e-book Foods of Kenya (A Taste of Culture)

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My husband is from Kenya and his siblings are coming in to surprise him for his 40th birthday. I will definitely be making some of these dishes! I know samosas originates in India, but our family loves them and could eat them everyday! Na Mbazi Je? Ina kwenda vizuri sana pamoja na mandazi!!! Hata mabuyu, achari, bungo, madafu hiyiko kwenye listi hiyo. You have certainly covered lots of the Kenyan favourites but i also recall some dishes that mom used to whip… probably for a quick meal to feed fussy kids!

We still enjoy these dishes to date! Maziwa mala sweetened natural yoghurt with ugali, matumbo with ugali or mashed matoke and fried rice — Kenyan style usually rice cooked together with vegies, brought to a boil and cooked till all the water is evaporated …I guess all the foods are all so yummy and the list would be endless. Hey Jacque, glad you enjoyed it, thanks for taking a look! Indeed so many good tasting things! I am so proud to be Kenyan!!! Just wanted to refresh my mind on Kenyan dishes.

All be making them soon!!! I am from Kenya and my favorite is Nyama Choma it is Soooo good. If you ever go to Kenya you have to bring this list and go for all that food. Hey Caleb, thank you for reading and leaving a comment, and great to hear you also love nyama choma! Hey Gitts, thanks for sharing. Will have to check out that burger you mentioned if I make it to Nanyuki!

Hi Mark, Good to hear you like Kenyan food and mostly the mbuzi choma, next time you happen to be in Kenya, come for one goat free from my farm, God bless you. Hey Maria, amazing, thank you very very much, I will have to take you up on your offer in the future! Thank you again! Good work brother.!! God Bless you. Asante Jecinter! I appreciate the support and also for the recommendation for Mombasa food. That burger is freaking huge! And the grilled maize looks like something I would eat all the time. Love your food posts, Mark!

Wow, that burger is out of control! Nice post. Loved the photos! It all looks delicious! Even though a lot of the food is meant to be very filling, some Kenyan dishes are really tasty! My God this brings back some memories — matoke was a favourite of mine. You left maharagwe out!!!! I know if I stick with you, Mark, I will never starve, no matter where in the world I am! There is nothing better then a cup of chai!

However, the chai I had while I was in Kenya was different from the recipe you stated. The chai I drank had cinnamon, cardamom, and maybe even some black pepper. It was so tasty. Hey, thanks so much for the comment Mary, Sounds like what you are describing is masala chai. The extra spice instead of just sweet is really good — I agree with you! Debbie Beardsley European Travelista. Surprisingly almost all looked great! I love polenta and cornbread but the Ugali seems a bit dry. Both french fry dishes sound amazing.

Great list, thanks for sharing. Great Debbie, glad you enjoyed it! You are right about ugali, it is a bit dry, but it does go will with soupy stew and vegetables. The main thing about it that it is very filling! You are right Mark Ugali is very filling but I loved. I was in for nearly a year in Kenya and travelled around but the food is just stunning if like the way they cooked.

And especially when you are in the Rural areas. When you go to the Shebines and eat that lovley freshly grilled meat with a Taska Beer. Thanks Max! That flavor of roasted goat and kachumbari combined with Kenyan beer is one of the greatest! Thx for posting this Mr. Mark, those are great foods, Ugali may be dry but it goes so well with Sukuma or meat-stwe or the roasted meat with kachumbari ,,,u know they ryme, i miss roasted maize and they are everywhere on kenya roads as well as roasted Fish, ever came across that?

Hey Elizabeth, thank you so much for checking this article out and for the comment. I agree, ugali goes so well with meat and stew and sukuma! I miss maize too! Are you living in Nairobi now? Are you sure that chapati, mandazi, pilau, chips mayai zege , kachumbari and wali wa nazi are Kenyan authentic dishes? Those are Tanzanian dishes Mr Mark Wiens.

It just so happens that Tanzanians do not advertise their culture and food so much. Make your facts straight next time. Kila la kheri. Helen those are Kenyan food. Tens of thousands of Indians ended up in East Africa more than a century ago, as traders, and to work for the Kenya-Uganda railway. Their foods—chapati, pilau, kachumbri, samosa—became local staples in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, etc. Am just laughing at you. Update your Geography. Next time you will say the moon belongs to you haha! My friend get the facts right,these are Kenyan foods whether you like it or not.

Let Tanzania continue to sleep. Those are political boundaries created a few years ago. The cultures transcend those boundaries hence u r right in a way matoke is from Uganda but found in Kenya too. Pilau is found in Tanzania and Kenya. What are you looking for? These meals will make you want to travel, just to eat! Download now! You must love food as much as I do! Just enter your name and email below and I promise to only send you delicious emails : Sign me up. Here is a list of 20 Kenyan food favorites to help you get excited about eating Kenyan food!

Kenyan Food — Ugali 1. Ugali Cornmeal Staple The undeniable most common Kenyan food staple is ugali — usually made from cornmeal that is added to boiling water and heated until it turns into a dense block of cornmeal paste. Irio Mashed Peas and Potato Mix Irio is one of the most famous dishes in Kenya , a food that originated as a Kikuyu staple and spread throughout the country. Kenyan Pilau Spiced Rice Pilau is a glorified combination of rice cooked with flavor bursting spices like cumin, cardamon, cinnamon, and cloves.

Biriyani is another form of spiced rice that is a popular Kenyan food on the coast. I'd love to hear from you! Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. DeVante 10 months ago This food looks good especially the Kenyan bajas Reply. I request a recipe of soft mandazis Reply. Christine Ouma 2 years ago Welcome to Kenya Reply. Shayan Patel 2 years ago Hello matteo Reply. Patrick 2 years ago I like this information especially ugali. You should increase the number of dishes to accomodate all available Reply. Osasere 2 years ago I like the food you guys have????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Queen X 2 years ago I would say Kenya has very nice Ugali compared to the rest of the countries. Sienna 2 years ago Great article but just some additional comments. Kyale 2 years ago I always felt there was something Kenyan about you. Wild Discoveries 2 years ago Now, Ugali, chicken soup and sukuma wiki is definitely a dish every Kenyan will identify with. Shantanu 2 years ago Moving from LA to Nairobi next month. Thank you for the gastro guide. Mark Wiens 2 years ago Awesome to hear that Shantanu, hope you have a great transition!

Amon 2 years ago You are welcome to Nairobi Kenya. Mark Wiens 3 years ago Thank you very much for reading Esther! Logan winters 3 years ago This is great! My sister is learning about maraco and I have to learn about Kenya???? Priscilla 2 years ago Im hungry already. Good presentation of our Kenyans foods there. Eunice 3 years ago Kenyan food are lip smacking, great and delicious. Amon 2 years ago Welcome to Kenya a magic land Reply. Patricia Bland 3 years ago Just got back from 20 days in Kenya and Tanzania. Shila 3 years ago Wow i love this..

Iam doing a research on kenyan food recipes that is yet to be aired in one of the Kenyan TV station Please kindly send me your contacts Reply. Pam 3 years ago I have had all of the foods listed here and you are so right. Victor 3 years ago I really love ugali with vegetables Reply.

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Kate 3 years ago Hey, Mark Wiens, How are you? Just to add another version of Githeri is Muthokoi pounded corn to remove the outer layer then boil it with beans till tender, seasonoing n serve Just yummy… Reply. Mark Wiens 3 years ago Hi Chef Kalingu, great to hear from you, thank you for reading.

Great suggestions as well! Janie soucie 3 years ago Can someone post a recipe for this chai tea I would love to try Reply. Love the list and would love to see more Reply. Mark Wiens 3 years ago Hey Sheliza, awesome to hear from you, thank you for sharing. Veisinia 3 years ago Sorry Mark, I mistyped your name, not sure where i got the Eric from. Dawa dolma 3 years ago I Jst love ugali with irio and sukuma wiki???????????????????? Sally Reply.

Veisinia 3 years ago it would be cool if you could give me some easy ingredeints for my sons project all about kenya. Mark Wiens 3 years ago Thank you Lazarus. Diana Nyaga 3 years ago This is just awesome. Shyraw 3 years ago I like chapati and chai Reply. Mark Wiens 3 years ago Thank you Mary, that sounds delicious!

COLLINS wesonga 3 years ago Your comment:I am really greatful to visit this site, I have really learnt a lot from you guys about the food that are cooked in Kenya some of which I normally interact with. Rose Isabella 3 years ago Love this! John 3 years ago You greatly did a great research on Kenyan food. Thanks Reply. Stella 4 years ago what about recipes? Tamara Buirley 4 years ago My daughter is doing a Cultural Festival for her school. Kenyan stew, sukuma wiki, Mandazi, chapati, Ugali Thank Reply. George Njoroge 4 years ago Wonderful ,tasty food Reply.

Annette 4 years ago Loved your take on our kenyan dishes….

2) Sukuma Wiki

Kieron 4 years ago John Cena likes this website Reply. Kieron 4 years ago I like this website Reply. Tammy 4 years ago I love this site and it all looks good, I would love to try them all but the sausage Reply. Charles 4 years ago Great idea. Sheri 4 years ago Love this page. Rob Keane 4 years ago Remind me how nuitritional yet simple Kenyan is Reply. Rob Keane 4 years ago Reminded me o the simple nutrional food of Kenya Reply. Mikes Kocholla 4 years ago Thanks for this information about our indigenous food recipes in Kenya.

Suzzy 4 years ago Hi Mark, am with Mwaura on this, am a Kenyan and i can say you have described the foods so well. Good job Reply. Mark Wiens 4 years ago Thank you very much Suzzy, really appreciate it!

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Mark Wiens 4 years ago Thanks Walid! Tunde Ennis 4 years ago What a good food indeed with all it comprise. Mark Wiens 4 years ago Thank you very much for reading Tunde! Mark Wiens 4 years ago Glad you love Kenyan food Mary! Mwaura Mbuthia 4 years ago Nice. Is there a book? Mark Wiens 4 years ago Hey Mwaura, no not yet.

Brenda Andagalu 4 years ago Your comment:I love your work you people Reply. Brenda Andagalu 4 years ago Your comment:I love it. Mark Wiens 4 years ago Thank you Brenda Reply. Mark Wiens 4 years ago Hey Jamie, glad you enjoy visiting Kenya and that you love nyama choma too. Jamie 4 years ago I have just found out the bean is dengu or mung bean, just worked so well with the other flavours, now to try making my own… Reply.

Mark Wiens 4 years ago Ah cool, thanks for sharing Jamie Reply. Caroline Achieng Otieno 5 years ago Cool! Really mouthwatering just looking at the pictures and missing my country!! Mark Wiens 5 years ago Thank you Caroline, Kenya has some great food! Njoki 5 years ago Thank you thank you thank you.

Mark Wiens 5 years ago Hey Njoki, great to hear from you, glad this post about Kenyan food has given you some ideas about what to cook. Mtotoo 5 years ago we cant forget Omena little fish also called Kisumu boys i made fish croquette with them and they turned out fine, okra murenda cooked with dried mushroom and milk from the western side very satisfying with Ugali. Mark Wiens 5 years ago Hey Mtotoo, thank you for sharing the dish, that sounds delicious. Mtotoo 5 years ago ohh yes Murenda is very good especially on rainy season, you will keep going till nothing is left on your plate.

Mtotoo 5 years ago here in UAE there is an amazing meal they roast a whole camel stuffed with a whole lamp, like 15 whole chicken, fish, eggs. Mark Wiens 5 years ago Hey Mtotoo, thank you very much for sharing, that sounds great with dry onion leaves and garlic. Todd Burress 5 years ago Hey do you know how many servings the Githeri makes? I need to know in the next 30 min.

Todd Burress 5 years ago P. Christine Njeru 5 years ago Absolutely fantastic, you forgot viazi karai with the ukwaju tamarind sauce, different varieties of fish, kuku kienyeji. Mark Wiens 5 years ago Thank you for the added input Christine. Laura P 5 years ago I love your website!

Collins Orlando 5 years ago Awesome list!! Kaushik Joshi 5 years ago I am pure vegetarian indian. Kaili 5 years ago Ahhh I love all this food and miss it all massivley. Mark Wiens 5 years ago Thank you Kaili, glad to hear you love Kenyan food too!

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Mark Wiens 5 years ago Thanks Nash Reply. Mark Wiens 5 years ago Thank you Annah Reply. Naomi 5 years ago Hey Mark, Great blog. Mark Wiens 5 years ago Hello Naomi, thank you very much for reading my blog, and for your kind comment. Mark Wiens 5 years ago Hey Annah, thank you for sharing, and for the extra input.

Mark Wiens 5 years ago Haha, good to hear from you Mzee Kidefu, glad you love all these wonderful Kenyan foods as well. Anderson kongoda 6 years ago Hey, if anyone wants someone to cook these foods let me know. Mark Wiens 6 years ago Thanks Anderson! Mark Wiens 6 years ago Hey Shay, great to hear from you, glad you love these awesome dishes too! Erica 6 years ago Thank you for this! Mark Wiens 6 years ago Great to hear that Erica, hope you have a wonderful birthday party with great Kenyan food! Mark Wiens 5 years ago Thanks Samir Reply.

MM 6 years ago Na Mbazi Je? Hata mabuyu, achari, bungo, madafu hiyiko kwenye listi hiyo Reply. Peninah 7 years ago What a great website! Mark Wiens 7 years ago Thank you! Thankx for sharing! Mark Wiens 7 years ago Hey Jacque, glad you enjoyed it, thanks for taking a look!

Benta Chilala 7 years ago I am so proud to be Kenyan!!! Mark Wiens 7 years ago Hey Benta, Kenya is an incredible nation, with lots of great food! Enjoy the cooking! Mark Wiens 7 years ago Hey Caleb, thank you for reading and leaving a comment, and great to hear you also love nyama choma!

Mark Wiens 7 years ago Hey Gitts, thanks for sharing. Winnie 7 years ago I am a fun of nyama choma any time of day. Plus wali is the best, Reply. Mark Wiens 7 years ago Hey Winnie, great to hear you love nyama choma too! Maria M 7 years ago Hi Mark, Good to hear you like Kenyan food and mostly the mbuzi choma, next time you happen to be in Kenya, come for one goat free from my farm, God bless you. Mark Wiens 7 years ago Hey Maria, amazing, thank you very very much, I will have to take you up on your offer in the future!

Mark Wiens 7 years ago Thanks for the addition! Mark Wiens 8 years ago Asante Jecinter! Mark Wiens 4 years ago Thanks for reading Sarah! Christy Technosyncratic 8 years ago That burger is freaking huge! Mark Wiens 8 years ago Thanks Christy! Maize on the streets of Nairobi makes for a great filling snack! Joram 8 years ago wa… markus, i had even forgooten about roast maize.. Mark Wiens 8 years ago You guy, the mahindi choma bwana and that chili salt is the best guy! In a country where approximately 80 percent of the population works in agriculture, Kenyans are deeply connected to the land.

Through inheritance, a large majority own small plots called shamba. They otherwise work as casual laborers on farms. They eat either the crops they grow on their shamba or roots and vegetables grown in nearby fields and sold in local markets or on the side of the road. Yet, maize--a non-indigenous crop--s a staple food to more than 90 percent of Kenyans and the knowledge of growing native crops is rapidly disappearing. Loss of traditions, disappearance of species and intensive agriculture are not particular to Kenya.

What is specific to Kenya however, is the loss of pride in its culture and food. In , in their first participation in the Terra Madre Slow Food event celebrating food traditions throughout the world, more than 50 Kenyans flew to Italy. And there we were, us Kenyans, unable to do the same. The food we eat today put our traditions in the shade. We forgot them, or rather we chose to do so to comply to a culture that wasn't ours.

Millet or sorghum used to be the core of a Kenyan diet, alongside other crops like cassava or yam, and it is still possible to find these foods in some places. I ate millet ugali with a Kalenjin family I visited near Olenguruone, and it was with them that I first tasted mursik , a traditional dairy specialty. A burnt stick of cromwo --a tree famous for its antiseptic properties--is rubbed inside a long and narrow hollow gourd made of dried squash.

Cow's milk is then added and left to ferment for at least three days when the whey is drained, the container closed and shaken regularly. Ash gives the yogurt a smoky and slightly astringent taste, as well as a speckled gray color. Children long for Coca-Cola, though, far more than they do mursik, and for them food means maize and potatoes, not millet or sorghum. Preceding generations consumed these western crops because they represented wealth and prestige.


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But there is no history or tradition attached to maize ugali. There are no stories to tell, no secret to pass down from generation to generation. Maize is brought to the mill to be ground into flour. Millet, on the other hand, used to be ground by hand before the mills appeared. A piece of hardened goat skin was laid on the floor to collect the flour. A flat stone was placed on top of it at an angle. Millet was poured in a curved piece of wood and shaken while blowing air on it to get rid of the dust.