Kenyan food is a distinct and delicious cuisine within the broader umbrella of African food. Kenyan recipes are influenced by several factors, including historical foreign influences, different traditions among native tribes, and the availability of local ingredients. From staples to more elaborate meals, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Kenyan recipes so that you can get a taste of Kenya at home!
#1 Kenyan Beef Stew
Succulent chunks of beef are stewed with tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions, curry powder, and spices. The result is a flavorful, hearty stew. Bonus? This dish comes together in just 45 minutes! Ready to learn how to make this beloved Kenyan recipe at home?
Made with beans, corn, onion, tomatoes, and carrot, this dish is popular throughout Kenya. Flavorings include garam masala, paprika, curry powder, cumin, and a stock cube. Bonus? This filling and flavorful meat-free meal comes together in less than an hour! Want to learn how to make this beloved Kenyan recipe in your own kitchen?
Popular in Kenya as well as in Tanzania, Mahamri are made with flour, sugar, coconut milk, butter, and yogurt. They are spiced with cardamom powder (iliki) and then fried to perfection. Soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside, they make a great addition to your breakfast and can also be enjoyed as a snack!
#4 Pipilipi Ya Kukaanga
This Kenyan relish is incredibly hot, slightly zingy, mildly sweet, and full of bright, fresh flavor. It pairs particularly well with pilau but is quite versatile and can be used with nearly any dish. Want to learn how to make this Kenyan favorite in your home kitchen?
#5 Kenya – Irio with Caramelized Onions
Kenyan Irio is a hearty, comforting dish that consists of potatoes mashed with corn and green peas. Some recipes use red kidney beans instead of peas, while still others sometimes add green vegetables like spinach as well. While most Irio recipes also contain fried onions, this version adds extra flavor by caramelizing the onions for additional crunch and sweetness. We highly recommend that you give this hearty Kenyan recipe a try!
Ugali is a staple dish in Kenyan homes. Made from maize flour (cornmeal), millet flour, or sorghum flour (sometimes mixed with cassava flour), it is simply cooked in boiling water or milk until it forms a stiff, smooth mass. It is traditionally served alongside meat, poultry, fish, and/or vegetables. Ready to learn how to make it for yourself at home?
#7 Kenyan Dawa
Made with turmeric, honey, lemon, and ginger, this Kenyan drink is thought to be healing and soothing. It can be served without alcohol or turned into a cocktail. It all just depends on your personal preferences and needs! Ready to learn how to make this versatile Kenyan beverage at home?