African Food and Drink

This will be a very short list, because I’ve only been to Kenya, which is just one country on a huge continent, and most of the food I had there was home-cooked by an Irish-Kenyan, barbecued, or in an Indian or Chinese restaurant. So I’m hardly an expert, but I can recommend a few things.

Most important was the amount and variety of fruit and vegetables, and fish – I was mostly on the Swahili coast, after all. Meat was usually ‘just’ barbecued or roasted on an open fire. Lobster and prawns featured heavily. The beef was always very good; fresh and lean, much lighter (less red) in colour than in Europe, probably because no artificial colouring had been added.

Nyama choma (grilled meat) is probably the favourite Kenyan dish. Grilling is one of the oldest ways to cook meat. Almost every tribal group in Kenya has a long history of cooking meat over an open fire. Early Arab settlers, too, brought their tradition of barbecuing to Kenya. The meat used for nyama choma is definitely and has to be fresh.
In a typical nyama choma restaurant, slabs of fresh meat are hung from poles. Customers inspect the meat and choose the piece they want. It is cut, weighed, and then grilled over a charcoal fire. The more upscale restaurants have butcheries on-site.
Before it is grilled, the meat is sprinkled with spices. When it is cooked, it is cut into small chunks and placed in a bowl. It is served with another bowl filled with salt. Diners dip the meat into the salt before eating it.
Although beef is the most popular meat used in nyama choma, goat, lamb, zebra, and antelope are also prepared in this way.

A popular side dish is Kachumbari.



Jeera Chicken

Kuku Paka (Kenyan chicken curry)

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