One of the best ways to experience a new culture is through its traditional cuisine. In Tanzanian food, spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger and coconut milk are commonly used. Rice and ugali, along with beans, okra and spinach, are a few staple foods found in the country. Furthermore, you will find at least seventeen varieties of plantains here, which are generally fried as chips or incorporated in soup and stews. During your visit to Tanzania, here are some traditional dishes you must relish with your family and friends.
Ugali is Tanzania’s national dish and the most common food eaten in the country. It is usually made with beans, vegetables, fish and soup. It is made by mixing flour with warm water. To elevate the flavours and add nutritional value, people generally combine two or more types of flours, like maize and millet or sorghum.
Wali wa Nazi
Another staple Tanzanian food is rice, which is cooked with coconut milk and water to make Wali wa nazi, a fragrant rice dish served with curries and stews. It is also a popular dish in Uganda and Kenya.
Wali na Maharage
This is a rice and beans dish commonly made for dinners, holidays and social events. It is prepared by cooking the beans and then adding the rice to cook them together. Nowadays, the beans and rice are cooked separately, and the beans are roasted with oil, carrots, green peppers, onions and tomatoes, along with a lot of spices.
Mchuzi wa Biringani
This is an easy-to-make Tanzanian dish with eggplant as the star ingredient. The vegetable is cut into small pieces and fried. You can even add carrots, onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. People sometimes add potatoes to thicken the dish. Additionally, if you want to elevate the flavours, ask the chef to add coconut milk to the broth.
Mchuzi wa Samaki
This is a famous Tanzanian stew prepared with fish. Depending on the region, it is made with different kinds of fish, such as kambale and migebuka. Other ingredients used in the dish are carrots, coconuts, green peppers, onions and tomatoes.
In recent times, tourists have made this Tanzanian dish quite popular. Despite it being called a “pizza”, it’s actually more similar to a murtabak. This simple dish is prepared by first cooking the spiced meat (ground beef or chicken) mixture and then using it as a topping along with cheese, mayonnaise and several vegetables of your liking. The stuffing is placed in the centre of the crepe, which is then folded on the sides. Next, the crepe is fried in grease until it’s crispy. Once ready, you can enjoy it with mango chilli sauce.
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