When traveling to a foreign place, there are very many experiences that you can have. People across the world have diverse cultures and it can be interesting to learn a few things from a foreign culture or country. This is normally one of the things that make travelling fun.
Kenya offers a lot in terms of diversity. Within Kenya, there are 42 different tribes each with its own unique culture and practices. If you are particularly interested in culture, Kenya offers more than you bargained for.
One of the interesting things that sets people or cultures apart is the cuisine. Meals or dishes differ significantly from one place to another. When traveling, it is important that you taste some of the local delicacies offered, you might just fall in love while you are it. When it comes to dishes, Kenya offers a number of recipes that always leaves guests wanting more.
Top 5 Popular Kenyan Dishes for Visitors
Apart from the various attractions in Kenya that you need to explore, below are some of the best Kenyan dishes you need to explore any time you visit Kenya.
Chapatis can be considered as the most special foods in any Kenyan households. This can be largely attributed to the process of preparation which takes time and a lot of love. Chapatis are basically flat and round and made from flour.
The process of making chapatis starts with carefully making the dough before rolling it into smaller, flat circular pieces. They are then fried on a shallow pan to give the outer layer a brown crisp look while the inner layers can be a bit doughy.
They can be served alongside cereals like beans and green grams or served with beef stew or any other stew.
#2 Nyama Choma
Nyamchom, as it is popularly known locally, is another dish you need to try out when you visit Kenya. Nyama choma is roasted or grilled meat. It can be beef or goat meat. What makes this dish different from other grilled meats is the local method in which it is prepared.
It is a common meal at bars and other hang out joints in Kenya. If you do not fancy red meat, you have the choice of kuku choma (chicken) or samaki choma (fish).
Nyamchom can be served with ugali, fries or irio depending on your preference.
#3 Pilau or Biryani
Pilau and Biryani are sophisticated dishes that are most popular in the coastal regions of Kenya. They are both cooked with rice but differ in the preparation and the final result. Pilau uses spicy ingredients like cinnamon, cumin and cardamom among other spices.
Biryani is characterized by different colored rice and a separate biryani stew. The stew can have either beef or chicken depending on your preference. These dishes are guaranteed to have you wanting more and most guests ask for the recipes to take back home.
Ugali is not famous for its taste but because it is Kenya’s staple meal. It is one of the most common dishes you will find in any local home. It therefore follows that it is also a mainstay on the menus of many restaurants or hotels in Kenya.
It is prepared from maize flour and it takes a short time to prepare. As much as the ingredients involved are just maize flour and water, it takes some level of expertise to prepare a good one. Being the staple meal in Kenya, it is normally used as a benchmark to know whether someone can actually cook.
Ugali can be served with vegetables like spinach and cabbage or different stews.
Mukimo or Irio is a local delicacy common in the central part of Kenya. It is a mixture of greenpeas with mashed potatoes. It could also have some vegetables depending on your recipe. It is considered to be very healthy because of the ingredients used.
It is best served with beef stew or any other meat stew.
Bonus: Street Foods
While the above meals are the most popular Kenyan dishes, when you walk in the streets of Nairobi or indeed other parts of the country, it is common to find some foods sold by vendors. You might not have time to go to a restaurant and therefore these foods offer a quick bite to fight off hunger.
Mutura is one of the common street foods worth trying and is popular among the locals. It is similar to a sausage, with diced meat stuffed inside it. Mutura is best cooked on a hot grill. You would usually buy a piece and you can simply deep it in some salt and enjoy it.
Roasted or boiled maize is also common in Kenya. Other common foods are fries and boiled eggs.
Next time you are in Kenya, it is important that you blend in and experience the local culture. You have to try out these popular Kenyan dishes. You will definitely enjoy them and you can carry the recipe back home to enjoy with your family.