Certain foods are considered celebratory or are a ‘must’ at festive occasions in Kenya. Albatros Travel tells us that any Kenyan holiday feast is not complete without a platter of nyama choma (roasted meat). Goat and beef are the two most common proteins served, but chicken (kuku choma) and fish (samaki choma) are also valid choices. Nyama choma is often served with ugali and kachumbari.
Ugali is the most common Kenyan food staple. It is made by adding cornmeal to boiling water then cooking while stirring with a wooden spoon until it turns into a dense block, which is then molded into a small mountain. The heaviness of the meal is very filling and preferred by men who do heavy work.
Kachumbari consists of a few slices of fresh tomato and onions, sprinkled with lemon juice. Coriander leaves are added to makes it spicy.
Any party is undeniably incomplete without chicken on the menu. For especially the Luhya tribe, failure to slaughter a chicken for a visitor is a sign of disrespect in Kenya.
Mukimo is one of the most famous dishes in Kenya, a Kikuyu staple but prepared throughout the country during celebrations and events. Green peas and potatoes are boiled and then mashed up with spinach before some green maize (corn) is added to give the mash some extra starch and texture. This hearty and heavy Kenyan food is famous to eat with roasted nyama choma meat or just some Kenyan-style stew.
Pilau is a glorified combination of rice cooked with flavor bursting spices like cumin, cardamon, cinnamon, and cloves. The fragrant rice is fantastic to eat with a form of meat stew and Kachumbari. Biriyani is another form of spiced rice that is a popular Kenyan food on the coast. The island of Zanzibar is well known for some of the best Pilau and biryani!
Chapatis can be considered more of a special form of food and a good treat during events, celebrations and festivals. This is perhaps owing to the tedious work that goes into making them. Chapatis are made with a flour dough that is wound into a coil before being rolled into a flat round circle. The dough is then fried on a skillet accompanied by plenty of oil so it becomes crispy on the edges but remains moist and doughy on the interior. Chapatis go well with beef stew and vegetables or even just rolled up with a cup of tea!
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