If you are looking for some culinary culture, go towards the coast. Although the variety & standard of restaurants in Nairobi is really good and there are lots of choices, it is always nice to go to the coast and that's a great excuse! ;-)
There is a long association with the Indian Ocean trade which created some very characteristic regional cooking; rice and fish, flavored with wonderful coconut. Tamarind and other exotic spices are the main ingredients.
When Kenyans go out, they go for a big blow-out feast, which is always a huge pile of nyama choma (roast meat). You can order your meat of choice; goat, beef, mutton or chicken, and the way you prefer to eat it; either cooked, fried or roasted.
If you are a vegetarian, don’t worry. Kenya recipes offer a lot to choose from. Besides an abundance of delicious assortments of fruit, there are numerous vegetable dishes to ponder about.
Meat-free pasta dishes, omelet’s, vegetables and potatoes. This East-African country truly has an amazing array of mouth-watering, fantastic vegetarian dishes, topped at the end of a meal with fresh fruit salad. Yummy!!! (As you might guess, I am a Vegetarian ;)
There are also beautiful Italian and Indian restaurants and everything is very fresh & very delicious. So, no worries, there is something for all of us and everybody’s appetite will be satisfied.
Oh, by the way, beer, in Kenya, translates to TUSKER. On a hot day, which there are a lot in Kenya, a cold Tusker beer...mmmmmhh...very hard to beat!! On each bottle it says "Bia Yangu, Nchi Yangu", (My Beer, My Country) and it sports the famous label of an elephant with tusks in black, yellow and white. And YES, I do like it! A LOT!!
The Tusker Lager is brewed using the highest quality malted barley grown in the great, big Kenyan Rift Valley, Hops and Water. What else does it need?! It is fantastic and you’ve got to try a Tusker beer when you are in Kenya. Oh, and don't forget the new Malt version! It's a close call between the two.
For the ones with the biggest sweet tooth, you can go directly to our Kenya Dessert section! OH, and if you have a Kenya recipe that you didn't see here and would like to share with us, PLEASE DO!! (Go to the Kenya Dessert page and submit from there. Thank you.)
2 teaspoons Oil
2 cups tomatoes
2 cups black-eyed peas
1/4 cup peanut butter, natural or roughly grounded peanuts
¼ cup water
Salt & Pepper
Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan.
Mince onions and sauté lightly until translucent. Add diced tomatoes and simmer about 5 minutes to cook down.
Cook the black-eyed peas and add with all remaining ingredients and mix well. Lightly mash the peas with a fork.
Simmer about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add more water as needed to get a stew-like consistency.
Serve with rice.
6 cups chopped fresh collard greens
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 medium onion
1 cup stewed tomatoes
1 green chili pepper (seeded & chopped)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon flour
½ to 1 cup water
Fill the bottom of a saucepan with about an inch of water. Insert strainer filled with greens and bring water to boil over high heat. Turn down if water begins to evaporate. Cover and steam for 8 minutes.
Chop the onion and tomatoes.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onions, tomatoes, chili pepper and sauté until the onion is clear. Reduce heat to low. Add additional oil to prevent sticking.
Mix lemon juice, flour and ½ cup water in a small bowl until well blended.
Pour into onion mixture and mix well. Add ½ cup water, cooked greens, salt and pepper and mix well. Increase heat to medium, cover and cook for about 3 minutes.
Mixed Greens, Kenyan style
1 Serrano or Jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly grounded black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound fresh collard, mustard or turnip greens, chopped
1 bag / 10 ounces frozen chopped greens, thawed
1 pound fresh spinach, chopped
1 bag / 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
2 tablespoons butter
3 large tomatoes, cubed
1 large yellow onion, peeled & chopped
1 cup canned unsweeten coconut milk
4 teaspoons dry roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
Fill a large pot half-full with water. Add the chile pepper, salt, black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the greens and spinach. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the greens and spinach, tomatoes, onions, and milk and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the greens for tenderness and seasoning. Cook for an additional 10 minutes and add more seasoning, if needed. Sprinkle with the peanuts, if desired.
Note: This will go very well with the ugali and it is a true stable in the Kenyan kitchen!
Kenyan Vermicelli Bread
½ pound vermicelli
4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
Prepare the vermicelli according to the package direction and drain.
Heat the coconut milk and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add the vermicelli and ginger.
Beat the egg in a small bowl. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk mixture to the beaten egg, and then stir the egg mixture into the pan with the vermicelli. Whisk in the flour and pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Bake for 1 hour or until soft and spongy. You can cut it into squares or whatever way suits you.
Bill - Hesabu
Bottle - Chupa
Bowl - Bakuli
Bread - Mkate
Butter - Siagi
Coffee - Kahawa
Cup - Kikombe
Egg - Yai
Fish - Samaki
Food - Chakula
Fork - Uma
Fruit - Matunda
Ice - Barafu
Knife - Kisu
Meat - Nyama
Milk - Maziwa
Pepper - Piripiri
Plate - Sahani
Salt - Chumvi
Spoon - Kijiko
Sugar - Sukari
Table - Meza
Tea - Chai
Vegetables - Mboga
Waiter - Ndugu/Bwana
Water - Maji