Pachikonjo’s top 5 Tanzanian Dishes that will blow your taste buds out of Europe… and strait into Dar Es Salaam Beach Accommodation!
If there is one thing keeps me going back to Tanzania time and time again- its the food. I don’t know if I go to the best places or if the best cooks are cooking my food, but I have never craved any other cuisine like I have craved Tanzanian. I am writing this as someone from the UK (not a somewhere greatly rebound for its good food) but it does have a wide range of European and international restaurants from countries that are… I’ve eat a lot of food. From lots of places and still the smell of Chapati in the morning gets me up faster than a black mamba!
So here are 5 of the best, most amazing, filling and goodness delivering Tanzanian dishes brought to you by Pachikonjo Beach Resort – Dar Es Salaam Beach Accommodation.
Nyama Choma- Grilled meat
Meat in Tanzania is a very staple part of the diet – people love meat! I would go as far as to say that some of the best home grown, tasty meat dishes can be found in Africa. Just think about the Nigerian Mai Suya (peanut and spice skewers), or Ethiopian Tibs (sauteed meat); if you haven’t yet tried them – do it- and do it now – these dishes are truly divine. The epidemic of fantastic meat has worse effected Tanzania- beware N’gombe (beef) , Samaki (fish) and Nguruwe (pork) – once you have tasted them choma there is nothing else in the world you want to eat. My personal favorite has got to be Mbuzi.
For those that don’t know Mbuzi is goat. Although, not an animal that is exclusive to Tanzania, it is cooked, served and enjoyed from sea to boarder no matter where you go. It is put in stews, served with rice or munched on its own choma style so that you can enjoy mbuzi in its simplest, delicious form. For me, all it needs is a well fired grill, some cracked sea salt, a squish of lemon and one or two dabs with pelipeli (spice) – it blows any pork chop or beef out of the ground.
Pilau is a spiced rice based dish that is traditionally served at a big event, ceremony or during the weekends. To be honest, I am not one for tradition; everyday Pilau would do for me! Spiced rice is quite a common tend in coastal East African cuisine which can be attributed to the influence of western Indian travelers who settled in the region. It can be served with almost any meat, vegetable or salad and keeps you filled through the day… the only reason to eat again is to have more touch your taste valves.
Now, I love Indian food, and with a rich culture of quality Indian cuisine in Scotland (where I am from), it is safe to say that I have tasted some of the best Indian food outside of India. What I love about Pilau is that it has kept some of the traditional Indian make up but it is fundamentally and intrinsically Tanzanian. The east African culture is rich throughout the dish – its filling, hearty and mouth watering qualities exemplify Tanzanian food perfectly.
Yet another Tanzanian dish that has been influenced by the India is the wholesome chapati- what makes this Tanzanian Chapati slightly different is that it is not prepared with baking powder or yeast – this makes it thick, sturdy and properly hearty. You can feel the palpable excitement when the news spreads that chapati’s are being made for dinner. It is one of those dishes that strikes right to the heart of any food lover; it has the power to fill the biggest of hungry bellies and please the pickiest of eaters- It goes with absolutely everything. I personally, love it with Pilau or a coconut and pea sauce. Just dip it in and munch away. After a long, long flight, the first thing I request is a home made chapati – it makes the airline food, lack of sleep and sitting still for way too long all worth it.
Tanzania has it’s own distinct identity; it’s culture, landscape and natural resources has shaped the cuisine into its own fantastic character. It goes without saying that much of the food is brought about by the hardships and poverty that is still very much present- this is a very solid reason as to why the food is so hearty, filling and loaded with goodness. Ugali, for me, is a quintessential embodiment of what Tanzanian food has come from. Made from Maise flour, Ugali is a thick, starchy pulp that is steamed and served to be eaten with your hands (you don’t have to but to experience it in its fullest, flavor and authenticity it must be done). It is usually served with a sauce or a stew because it absorbs and extenuates every pallet of flavor in your mouth while filling your belly. I personally LOVE Ugali but I understand that it can be an acquired taste- a friend from Uganda, who also knows a variant of Ugali has told me stories of the first time her boyfriend tried it. He wasn’t so impressed.
Make your mind up on Ugali yourself; if you haven’t tried it, I think you should. Word of the wise – make sure its cool enough so you don’t burn your fingers!
Before you say it, beans are not special. Beans are probably the least special food because they can be found in almost every single countries food on the planet. But, like many things in this life – its often how you dress it up that counts. Tanzania has quite a lot of influences from Europe – Britain, Germany and Portugal so it isn’t too hard to find a European footprint in Tanzanian food. On my travels in Portugal, one side I always requested in the restaurants were the beans. They were served in a thick, rich onion sauce- I could have eaten them just on their own. Tanznia has it’s own varient which derives from this Portuguese dish but I personally think that Tanzania has even enhanced the flavors- with a rich tomoato sauce and some spice it is a perfect accompaniment with chapati, as a side for chipsi kuku or simply on its own. It is wholesome, healthy, hearty and damn tasty!!
Tanzanian food its self is a million reasons to come and visit this beautiful country. Pachikonjo Beach Accommodation, Dar es salaam beach accommodation and local hotels are surrounded in some fantastic eateries and food hubs. As a westerner, its best to find somewhere catering for our poor weak tummies but make sure that you don’t sacrifice any of the richness and flavor.
If you want to find the recipes from our very own mama’s just drop us an email!!