Tanzania’s Swahili Delicacies – What Not To Miss

You might suppose that Swahili delicacies has typical scrumptious African tastes and textures, however what you may not know is that it’s additionally influenced by Arabian, Indian and Portuguese flavours. Tanzania’s place as a main cease on historical commerce routes has meant that its delicacies has borrowed from in all places. The result’s an fragrant and attractive vary of dishes that you must pattern in your Tanzanian journey.

Swahili delicacies is pleasantly filling, extremely fragrant and mouth-wateringly flavourful. That’s as a result of it’s primarily based on a variety of staples like maize, cassava, rice, wheat, sorghum or beans – that’s the filling half.  It incorporates the heady aromatics of Zanzibar, the Spice Island, so that you’ll discover that clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemongrass and black pepper are used liberally. And since one among its specialities is slow-cooking, flavours are superbly blended and absorbed, and every little thing turns into yummily tender.


Meat is an on a regular basis meals though vegetarians gained’t starve.

In the event you’re planning a severe style tour of Tanzania, you’ve acquired to pattern these fashionable Swahili dishes:


Some contemplate it Tanzania’s nationwide dish as a result of it’s straightforward to throw collectively and low cost to make. It’s a standard, filling aspect dish and you can also make it with cornmeal or sorghum flour and water. It has a polenta-like consistency, and in the event you make up a thick batch you possibly can truly use it as edible cutlery: it’s acquired sufficient oomph to scoop up your curry.


You’ll have already heard of pilau as a result of it’s a favorite all around the world however the Swahili model squeezes as many Zanzibar spices into it as potential; clove, cinnamon and cardamom are the important thing components, giving it a aromatic delicacy and heat. You prepare dinner it like a risotto. Gently frying your selection of meat or greens, onions, garlic and spices collectively. Add the water and rice and, identical to with any risotto, hold stirring – one distraction and also you’ll be scraping it off the underside of the pan. Eat pilau by itself as a easy, tasty dish or with just about anything.


NyamaChoma (“charred meat”) is a well-liked group meals (vegetarians, look away now). Take your meat (often beef, rooster or goat) marinate in garlic, lemon juice, curry powder and turmeric and slow-roast it till it’s tender. Serve it with rice or beans and there’s your night meal. It could have taken all day to prepare dinner however it’s definitely worth the wait.

Wali na maharage

Veggies, wali na maharage is for you. It’s a filling bean stew that’s each candy, flavoursome and spicy. Use dried moderately than canned beans (however don’t overlook to soak ‘em first!) however canned beans will do the trick if that’s all you will have. Right here comes the enjoyable bit. Cook dinner your beans then sautée them with onions, ginger and tomatoes. The candy smoothness comes from including coconut milk and you may go freestyle by including your individual twist. Attempt piling in tasty stuff like spinach. You’ll find yourself with a wealthy, flavourful stew could possibly be a aspect dish to meat in the event you actually can’t do with out meat, however it’s sufficiently big to take centre stage in your plate, together with some rice, too.

Chipsi mayai

Chipsimayai is Swahili avenue meals at its most satisfying, nice in the event you’re ravenous and need one thing tasty, filling and NOW. It’s laborious to explain however in the event you consider it as a mash-up of sautéed potatoes and omelette, with fried onions and bell peppers thrown in, you gained’t be far mistaken.  Tanzanians have turned leftovers it into an artwork kind.

Ndizi na nyama

Meat and bananas appear very, very mistaken however within the Swahili the stew known as ndizi na nyama it’s very, very proper. That’s as a result of it’s not the candy, yellow bananas we use for banoffi pie which might be used. As an alternative unripe, starchy plantains have a kind-of-meaty, kind-of-not-meaty texture which types the idea of the stew. Ndizi na nyama blends these plantain plus onion, garlic, tomatoes and coconut milk.  There’s often meat (though it’s not essential) which is cooked gently to soak up the flavour of any spices that you simply occur to have readily available. Serve on a mattress of rice and you’ve got an enormous plate of consolation meals.

Tanzanian drinks

Tanzania is espresso nation and also you’ve loads of alternatives to grind and put together your individual brew at one of many many little espresso farms that nestle within the fertile foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Tea-lovers are catered for, too. The Tanzanian local weather can be excellent rising climate for a variety of fruits which might be pressed into refreshing and candy juices; pineapple, orange and papaya are fashionable. Native beer is reasonable and good – strive Kibo Gold or Serengeti however remember that in Muslim areas you possibly can solely discover alcohol in vacationer locations like inns.

No matter you’re as much as in Tanzania you’re prone to work up an urge for food. However don’t fear, Swahili delicacies is greater than a match for even the largest appetites.

About Viva Africa Excursions

With Viva Africa Excursions you possibly can select to tour in small teams or unbiased personal journey. We’re primarily based in Moshi on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, we’re an ideal centre for a tour of Kilimanjaro, however that’s just one journey of many.