared with goat, although beef works just as well.
Nyama choma is a popular meal in Kenya and can be found in a wide variety of restaurants, from makeshift stands to fine dining establishments. It is typically paired with beer and a selection of vegetables and starches, such as salad and ugali.