In the East of Africa lies a beautiful country with a vibrant and diverse culture – we’re talking about Kenya! When it comes to the foods of Kenya, there’s no singular dish that can be said to define the nation’s cuisine.
Different communities have their own native foods, which makes trying every kind of cuisine in Kenya all the more fun. That being said some staple foods across the country are maize and other cereals such as millet and sorghum, to name a few.
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Most Popular Kenyan Dishes
Undoubtedly one of the most popular dishes in Kenya. This also happens to be a staple diet for most people of Kenya. It is made from cornmeal which is added to warm water and heated until it slowly turns dense.
The dish looks like a thick and dense paste of cornmeal. The dish has the consistency of a heavy dough. Locals are known to consume ugali with a few cooked vegetables or a saucy stew.
Another very delicious dish to try out in Kenya. This is a combination of cooked rice with various spices like cloves, cumin, cardamom and cinnamon.
The rice is usually fragranced with a beautiful aroma and is a very filling dish. It is consumed with a type of meat stew along with a few slices of tomatoes and onions. The spices used in the rice is what gives it that unique taste.
Nyama Choma is Swahili for grilled beef or goat. Kenyans are formidable meat eaters and you will find them in open grills all over the country. Fish and Chicken are also popular choma options.
Nyama choma is slowly grilled over an open fire or using charcoal and is best served with ugali which we have previously listed. A nyama choma experience is one you will definitely remember for a lifetime.
It creates memories and everlasting impressions. It is perfect to eat with an ice cold beer or your favourite glass of wine.
This is such a delicious salad which is made of thin slices of fresh and ripe tomatoes, green and red peppers, onions, coriander and lemon juice.
Kachumbari is best served alongside nyama choma or pilau. A perfectly refreshing summer salad to cool you down.
Githeri is a very simple yet nourishing dish which comes from the Kikuyu community in Kenya.
The corn and beans which make up the dish are boiled and then fried to make this yummy dish. It can be served alongside rice or chapatis.
You really need to try mukimo if you are in Nairobi. No occasion is complete without it! It originates from the Kikuyu people as well.
It is a dish made with mashed potatoes with added ingredients such as corn, spinach and peas that elevate both its flavour and make it very nutritious. It is best served as a side dish to any meaty stew.
Whether you love bananas or not, this is a dish you must eat. Matoke is a household meal in Kenya and is prepared using the finest East African highland bananas.
It is made by frying bananas along with onions and tomatoes and enjoyed with any sauce of your choice. It is a dinner dish and you can enjoy it with beef stew or as a wholesome meal on its own.
Omena or silver fish is also known as Silver Cyprinid. A beloved delicacy that graces tables all across the country! Walk in any market and you will see scores of baskets filled with omena ready for sale.
Omena is rich in calcium and an essential element in forming healthy bones and teeth. It is particularly popular amongst the Luo community.
In western Kenya, the Lua community will cook you ingoho if they consider you to be a respected guest and visitor. Traditional preparation involves roasting a whole chicken until it is brown and then eating it.
The more modern versions of ingoho are braised with onions, spices and tomatoes and then served.
A Swahili phrase which translates as “stretch the week” this is a very popular household meal. It is made with Kale or Collard greens and other locally available spices.
It is prepared by braising it with tomatoes and sautéed onions and finally a salt seasoning.
Mutura is a blood sausage with a controversial reputation. It is a fire-grilled delicacy made from cow, lamb or goat intestines stuffed with a fresh blood mixture and then grilled.
Mutura closely resembles Bratwurst but is much richer in flavour. Matura is also heavily seasoned and usually only sold when it is dark as it is usually consumed as a night time snack.