Saturday, June 16, 2007

Chakula! (That's Swahili for 'food')



The clerk in this internet stand just translated this comic for me. It says something like "The shop has lots of things in it, but my pockets don't!" A fitting entry, I think, for my blog, given that I'd sort of, errrr, miscalculated my cash requirements (and the availability of an ATM which would work for my debit card). A foodie by nature, it was a real drag to be unable to afford much sampling of the local cuisine.

I was very lucky to be a guest in the home of two different Tanzanians for meals, and two Americans, as well. A few highlights, then, the local cuisine:

-Matoke-
These green, starchy bananas were served stewed with fresh beans (almost like pintos). A staple in the Kagera region, where matoke grows well.

-Ugali-
Sort of like grits or polenta, this very finely ground cornmeal is a common side to meat or even just served with sauce. It's beyond bland.

-Chipsi Mayai-
A potato omelet which reminded me of the spanish 'tortilla' or the afgan 'kuku'.

-Pilau-
In Zanzibar, this rice dish is flavored with cardamom, black peppercorns, cumin seed, ginger, and cinnamon bark. It's like a spicy fragrant rice pilaf.

22 comments:

Subi said...

You got it all right except for 'Chukula" it's "Chakula"!
You really reminded me of home.
ha haa, chipsi mayai, ugali, piau, ndizi and matoke, wali, chapati....

Asante.
Furahia! = Enjoy!

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