The Best Kenyan Food Recipes

Which are the best Kenyan recipes? Kenya is a country of great diversity. With more than 42 tribes come numerous cultures that practice different traditions, which goes down to the cuisine synonymous with a given tribe.

Perhaps that explains why Kenya does not have a national cuisine. Like we have a national language Kiswahili, no meal is Kenyan.

However, there are those meals that you will never miss in a Kenyan home, be it among the privileged or the poor you will never miss Ugali. So when you hear stories of hunger in Kenya, it is not because there is no food, but because there is no maize for Ugali.

On the other hand, there are different types of food you can easily prepare in your kitchen. And that is what this article is about. We take a look at the best Kenyan food recipes.

9 Best Kenyan Food Recipies

1. Ugali


Ugali (Kenyan cake) is made of water and maize flour. It’s a meal that is synonymous with almost every Kenyan household. If you lack Ugali, you are considered to be hungry. So how is Ugali Prepared? Preparing the Kenyan cake is easy, like 1,2,3. Read on;


  • 4 cups of cornmeal or maize flour
  • 8 cups of water

How To Prepare

In a clean pan, bring the water to a boil. And then, start adding the maize flour in small amounts as you stir. Keep on adding the flour and stirring until a thick paste is formed.

Now mash the lumps that have formed until smooth. It has to be thick and soft like mashed potatoes.

After it is thickened and smooth, leave it to cook for a minute and turn it so it can cook on both sides.

Continue for three to five minutes until you smell the sweet aroma. Your ugali is ready.

Cover it to keep it warm, or you can serve it immediately. Serve with vegetable stew, beef, or a sauce.

2. Githeri


Githeri is a meal made of maize and beans. You get to decide if you want to use green maize and beans or in their dry form. Here’s how to prepare Githeri.


  • 2 cups of maize, dry or fresh
  • 2 cups of beans
  • Two large onions
  • Three ripe tomatoes
  • 2tbs cooking oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • Peper(optional)

How to Prepare

In a clean pan, boil the mixture until well cooked. Note that if you are using fresh grains, they cook faster, but if they are dry, it may take longer.

Also, you can soak for an hour before you start boiling If the maize and beans are dry.

After they are cooked and soft, Heat oil in a pan (Sufuria), add chopped onions and fry the onions till they are golden brown.

Add the tomatoes.

Simmer the mixture for three minutes, adding the pepper and salt. Add Githeri and mix well.

Cook for five to ten minutes. Serve when hot. You can also add vegetables or potatoes to your Githeri; it’s optional.

3. Best Kenyan Food Recipe – Pilau


Pilau is a Swahili dish that is easy to prepare and very sweet if done well.


  • 3/4kg pure Pishori
  • 1/2kg boiled boneless beef
  • One medium-size onion
  • One garlic
  • Three Royco cubes, preferably beef flavor
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Four glasses of boiled water
  • Three ripe tomatoes
  • 2tablespoons pilau masala
  • Two tablespoons of cooking oil

How to Prepare

Fry your onions until brown in a clean pan, then add garlic and pilau masala.  The beef cooks for 60 seconds before adding Royco cubes, salt, and tomatoes.

Add water after the mixture has turned into a thick paste. After the mixture has boiled, wash the rice and add it to the mix.

Cook the rice for 15-20 minutes until it is soft.

4. Jollof Rice



  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 13-15 ounces of tomato sauce
  • Three red pepper
  • One onion
  • ½ cup of water
  • Two teaspoons thyme
  • One tablespoon of curry powder
  • Two chicken bouillon cubes
  • 31/2 cups of rice
  • A pinch of salt

How to Prepare

Blend the chopped onions, pepper, tomato sauce, and ½ a cup of water until smooth, then set aside.

In a clean saucepan, heat the oil.

Add the blended mixture; add rice, curry powder, bullion cubes, thyme, and salt.

Mix and let it cook for 20 minutes. Continue mixing again and keep on cooking for another 20 minutes. Mix again all this while adding more water.

Your cooked rice is ready when it has turned red-orange. You can serve it with your preferred stew.

5. Matoke



  • Four slightly ripe plantains, peeled and sliced 1⁄2″
  • Thick Juice of 1 lemon 3 tbsp.
  • Unsalted butter, two cloves of garlic.
  • Thinly sliced one small green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped.
  • One small yellow onion, thinly sliced.
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp. coriander seeds.
  • 1⁄4 tsp. Cumin seeds.
  • One cup of beef stock.
  • 1⁄3 cup roughly chopped cilantro.
  • One tomato, cored and chopped.
  • Kosher salt.
  • Freshly ground black pepper.

How to Prepare

Stir the plantains, lemon juice, and 3 cups of boiling water in a bowl. After the water is cooled, drain the plantains and set them aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan overheat. Fry garlic, pepper, and onion until soft.

Add curry, coriander, and cumin. Add the plantains, the stock, cilantro, tomato, and salt, and bring it to a boil.

With medium heat, cook, slightly covered, until the plantains are tender; this should take about 20 minutes. Uncover and lightly mash; keep warm.

6. Kaimati



  • ½ kg home baking flour.
  • One egg.
  • ¼ teaspoon dried yeast.
  • Oil for deep frying.
  • ¼ teaspoon of cardamon or more to taste

How to Prepare

  1. Beat the eggs, pour them into the center of the flour mixture, then start mixing with your clean hands.
  2. As the dough forms, add in some water and continue kneading. Knead until there are no lumps.
  3. Cover and set aside for 45 minutes, so the mixture rises.
  4. Heat oil and drop the batter in using fingertips, a ball at a time.
  5. Cook until light brown, and then remove and drain.

Serve with tea or coffee and enjoy it.

7. Best Kenyan Food Recipe – Kenyan Beef Stew


A typical Kenyan beef stew served with Ugali is everyone’s favorite.


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • One onion, chopped.
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced.
  • 1 tsp curry powder.
  • Half kg of meat cubes.
  • One beef stock cube Salt to taste.
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • Three tomatoes, diced.
  • 4 cups of water.
  • Coriander leaves, chopped.

How to Prepare

  1. Clean your meat cubes and heat them in a pan. Cook until the water is dried, add more water, and cover it until it evaporates completely.
  2. Add oil to the beef fry until it’s golden brown.
  3. Add onions and cook for 30 seconds, after which you can add salt, pepper, tomatoes, and water. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Garnish with coriander leaves and set aside as you prepare ugali.

Serve your meal when hot.

Related: Kenyan Foods: Types of foods Kenyans eat.

8. Nyama Choma


Nyama Choma is, without a doubt, one of Kenya’s favorite.


  1. 1 kg meat, cut into bite-sized chunks.
  2. 3 Tbs Cooking Oil.
  3. Two cups of warm water.
  4. 2 Tbsp salt.
  5. 1 Tbs ginger crushed.
  6. 1 Tbs crushed garlic.
  7. Grated raw papaya.

 How to Prepare

Clean the meat and pat it dry. Blend all the ingredients, pour the mixture on the flesh, and massage it well.

Let the meat sit for 4 hours.  Meanwhile, prepare your grill and have it hot. Put the chicken onto skewers on, then place it directly on top of the fire and allow it to cook until the meat has a bit of burn and color.

Turn the meat regularly, so it is evenly cooked on all sides. With a clean brush, paste the meat with some oil or some leftover marinades as it continues to prepare to add flavor and prevent it from drying up during cooking.

9. Kachumbari


Kachumbari is a mixture of fresh tomato and onion, a salad that is prepared perfect side dish to pair with your grilled meats! It can also be served with Githeri and other meals.


  • ½ medium red onion, diced.
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • Two large tomatoes.
  • One small chili (optional).
  • ½ lime, juiced (approx 1 Tbsp juice).
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

How to Prepare

Put the diced onions in a bowl, massage in some salt, cover them with water and let them soak for 10 minutes. On the other hand, chop the tomatoes and chili in a medium casserole.

Drain the onions and mix them into the tomato mixture. Mix them well and taste the salad. You can add more lime and salt to your preferred taste.

Final Thoughts On the Best Kenyan food Recipe

The above recipes are just a few of the natural Kenyan recipes you are bound to see in Kenya. As explained at the beginning, Kenya has over 42 tribes, which means there is an equivalent number of recipes according to each tribe.

So if you would like to sample Kenyan food, the recipes above are an excellent place to start.


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