Testing traditional Tanzanian food

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Let's water your mouth starting with snacks. 

Typical street food is Chipsi mayai or 'chips and eggs', an omelette with french fries. It is often enriched with additional ingredients such as bell peppers or onions. A typical serving of spicy kachumbari sauce round's it up. 

Chipsi mayai

A very popular snack is Mandazi, a kind of doughnut. Triangles, circles o even squares of the risen dough are fried and served plain or dusted with sugar and accompanied with fruit dips. 

Mandazi

On Zanzibar don't miss out a Zanzibar pizza, who shares nothing but a name with the Italian pizza. The unleavened dough is topped with vegetables, meat, cheese, even mayo, as per your choice, the edges of the dough are partially folded over and then the 'pizza' is fried in ghee.

Zanzibar-pizza

Mshikaki, a full meal or a street food option, are pieces of marinated beef, goat, or mutton meat on a skewer, grilled over charcoals until blackened. When deciding for a full meal, rice and grilled or cooked vegetables would be suggested side dishes.

Mshikaki

Lunches and dinners are both full meals in Tanzania.

Ugali, a kind of polenta made of corn or sorghum, slightly sticky and dense is the most widespread base of every meal. Served with any kind of meat or vegetables, stew or even sour milk, it can be found everywhere. 

Ugali-and-fish

Ugali-and-mboga-mboga

Said to be the most popular is Mchicha. A hearty vegetarian dish usually prepared with spinach (mchicha) and amaranth with coconut milk, grated coconut, peanuts and peanut butter, tomatoes, and onions. This thick, creamy stew is mostly served with ugali, rice and beans.

A fish dish you can't oversee is Mchuzi wa samaki. A white fish like red snapper, sea bass or cod is cooked with oil, onions, garlic and curry powder with added tomatoes and lemon juice. White rice is typically served on the side, to complement the rich sauce. For a truly African side dish, however, choose Wali wa nazi, starchy rice cooked in coconut milk.

Mchuzi-wa-samaki

Another mouthwatering dish is Ndizi na nyama, plantains (ndizi) and meat (nyama). A stew with curry powder and coconut milk reflects the Indian influence. 

Mchemsho, a dish traditional to northern Tanzania, translated as 'something that is boiled' is a dish made for special occasions. Slowly simmered vegetables like plantains, carrots, green beans, cabbage, eggplants, peppers and many spices are combined with grilled fish or meat and ugali or rice.

 

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Kort overzicht

Tanzania's cuisine is bursting from flavours. For centuries heavily influenced by savours that paved their way mainly from the east, today's cuisine offers a fusion influenced by many cultures. A must in every travel it at least a taste of the local cuisine, so why not add lunch with locals to you safari?


A delicious meal of tasty home-cooked specialities, prepared by a local will give you an insight into the local daily diet.


Middle Eastern, Indian and African ingredients and techniques have been mixed and excellent local specialities have been developed. Spend a free evening indulging your tastebuds in a local restaurant or enjoy a full meal with locals – any option will do, as long as you take home a taste-memory of Tanzania's flavorous food.

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