Afyacode's Logo

Starchy Foods In Kenya

Starchy foods in Kenya

A typical Kenyan menu is usually one that is filling because the country’s culinary tradition is based on a heavy meal plan that feeds people sufficiently. From breakfast early in the morning, to lunch and finally dinner time, you will not miss a starchy food item in any Kenyan home.

Ugali, potatoes, and rice are always on a constant rotation in the menus on a daily basis. One Starchy meal can find itself on the table twice or three times on a particular day. We have compiled some key staple foods in the country to show just how Kenyan food is starch-laden.

Typical Kenyan Breakfast

A typical Kenyan breakfast will consist of tea with bread usually white/brown bread, mandazi, chapati, or starchy tubers like arrowroot (nduma) and sweet potatoes. Many Kenyans are increasingly moving towards the fiber-rich tubers considered as the healthy option.

The majority prefer having them boiled while some would opt to make a fancy meal by deep-frying arrowroots and cassava. Chapatis are also a favorite breakfast accompaniment for most Kenyans.

Lunch and Dinner

Ugali is Kenya’s staple food made from maize flour. In Western Kenya, communities prefer to make Ugali from millet, sorghum, or a mixture of cassava, maize, and millet flour. It is often served with fish, chicken, beef, and vegetable stews as an accompaniment.

Urban dwellers serve Ugali as an accompaniment of Nyama Choma (barbecued meat). In the region, Matoke, banana cooked with other ingredients until they become soft with thick sauce is a favorite for many. It traces its origin from across the Uganda border.

It is usually served with meat stew or rice. In the greater Rift Valley, Ugali is usually served with soured milk and greens. It is mostly preferred during lunch and dinner times and portions are usually gigantic. Potatoes and Githeri (a mixture of corn and beans meal) staple foods for people of Central Kenya.

They can be taken independently but a mixture of the two combined with vegetables is a favorite for most households. Potatoes can be boiled or deep-fried to make French fries. French fries are a popular urban fast food. Also popular on the slopes of Mount Kenya is Irio, a mixture of mashed peas and potatoes. Sometimes this meal is mixed with indigenous vegetables.

At the shores of the Indian Ocean and along the coastal strip, rice is the main dish. It is usually spiced up into pilau, wali wa nazi (coconut rice), or Biryani. Rice is also popular among most urban dwellers who prefer serving it down with a variety of stews.

Indian-inspired, Chapatis have also become very popular in coastal Kenya and nationally is a favorite accompaniment for animal and plant stews like beef, green grams, and beans.