So what do we eat in Kenya?

On 11 October 2013 by From elephants to kangaroos

More of my articles on the basics of local life. After making you discover the local transportation, today I’ll show you what we eat in Kenya.

Here, there are two basic fundamentals: tea and ugali. If Kenyans have that, they have everything they need!
For tea, it is usually prepared in the morning and in very large quantities, as each family drink a lot of it during the day. It is made from hot water (so far nothing abnormal), is mixed with fresh milk, a big dose of brown sugar and finally the tea. I must admit, I’m not a great fervent disliking sugar and never putting in my the normal time but that aside, he has pretty good taste.

imageThe ugali is vegetable / starch / main meal in Kenya. Basically, it is a kind of polenta but with corn flour, much more compact. For the preparation is quite simple, you mix this special flour in hot water. It does not taste great alone and it is very heavy. In general you eat it with sukuma, a special herb cut into small pieces and mixed with some onions. It’s a bit more tasty when eaten with meat and sauce but it is very rare, the meat is quite expensive here. Personally I’ve never managed to finish my part, it clings to the body! Well, also the quantities served here are huge and so I often struggled to finish my plate.

riz viandeWhen you do not eat ugali, in general it is replaced by rice. It can be eaten with boiled cabbage with curry and other spices and onions and tomatoes (which is very good) or sometimes with meat (but quite rare as I said).

Replacing the meat we eat often enough eggs cooked with onions and tomatoes again (you will never have a meal cooked without these two ingredients) as well as curry and chicken kub. I must admit I am quite a fan especially when it’s Amani who cooks it… she cooks very well!

Outside of that, we find everywhere in the street chips, potatoes back into the oil so fries cooked but much shorter. And last, but not least, chapatis, local crepes but thicker and not exactly the same preparation (if you are nice I will put you soon chapatis recipe online!) or mandasis, looks like donuts but lighter although equally cooked in oil. This is a good snack in the morning when you’re hungry. Hot, one or the other turns out to be your best friend in the absence of bakery… You can also eat chapatis for meals accompanied by meat or excellent sauce of spices or yellow lentil sauce. You will also find the (good) bread in supermarkets and the (good) jam and the margarine.


For fruit, we see often bananas or mangoes hang in small shops everywhere, sometimes the watermelon but outside of that, you must go to large markets for more diversity.

In summary, we must admit that the food is not very varied, unless you have lots of money and can pay you or other meat. I miss vegetables, pasta or fish. I prepared one evening a coconut chicken with pasta and I do not know who between the family or me appreciated it the most! But actually you can not do that every day… I also expected to see the famine everywhere and I was surprised in a good way at this level and it is for me the main thing. I personally have lost a few pounds because the food is very different but overall the food is good and definitely our hunger!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: