When visiting a new place, you should not only focus on visiting historical sites. Trying out local foods should always be among the list of things you hope to accomplish. And thank God for Kenyan foods because they are as flavourful as they are numerous. Because of the 43 Kenyan Tribes, there are a number of Kenyan dishes, which you should make a point of at least tasting. Below is a list of common and favourite Kenyan meals.
Depending on the side of Kenya you are in, Matoke can be made purely from plantain bananas or a mixture of the former and potatoes. Matoke is the staple food for the Kisii community, which originally resides in the Nyanza province. It can be made in a variety of ways, by adding or removing certain ingredients such as meat, carrots, spices or vegetables. Matoke is widely available in most hotels so you do not have to travel all the way to the Lakeside to have a taste of it.
Pilau is a most aromatic spin of fried rice, which is best made by the Coastal community. The Swahili make this rice-based dish with traditional herbs which are almost equivalent to the processed version called masala. The dish is best served with chilled coconut milk, and in a large communal tray, which allows you to eat with family and friends.
There is nothing as simple and Kenyan as Githeri. This is a staple dish for almost all communities and can be found in any small eatery on the streets of Nairobi. Githeri is made of two main ingredients namely; corn and beans in the ratio 2:1. The dish is somewhat heavy, so you should not take too much at once. However, it is tasty and filling and a great go-to dish on a slow day.
It would be a crime if you left Kenya without having eaten Chapati. Chapati is almost similar to Indian Roti, but it is bigger and softer and often eaten with stew. It is almost similar to pancakes only that the dough that makes it is solid and kneaded by hand. Chapati is best served hot and can be enjoyed with different stews including meat stews, vegetable stews, grain stews and many more. You can also have chapati as an accompaniment for your tea at breakfast.
Last but not least is a very popular dish called Ugali. Ugali is made purely from corn flour although some people add milk or butter to the cooking water. It is very simple to make and can also be quite heavy, so you should try a small portion first before fully diving into the experience. The versatility of Ugali makes it a favourite because you can enjoy it in so many ways. Common Ugali accompaniments include fish stews, red meat stews, chicken stews, vegetables, sour milk, green grams, and offal.
There are so many more Kenyan foods that you should try during your trip here such as Mukimo, Nyama Choma, and Mandazi. However, the 5 mentioned foods are almost rite of passage in your journey to becoming a fully-fledged Kenyan. We hope you enjoy the experience and you get to get the recipes for yourself. Happy eating and happy visiting.