10 Indigenous Kenyan dishes to try out this Easter

Christians all over the world are taking their time to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, always a very good time for spiritual rejuvenation. While some of us see it as a time of worship, others also view it as a time of getting together with family to celebrate. You will be surprised to learn that most people associate Easter with yummy food and have been marking their calendars for that time they will eat their favorite food as they celebrate with other people. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I tend to think this applies to women and children as well. People will be very benevolent to you if they associate you with good food.
When thinking about giving your family a culinary treat this Easter, forget about the exotic food, the pizzas and lasagna of this world just let your mind wander to the dishes you have never tried or have not cooked in a long time. Those that you ate as a kid or the dishes that were served at your friend’s house and loved them although you never cooked it in your home because it was their traditional dish. You could introduce your kids to some of the dishes eaten in other parts of the country, an excellent way to intrigue them and demystify other tribes as well.

1.Brown Ugali

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There is so much anxiety at the moment in the country because maize meal is so expensive and many people are worried that they may not be able to afford it. As we wait for better prices, why not try brown ugali that is made from millet. You can get the flour and the nearest posho mill. Alternatively, you can use ugali made from cassava flour. You will be surprised to know that that ugali made from millet and cassava is very nutritious and tasty as well. You can serve it with meat stew or vegetables of your choice.

2. Aliya
This is a traditional meal from Nyanza, but anyone who loves meat will enjoy it very much. You can use cow, lamb, goat or wild game meat to make the dish. The dish is prepared by first drying the meat in the sun for about five days, and when it is completely dry, you can fry it with onions and ghee. You can serve it with vegetables and ugali.

3.Irio
Most people who were not born in Central Kenya tend to confuse this dish with mukimo. They will cook irio and proudly say that they have made mukimo for the kids, but when you look at the serving bowl you see irio. The latter consists of corn, peas, and potatoes. You first boil all the ingredients then drain any extra water when done. You mash the boiled ingredients, and when done you can serve as it is or fry in using oil and onions. You can serve it with tea, nyama choma (grilled meat), beef stew or chicken stew.

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4. Imere
This is a traditional dish from western Kenya, and most people have probably never heard about it, but the ingredients are definitely familiar. It entails boiled bananas and once done you mash them until fine, then you add some sugar and mix until you can no longer see the sugar particles. You can serve it with tea or coffee for breakfast or as a main meal.

5. Mahamri and Mbaazi
When I lived in Mombasa County six years ago, this dish would make my morning every day. It consists of pigeon beans that are cooked with coconut milk and other ingredients. Mahamri, are like mandazi, and they are also cooked using ingredients such as coconut milk, flour, sugar, milk, and cardamom.

6.Viazi Karai
This coastal dish will make you a darling to your kids. It is basically a dish of boiled potatoes that are coated using butter made of gram flour, white flour, and turmeric powder or saffron. You can serve it with any chutney of your choice for breakfast or as a side dish.

7.Mushenye
This is the western Kenya version of mukimo, but instead of using Irish potatoes with the maize and beans, they use sweet potatoes when mashing it. It is very tasty, and you can serve it with tea for any of the meals.

8.Mishikaki
This is basically marinated meat on skewers and grilled with average heat. It is very sweet, and you can serve it with some fries or roasted potatoes with some kachumbari ( traditional salad consisting of onions, tomatoes, carrots and pepper)

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9. Smoked fish
You can get smoked fish from markets such as Gikomba or any other open air market. You will have to tenderize it a little by outing the fish in a pan with boiled water. Fry other ingredients such as tomatoes, coconut milk, onions and curry powder in another pan then add then now soft fish. Cook for some few minutes and fish.

10. Meat/Chicken Kebabs
Most of us buy kebabs from restaurants and hardly try to make them in our homes. This Easter you should try this dish all you need is beef or chicken, ingredients such as coriander, onions and curry powder. Cook the meat to perfection then roll them into sausage shapes, put in a bowl with two beaten eggs and deep fry.

Bon appetite and Happy Easter to you!

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