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The Essential Guide to Local Food in Kenya

The East African country has 42 tribes calling the country home, and the cuisine is just as diverse as the populace. There are clear Indian and Arabic influences in dishes like samosas, bhajia, biryani, chapati, and pilau. And despite a love for roasted meats, the daily diet leans toward the vegetarian side with vegetables, maize, beans, and potatoes playing a prominent role in their meals. Ugali is a ubiquitous staple that might as well be the national dish. You’ll find it on the side of most stews. Also known as muthere or mutheri, githeri is a Kenyan meal consisting of boiled beans mixed with corn. Mukimo or Irio is a combination of mashed potatoes, green peas, and corn. It is commonly attributed to the Kikuyu people and is served with rich stews or nyama choma (roasted meat). Nyama choma is literally the Swahili term for grilled goat or beef, which are the most popular cuts, but chicken and fish are also options.