What are the traditional foods in Nairobi Kenya? This is the question you may be asking yourself as you plan your visit. Although there are many restaurants the serve all cuisines from Italian, French, Japanese to Chinese, it would be prudent to know what your local host may serve you.
Most of the foods have a traditional background of what most communities took as their stable food. However a few improvements are usually made to go with the changing times, and the bottom line is that most of the foods eaten here African traditional foods
So what are the traditional foods In Nairobi Kenya?
Ugali (hard porridge) is Nairobi’s staple food. Unlike other foods, it is eaten by all communities not only in Nairobi but Kenya. Usually in some communities, it is eaten almost on a daily basis. It may be eaten with beef, pork, fish and green vegetables such as the sukuma wiki (kales).
How to prepare ugali
Boil water on a cooking pan. Add small amount of white maize flour as you continually stir with a wooden spoon. Continue adding the flour as the stirring continues. Once the cake is hard, reduce the amount of heat and mould the cake into a ball. Cover it with a lid for three minutes. Serve when hot.
Ugali may also be prepared by using flour from wheat, millet and sorghum.
Githeri is a traditional food of the Agikuyu people of Kenya. However it is the most eaten food by Nairobians after Ugali. Most of the communities will cook their githeri differently, however what makes the meal githeri is the presence of maize and beans.
How to prepare Githeri
Select good quality of maize and bean seeds and mix them together in the ratio 1:1. Wash them and boil them for about 4 hours until soft. Drain the excess water. Now heat a pan and add some oil. Add onions till golden brown. Then add tomatoes,salt and heat for 3 minutes. Now add the boiled maize and beans mixture. Cook for 4 minutes and serve hot.
Note that before adding the boiled maize and beans, other food stuffs may be added. This may include potatoes, carrots and some of vegetables. Usually to cut on the boiling time, the maize and beans may be soaked overnight.
Mokimo too has its origins with the Agikuyu people. And it is one of the traditional foods in Nairobi Kenya loved by the locals.
How to prepare Mokimo
Mokimo is just prepared from githeri. Usually potatoes are cooked until soft, then the maize and beans mixture is added. The resulting mixture is mashed together to get Mokimo.
This is food that has its origins with the Kamba Community. It is also one of those foods that you will find a number of people enjoying here.
How to prepare Muthokoi
Muthokoi is prepared just like githeri except that, the maize coat removed and there are no beans but in most cases peas.
The vegetable that will accompany ugali in Nairobi is most likely to be sukuma wiki (kales). Sukuma wiki when loosely translated means ‘to push the week’. And Nairobians literary push weeks as they wait for their end of month pay.
How to prepare Sukuma Wiki (kales)
Clean the leaves using running water and chop them into smaller pieces. Heat a cooking pan and add some oil. Add onions and fry until brown. Add tomatoes and salt to your taste and heat for 2 minutes. Add the finely chopped Kales and stir. Cook for three minutes and add salt to taste, serve when hot.
The best traditional foods in Nairobi Kenya will be a plate of Ugali served with beef and sukuma wiki.
Matoke is the food whose origin is Uganda but a delicacy locally. It is prepared from green bananas.
How to prepare Matoke
Peel the bananas and once done boil them. Once soft add salt and serve. Alternatively you can fry them and add potatoes or beef. Sometimes the bananas may be mashed to for a cake just like ugali.
Omena is a delicacy among many Nairobians especially the Luo but also being eaten by other communities. It is usually eaten with ugali. It is a species of fish the size of fingerlings.
How to Prepare Omena
Sort the fish by removing dirt and other objects. Now boil water and remove it from the heat. Add the omena into hot water into the hot water and stir for a minute. Drain the water away. Heat a pan and add oil. Add onions until brown. Add the fish and fry. After 3 minutes, add tomatoes and salt. Cook for 1 more minute and taking from the heat add a few spoons of lemon juice.
How about ordering a cup of porridge for breakfast? Some people love taking this for breakfast. And an African cup of porridge. Other foods you will also enjoy including boiled sweet potatoes and arrow roots. This may be served with tea or porridge.
Other traditional foods in Nairobi
You will be surprised to learn that Nairobians also take other foods that are eaten all around the world. These include;
- Chips (French fries), which are often eaten with fried chicken or fish.
- Nyama Choma (Roast meat). This is a delicacy that is loved by many especially those that drink. Most of the time it is served with Ugali. However it could be eaten alone.
- Baggia is also a delicacy which often substitutes French fries and is best prepared by the Indian community in Kenya.
- Wali is also one of the foods loved by many in Nairobi. Its origins are the Swahili culture of coastal Kenya.
I cannot give all the details the traditional foods in Nairobi Kenya. The best thing to do is to come and find for yourself. And there are many foods you will come across here.
Do you love this article, then share it to friends and family.