Savouring Street Food
In London, the street caravans basically feed quite a number of Londoners. In Kenya, high-end restaurants such as the Fairmont the Norfolk Hotel are now serving mutura, meaning that taste for street food has not fizzled, even among the well-off. Mombasa can easily be Kenya’s street food city because of the many quick snacks, pizzas and rice dishes that leave you craving more.
If you’re a foodie, you know that even in cities with the best fine dining restaurants, meals on the streets sometimes taste better. Cities like Hong Kong and Kathmandu have tasty foods that you are unlikely to find in high-end restaurants. In London, the street caravans basically feed quite a number of Londoners. In Kenya, high-end restaurants such as the Fairmont the Norfolk Hotel are now serving mutura, meaning that taste for street food has not fizzled, even among the well-off.Mombasa can easily be Kenya’s street food city because of the many quick snacks, pizzas and rice dishes that leave you craving more. The food has influences from the Arab world, India and Europe.Here are Coastal street foods you must try.Achari: These are dried mangoes which are sweetened or salted. They are dipped in food colour and dried.Haluwa/halwa: This is a sweetmeat with a jellylike consistence. It is made from starch, cardamom, ghee and lots of sugar. It is garnished with cashew nuts or almonds.Viazi karai: These are deep-fried potatoes, cooked in a shallow basinlike pan hence the name viazi karai. The potatoes are first boiled then skin peeled. The potatoes are dipped in a mixture of water and garam flour (one can also mix wheat flour and food colour) and deep-fried. To enjoy viazi karai, eat it with tamarind sauce, which is made from onions, salt, pepper, garlic and tamarind juice. You can also spice it with chilli and coconut or mango chutney.Biryani/pilau: There is a sidewalk ‘restaurant’ in Nyali that makes the best biryani and pilau that you’ve tasted (well if you’re not from Coast). You may have to ignore the not-so clean surrounding, focus on the food!
Joy of Drinking Alone at La Mesa a Pub
Mabuyu: These are baobab seeds cooked in sugar syrup and coloured. They are usually red in colour although you can get them in green, yellow, purple, blue.Mahamri: I realised that not many people cook mahamri in their homes. They buy them from vendors appear on street corners with freshly made ones.Kachiri: These cassava crisps are addictive. Residents love them; they are sold out as fast as they are made. They are grilled or fried and usually seasoned with salt, chilli and a squeeze of lime. To add more taste, one can add tamarind sauce.Grilled sweet potato: You may think that having grown up eating sweet potatoes they may never go down your throat now that you’re an adult. Well, this one is served with tamarind juice, chilli or lime.Bhajia: Bhajia is fried potatoes coated with spices such as chillies, coriander and onions. These can also be made from pounded black eyed peas that are soaked overnight then spiced with coriander, onion and salt.Mshikaki: Mshikaki is a marinated skewered beef or chicken cubes roasted over open charcoal fire. The roasted or barbecued meat are sold by sticks accompanied by tamarind sauce and salad.Madafu: This is unripe coconut filled with a sweet juice and believed to have health benefits. After drinking the coconut water, eat the white fleshy part.Tamarind juice (ukwaju): Ukwaju is mainly tamarind seeds soaked in water and seasoned with onion, salt and garlic. It is a substitute for tomato sauce.Babu Kachri: This is another famous Swahili snack. It is a thick spicy potato, sprinkled with crushed potato crisps and ‘tambi’ made from chickpea flour and spices.Kitumbua: This is a Swahili snack made of rice and coconut and then deep fried.