Kenyan favourite dishes

Kenya has its own indigenous dishes.  Different  communities have different dishes unique to their livelihood. For example,

Ugali and Fish

Ugali is made up of ground maize flour and water.  It takes the form of a cake after is has been cooked.  Simply cook the flour in boiled water until it hardens.  This is a favourite meal not just for the luos of Nyanza Province but all Kenyans.  Fish is popular in Nyanza because of its proximity to lake Victoria and the coast because of the Indian Ocean.


This is a mixture of boiled maize and beans. This is popular among the kikuyu  community mainly found in central province.


This is a mashed version of the githeri.  It is usually made up of maize and beans mashed with potatoes or cooked bananas.


The luhya of western province love this meal that is basically chicken.  Luhyas are sure to cook for you ingoho if you are considered an important visitor.


At the coast, wali(rice) is a popular meal. It is mostly cooked with coconut milk.  Coconuts are readily available at the coast.



This is a mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions,pepper,parsley and in some cases avocado. It is mostly served with Nyama Choma.

Nyama Choma

This is roast meat. Very popular in Kenya.  Beef is the cheaper meat in Kenya compared to chicken or fish.

Spicy Fried

4 fish

Lime or lemon juice ¼ cup

Garlic, minced 4-5 cloves

Salt-2 teaspoon

Oil-1/2 cup

Add the fish, lime or lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to a large bowl and set aside to marinate for 20-30 minutes

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Remove the fish from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Fry the fish in the hot oil until browned on each side

Serve with ugali sukuma wiki or rice

Sukuma wiki(Kenyan greens)

Oil or fat – 3 tablespoons

Onion chopped or minced

Kale or collard greens finely chopped

Water or stock – 1 cup

Salt or pepper to taste

Heat the oil or far over medium- high flame in a large, heavy bottomed pan or pot.  Add the onion and sauté till translucent.  Add the greens in batches,sautéing each addition until wilted.

Add the water or stock, salt or pepper.  Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently until tender, from 20 to 30 minutes.

Adjust seasoning and serve with a little bit of the froth.

You can add chilli pepper or two with the onions if you like.



White cornmeal flour – 2cups

Bring the water and salt to a  boil in a heavy bottom saucepan. Stir in the cornmeal slowly letting it fall through the fingers of your hand.

Reduce heat to medium low and continue stirring regularly smashing any lumps with a spoon until the mush pulls away from the sides of the pot and becomes very thick, about ten minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool somewhat.

Place the ugali into a large serving bowl. Wet a wooden spoon, form into a ball and serve .

Ugali is served as an accompaniment to meat or vegetable stews, greens or sour milk. To eat ugali, pull off a small ball of mush with your fingers. Form an indentation with your thumb, and use it to scoop up accompanying stews and other dishes.


Corn, cut fresh off the cob or frozen – 2 cups

Cooked beans, any type – 2 cups

Water to cover

Salt and pepper to taste

Add the corn and beans to a large pot with enough water just to cover.  Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Reduce heat to low and simmer until cooked through 8 to ten minutes,

In Kenya dried corn and beans are used.  The beans and corn are put in a pot with water and simmered for several hours until softened. This is one meal eaten by school students during lunch. To give the dish more flavour and texture add some chopped greens sautéed onions, cubed potatoes or cassava, stew meat or a little curry powder.


2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon salt


Sift the flour and the salt into a mixing bowl. Add some water to make a fairly stiff dough, moistening your hands frequently to ease off the bowl.  Shape dough into a ball, cover bowl with a damp cloth and let it stand for at least ½ hour.

Divide the dough into 4 or 5 balls and roll each out into a flat, round disk.  Heat a large creased pan over medium heat until it is hot.  Cook each chapatti until golden, when you see tiny bubbles its time to turn them over.  It should take about a minute for each chapati.  Press them down with a wide pancake turner or a clean towel to cook evenly. Serve hot

You can try different combinations of flour, eg whole grain flour, all purpose flour of whole wheat flour.  Other people prefer low fat soy flour.

Pilau Rice with Beef Stew

Beef stew

1lb beef. Cut meat

2 carrots

2green peppers

4 tomotoes

4 onions


Curry powder

Black pepper

Seasoning salt

Cooking oil

Fry the onions that have been chopped until they turn brown.  Add tomatoes and chopped green pepper. Add carrots, black pepper and coriander.  Wash the cut meat and sprinkle it with seasoning salt.  When the carrots have become slightly soft add the cut meat. When meat is almost cooking add some curry powder and salt to taste.

Pilau rice

1.5lb rice(water according to rice)

0.5lb green peas

2 cans pilau masala(type of spice)


3 tomotoes

Cooking oil


Wash the rice with cold water. Boil the peas until cooked.  Chop onions and then fry them until they turn slightly brown.  Then add tomatoes that have been peeled and cut.  Boil some of the rice water with the pilau masala until it boils.  Add some salt to taste. Add the rest of the water to the fried onions and tomatoes. Then add the green peas when the water stars boiling and the rice. Then let it  cook.

Omena fish stew

Omena is a small 2-inch long fish found in lake Victoria.

3 cups dried omena

4 cups water

½ cup cooking oihl

½  kilo tomatoes

2 large onions chopped

Salt to taste

2 cups of milk

Wash the fish in cold water. Place in a pan and simmer gently in 4 cups of water until the water is nearly evaporated. Drop the tomatoes into boiling water,take them out and peel. Chop the tomatoes. In a large frying pan heat the oil. Stir in the onions and tomatoes and cook gently until soft.  Add the cooked fish and salt.  Stir gently taking care not to crush the fish.  Add milk and simmer for about 30 minutes.  The milk forms the gravy. Serve with ugali.

Mutura and Mahu

This dish originated in central province of Kenya. It is composed of large intestines stuffed with leftover pieces of meat seasoned to taste.

3 tablespoon chopped onions

1/2tsp chopped garlic

1 tablespoon oil

¾ kg boneless beef

Salt and pepper

1 tripe approx 200gms

Cook garlic and onions in oil until the onions are golden brown. Cool them. Cut the beef into small cubes. Mix pepper chilli and salt. Place the mixture in the uncooked tripe and tie b oth ends firmly.  Grill. Slice to serve. Traditionally this is served with ugali or githeri.

Yam Stew

1 medium yam

4 carrots

1 cup cooked beans

1 tsp curry powder

2 onions

½ cup of water

1 tablespoon fat or oil

Wash and peel and cube the yam.  Scrape the carrots and cut into thin rounds.  Peel and slice the onions and fry for a few minutes.  Add curry powder and yams and fry gently then add carrot, beans and water and simmer until cooked. Serve with ugali, rice, mashed bananas or crushed maize.