When it comes to Kenya there isn’t a specific dish that represents the whole of Kenya.This is because the country is dominated by various tribes, approximately 46, that have different meals to describe their culture.Based on that fact Kenya is very rich in cuisines that are community based should be a factor to embrace. Personally I am a Kenyan and i adore all types of cuisines that originate from my country.
One of the staple foods of Kenya is Ugali. Ugali is basically made from maize flour and water. It is very common among all the tribes in Kenya because it has a satisfying factor and its very affordable for all classes. Ugali basically goes well with anything from meat stew to fried eggs to sukuma wiki which is a Swahili word used to describe kales or collards.
Mukimo is a dish that originates from the Kikuyu Community. It is basically made from Mashed potatoes, maize which can be substituted by peas or black beans, pumpkin leaves. As you can see it is rich in vitamins and carbohydrates. Mukimo always goes well with beef stew,it compliments its Natural flavor. Actually during Kikuyu traditional weddings Mukimo can not miss in the menu.
Mursik is a traditional fermented milk that identifies the Kalenjin community. It can be made from cows or goats milk and is fermented in a specially designed calabash gourd. The gourd is lined with sooth from specific trees so as to add flavor to the milk. Mursik is usually consumed with Ugali or on its own. To maintain its flavor it is often stored under room temperature.
Lets take a trip to the Lake side, Kisumu. Kisumu is bordered by lake Victoria which enhances fishing as an economic activity among the region. It is commonly known as the residing area of the Luo community whose staple food is fish in form of Tilapia commonly known as retch to Silver Cyprinid commonly known as Omena,Obambla(i couldn’t find its English name) and mouth brooder which is commonly known as Fulu. All these fish can be prepared as stew or fried dishes that go well with ugali and greens.
Omena served with ugali and greens
oven baked tilapia
Matoke is known as Uganda’s staple food but it is also common in Kenya. It comprises mostly of raw Bananas which can be cooked in various ways to compliment the dish. Matoke can be prepared as stew and infused with meat to compliment the flavor, can be prepared as mashed matoke and it can also be boiled.
Another one of Kenyan dishes is Chapati. Growing up i remember chapati was usually made on special occasions,when we had guests, Christmas, Birthdays and on holidays. This tradition still lives on in Kenya. During special occasions you can not miss to have a meal of chapati. Chapati is very versatile because it goes well with various stews read bean stew,beef stew,green gram stew and it also can be used as a breakfast item.
Githeri is another dish that can be found in Kenyan cuisine. It is believed that it originated from the Kikuyu community but it has been accepted into many communities. Githeri is also considered as Kenya’s staple food because it is affordable. It comprises of maize and beans. The Kamba community call it Muthokoi, this is majorly because for them they use skinless maize. Often the githeri can be prepared as stew or eaten as a boiled dish.
Sukuma wiki is a Swahili word that means push the week used to describe kales or collards. The demand of sukuma wiki has created business opportunity to women commonly refereed to as mama mboga who supply the people with sukuma and other vegetables like tomatoes,onions etc. Sukuma wiki is often fried and eaten mostly with Ugali and a meaty accompaniment.
Check out my next blog i will highlight in depth on how to prepare these Kenyan dishes.