Culinary Delights of Kenya
When it comes to favourite national dishes, the British have Fish and Chips; the Americans have beef burgers and French (oops! I mean freedom) fries, the Italians have pizza and spaghetti; the Japanese have sushi while the Mexicans have tortillas. What about Kenya? Well there is a wonderful array of delicacies that are unique to this East African country. Let me try my best to give you a taste of Kenyas culinary delights.
Kenya is made of of 42 indegenous tribes as well as immigrant communities from Europe, Arabia and Asia. With such a diverse group of people, there are so many dishes to sample from.
Perhaps the most popular dish is Ugali, which also happens to be Kenyas staple food. This is a kind of porridge that is made up of maize meal. Ugali is usually taken with some fried sukumawiki (kale) and some beef stew. On some special occasions, ugali can be taken with some nyama choma (roasted meat) and kachumbari (a vegetable salad).
Then there is githeri a scrumptious meal that originates from the Kikuyu people, Kenyas largest tribe. This is a mixture of fried beans and maize. Also from the kikuyu, is irio, a dish that is made up of mashed potatoes, vegetables and lentils. This goes down very well with beef stew.
The Luhya, Kenyas second tribe is renowned for their love of chicken. In fact, some Luhya families take some ugali with chicken for heavy breakfast before going out to the shamba to till the land. Later in the evening, they come back to yet another sumptuous meal of ugali and chicken and with some mtere/mrenda (a tasty slippery kind of vegetable). The Luhya also have a taste for the bizarre. During the rainy season, white ants are usually out in plenty. These serve as a great snack for the Luhya people when fried or roasted.
The Luo tribe is Kenyas third largest tribe which originates from the shores of Lake Victoria. There are therefore no prizes for guessing which delicacy ismost famously associated with this tribe - fish! The fishis either fresh or dried and varies in size from the big tilapia or the tiny omena. As always, ugali serves a great complement to this dish
From the coastal region, where most of the Arab community settled, there are so many meals to choose from. But my pick would be the mouth watering chicken biriani (a chicken curry) that is usually taken with spiced rice.
One cannot mention Kenyan dishes without failing to mention chapati.
I could go on and on about the many tasty dishes that can be found in Kenya. Suffice it to say that you would be spoilt for choice if your were to sample all of Kenyas culinary delights
By Brian Mukulu