tanzania cuisine guide

Best Tips to Know about Tanzania Cuisine and Eating Culture

Tanzania cuisine is among the best experience while travel to Tanzania. You can find restaurants and hotels in most places of the country, the menu is generally fixed and the food real taste good. In almost all the lodges, there are lunch buffets with a wide variety of dishes from raw vegetables, Italian spaghetti, European omelettes, English hard-boiled eggs, French potatoes, German-style sausages, cooked or grilled and stewed meat dishes, vegetables of all kinds, grilled fish (less often), dairy products, desserts and lots of fruit.

Above all, Tanzania makes nice swahili food, stomach-friendly dishes at a very reasonable price: From Chips Mayai (Fried chips with eggs) to Ugali and Mchuzi (platters of bean stew with a few pieces of meat mixed in them), Tanzania makes the best cuisine that you will wish to experience and taste.

Tanzania Meat Food

Used by many in a country where people really have their meat even in minimal proportions, it is used a lot in the composition of meals like rice, cooked banana, ugali, chips etc. At the top of consumption come beef and goat, followed by chicken and pork and lamb at the bottom.

Very popular today with locals and visitors to Tanzania, Nyama Choma (literally "grilled meat") has in a way and become one of the best and popular dish in Tanzania. Originally, it was simply barbecued pieces of goat meat accompanied by grilled banana.

Now, some most of the places in Tanzania (like Kwa Morombo in Arusha) specialize in goat, beef with Ugali or Chips. Local places that makes nyama choma apart from more upscale places, it is better not to expect a feast: the meat is often tough and hygiene can be little poor.

Ugali (Cooked corn polenta)

Ugali is the most common dish in Tanzania and East Africa is ugali. Ugali is a kind of cooked corn polenta (mash). Taken on its own, it doesn't have much taste. This is why it is usually accompanied by pieces of meat, chopped vegetables or beans. In this case, and depending on the accompaniments, ugali takes various names: ugali nyama kwa mchicha, ugali samaki kwa mchicha, ugali kuku kwa mchicha (on average 25,000 Tsh per dish).

Some of the Hotels in Arusha sometimes prepare it once so that our customers know what it is. Otherwise, enjoy your stay in the Arusha region: the Coffee Lodge Hotel makes best ugali cooks on their swahili lunch. Otherwise, you can fall back on rice and potatoes.

Pilau (Spicy Rice)

Pilau (spicy rice), and the Biriani rice (Indian style rice dish). Pilau food is popular around the country and used by many people especially on special occasions i.e wedding. It's easy to find breathtaking Tanzanian cuisine and pilau is one of it. In general, it's good and convenient for anyone to eat pilau at midday.

Several small Indian restaurants in the cities (Arusha, Moshi, Dar es Salaam, and in the islands) have nice Pilau (sometimes with vegetables rather than meat), and rice masala (rice mixed with a spicy sauce).

Chips Mayai (French fries mixed with fried eggs)

Can be served as a street food around many places in a country as well as high places restaurant. Chips Mayai is the favorite food for many people in Tanzania and those who are visiting the country. This custom food special made from Tanzania is a result of French fries mixed with eggs (mostly two eggs) and then fried for a short time before it get ready for eating.

This food is very popular in big cities like Dar-es-salaam, Arusha and Mwanza and famous for young people. It is always served with or accompanied by salad and grilled portion of meat (Mshikaki).

Bites and Take away Food in Tanzania

Along the sidewalks, and everywhere in the markets, vendors offer Maandazi, Vitumbua, Chapati and some good Donuts when they are fresh (that is to say in the morning), grilled corn (Maindi ya kuchoma) on the cob or fried yam. You can also try sambusas, a kind of English meat pie in small fried pieces (in the taverns).

In the city, you can  find more and more local fast-food versions where predominate fish, pork  and chips. It has even become very fashionable among young people in recent years to have fast food around the street.

Vegetarian Food in Tanzania

In summary, if you are a vegetarian, you will have plenty of options out there. You can still do your shopping in supermarkets (Village supermarket, Shoppers Supermarket) or in the local market around the town center, in a hot country like Tanzania, a vegetarian diet is more than enough to live: vegetarianism costs less and it is better for health.

Fortunately for you, the Indian community, very large in Tanzania, is the head of many hotels and restaurants. If you like this type of cuisine, based on rice, starches and pulses (potatoes, lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc.), you are served. Contact us for the food advice in Tanzania

Food in Zanzibar

Zanzibar seafood is very fresh. Why prevent yourself of it? The lobsters and crabs are delicious and featured on the menus of many restaurants in Zanzibar, at very reasonable prices. Several small hoteliers on the east coast of Zanzibar serve grilled fish as well, caught the same morning by local fishermen..

The heritage of the various Arab colonizations in particular but also the influences brought by the sailors come together in a typical kitchen where the abundant use of spices predominates. Kuku wa kupaka, the Zanzibar - style chicken - with coconut milk, is a very good example.

It is also on the coast that you have to look for fish and seafood. The grilled swordfish and barracuda are excellent. If you like lobster and crab, this is the time to take advantage: they are huge and the prices are unbeatable.

Fruits in Tanzania

Due to good climate in Tanzania, the choice is unlimited. You can find many of banana, avocado, mango, oranges and  pineapple pies in many restaurants and on the streets, this is the same when you visit Zanzibar, so many colorful fruits around the market (Darajani Market). Tanzania's great climatic diversity makes it possible to see many fruits all year round.

The most common are papaya, mango (the reds are better but seasonal), pineapple, bananas, avocado, orange, passion fruits, watermelons, lemon, pears and strawberries.

Make sure you wash your hands before and after the eating your meal to avoid the risk of amoebae. Also wash your fruits before eating, this will help you avoid diseases like typhoid and diarrhea. Use bottled mineral water from the shop for drinking while having your meal. Otherwise contact us for more details and tips about Tanzania Food and Eating.

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