About Kenyan food!

About Kenyan food

1. “Cereals” (flower, lentils, beans etc.) outside a local shop. 2. Elfi grinding coconut to make coconut milk. 3. Ingrid eating Chapati and ndengu. 4. Elfi making mandazi with her friend Davido. 5. Local chef Alex making chapati at one of our usual lunch spots. 6. Elfi shopping at the market. 7. Ingrid ready for lunch. Photos: Mwanamange Babu; Elfi Thrane Bemelmans; and Ingrid Legrand Gjerdset.

Kenyan food is diverse and consist of a broad range of dishes and snacks, some local and some that you might also find elsewhere, like in India. First of all, fresh fruits and vegetables are always available and make up the base of most dishes. Our home town Nanyuki has a large open air market which we enjoy going to. Secondly, food is most often served warm, as opposed to the Norwegian cold and often bread-based breakfast and lunch. There are plenty of small cafes around the office selling warm lunch made of beans, lentils, vegetables, rice and potatoes. Friends and colleagues have eagerly taught us how to cook chapati, mokimo and ugali. As snacks you will often find: cooked arrowroot and sweet potato; samosa; or pastries like mandazi. What are these things? Watch our video and find out.

Ingrid and Elfi answer questions about Kenyan food:

What is your favourite Kenyan dish?
Ingrid: Chapati (flat bread) Mix (cabbage, lentils and beans)
Elfi: Pilau (Rice with spices)

Which Kenyan food item can you not go a day without?
Ingrid: Passion fruit
Elfi: Ngumu (translates to “hard”, it is a hard pastry)

Which Kenyan dish have you learned to cook?
Ingrid - Chapati (Flat bread)
Elfi - Mokimo (mashed potatoes with green leafs)

Which Kenyan dish are you yet to taste?
Ingrid – Matoke (banana stew) and mutura (a sausage of meat and sometimes blood)
Elfi - Uji (porridge)

We got this reaction from volunteer and YDEP team member Edwin when he discovered we hadn’t tasted camel meat: «What are you even doing in Nanyuki?

Which Kenyan food do you think tastes bad?
Ingrid - It is not that it tastes bad, it just doesn’t taste …. much – Ugali.
Elfi – bone soup….

Like many Kenyans, we are growing vegetables in our garden, and of course cooking with it. Photos: Elfi Thrane Bemelmans.

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