Cookbook:Cuisine of Tanzania

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Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Cuisines | African Cuisines

What the Tanzanian cuisine looks like depends a lot on the region, its available foods and the cultural background of its inhabitants. Most of the foods are basic and simple to cook. The breakfast, called Chai ("tea"), often consists of a hot beverage, mostly tea (hence the name) and less often coffee, and some baked goods like toast, Vitumbua and Mandazi. For persons doing physical labor this can also be a strong food like Ugali. Lunch and dinner are always hot meals that mostly consist of two parts: a main dish and some sort of sauce.

Main dishes[edit | edit source]

These dishes are common staple foods and many of them are not served without one of the side dishes or sauces below:

  • Ugali
  • Wali (Rice)
  • Tambi (Spaghetti)
  • Pilau
  • Chapati (Flatbread)
  • Chapati za maji (pancakes)
  • Chipsi (French Fries)
  • Cooked Bananas

Side dishes and sauces[edit | edit source]

Many of the above main dishes are not very appealing without a fitting side dish or a fitting sauce. The following list is a list of frequently served foods from this category:

  • Kabichi (A kind of salad based on cabbage)
  • Maharage (A sauce that mainly consists of beans)
  • Mboga (Vegetables)
  • Mchuzi (Sauce)

Common combinations[edit | edit source]

Most of the main dishes and most of the side dishes and sauces are not served without one of the other category. For example it is called "Wali na Maharage" when the rice is served with beans. Common combinations include the following:

  • Ugali na Maharage (Beans), Mboga (Vegetables), Nyama (Meat), Mchuzi (Sauce)
  • Wali na Maharage (Beans), Mboga (Vegetables), Nyama (Meat), Mchuzi (Sauce)
  • Tambi na Mchuzi
  • Chapati na Maharage (Beans), Mchuzi (Sauce)

Common street food[edit | edit source]

  • Chipsi (Mayai)
  • Chapati

Common baked foods[edit | edit source]

Common ingredients[edit | edit source]

Many foods are made of the following basic ingredients:

  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Flour (Wheat, Maize, Rice)
  • Bananas
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Okra

The rich availability of locally growing fruits often serves as a delicious dessert on its own or more recently blended into a fresh juice:

  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Bananas (a lot of very different types)
  • Pineapple
  • Jackfruit
  • Passionfruit
  • Avocado

The spicing is rather simple and mostly involves salt and/or garlic.

Tribal cuisines[edit | edit source]

There is a great variety in foods prepared and eaten by different cultures/tribes.

Maasai[edit | edit source]

Maasai are a per-se nomadic tribe of which many live in the area of Tanzania. Their kitchen is very basic and focusses on the meat of the animals which they farm and live with, mostly cows, goats and sheep. Their actual food depends strongly on the season which determines how well the animals are fed. In the dry season in which it is hard for the animals to find food, the Maasai turn to vegetables and crops.

Chaga[edit | edit source]

Most of the Chaga live in the Kilimanjaro Area, close to or on the foot of the Mount Kilimanjaro. Their kitchen is stronly influenced by the great varieties of bananas that grow in that area, beans and roots.