Steamed Rice

The special step of soaking rice in this recipe gives a deliciously fluffy dish. Steamed rice is usually accom-panied by a variety of stews including legume based stews. It is common among Kenyan, Uganda and Tanzanian Indians and the Swahilis. Usually eaten by the entire family and can serve as part of infant feeding. 


 1 cup (193 g) raw white rice4 2/3 cups (1015 g) water2 tsp. (9 g) salt, iodized

Preparation 35 minutes | Cooking 30 minutes | Serves 4 

Sort and soak the rice in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes.Drain and discard the water.Put the soaked rice into a cooking pot, add the rest of the water (2 2/3 cups) and salt.Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.Drain the water when the rice is semi-cooked.Steam for 10 minutes on low heat.Remove from heat and serve.  

Boiled Rice

One of the simplest ways that rice is cooked in Tanzania is by boiling. This recipe is common in different communities in Kenya. It is eaten by the entire family often accompanied by a protein rich stew and vege-tables


5 2/3 cups (1 kg) raw white rice3 tsp. (15 g) salt, iodized¼ cup (50 g) cooking oil9 cups (1954 g) water

Preparation time 5 minutes | Cooking 40 minutes ‖ Serves 4 

Sort and wash the rice.In a cooking pot, boil all the water for 2 minutes.Add salt and rice. Stir and boil for 10 more min-utes.Reduce the heat and cover to simmer for 16 minutes. Add cooking oil to the rice and stir.Cover the rice and allow to simmer until it is ready.Cover with aluminium foil.Remove from the heat when ready and serve.

Swahili Biryani Rice

This dish is common among the Swahili community in Kenya and Tanzania. The cuisine is also meat based and special emphasis is given to finding the right kinds of rice, spices, meat and herbs. It is simply steamed rice eaten with Biryani stew. It is particularly made using the fragrant species of rice. This colourful dish can be served for lunch, dinner or during wedding occasions.


5 3/4 cups (1 kg) raw white rice8 2/3 (1874 g) water1 g food colour powder, egg yellow2 tsp. (10 g) salt, iodized7 tbsp. (85 g) cooking oil

Preparation 5 minutes | Cooking 25 minutes | Serves 4 

Take out 2 tablespoons of water and put the rest of the water into a cooking pot, add salt and bring to a boil.Wash the rice and add into the boiling water. Cover to cook for 10 minutes.Meanwhile mix the food colour in the 2 tablespoons of water.Add oil and cook for another 2 minutes.Add the food colour and simmer for 13 minutes.Remove from heat.Serve with biryani stew.  

Rice with Green Grams

This recipe is named in Swahili “Mseto wa Ndengu” meaning a mix of green grams and rice. It is uniquely prepared using freshly squeezed coconut milk. Very popular in the Tanzanian coastal region, it is served to infants and adults alike as a main meal during lunch or dinner. In other communities, this recipe is pre-pared without coconut milk.


3 ½ cups (621 g) raw white rice1 ¼ cups (242 g) green grams¾ cup (180 g) coconut milk1 onion, red skinned, raw, unpeeled (77 g)½ tsp. (3 g) salt, iodized13 cups (2832 g) water

Preparation 15 minutes | Cooking 1 hour 30 minutes | Serves 6 

Boil the green grams in 6 cups of water for 1 hour and set aside.Prepare and finely chop the onions.In a separate cooking pot, add 7 cups of water.Add chopped onion and salt to the water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.Add the rice to the boiling mixture and cook until the water starts to dry up.Add the green grams and reduce heat. Cook for 8 min-utes.Add the coconut milk and stir after 2 minutes.Leave covered over very low heat to dry for 10 minutes.Turn off the heat and serve hot. 

Rice with Beans

The rice that is made with beans in one pot,  It is a common recipe among many communities in Tanzania. Mainly prepared as a main meal during lunch time, it is eaten by the whole family. Sometimes, this dish is eaten for supper.


 3 cups (505 g) kidney beans, raw21 ¼ cups (4600 g) water4 cups (684 g) raw white rice, long grain1 large onion, red skinned, raw, unpeeled (206 g)2 tomatoes, red, ripe, raw (226 g)1 ¼ cups (238 g) cooking oil2 tbsp. (27 g) salt

Preparation 2 hours 45 minutes | Cooking 3 hours 45 minutes | Serves 6

 Soak the beans in 13 ¼ cups of water for 2 hours 35 minutes.Boil the soaked beans for 3 hours.Peel, wash and cut onions and tomatoes separate-ly. Fry the onions in cooking oil until golden-brown, add the tomatoes until they have cooked down to a paste.Add salt to taste.Add the previously boiled beans and stir until evenly mixed and well coated with the tomatoes. Add 8 cups of water and let it boil.Wash rice until water runs clear.Add rice. When it starts boiling, reduce fire and let it cook on low heat for 20 minutes.Remove and serve hot. 

Spiced Rice - Pilau

Pilau is the king of traditional rice cuisine among the Swahili community. Culturally, it is a must cook dish on Friday particularly during lunch. It is enjoyed by the entire family and often served with tomatoes, on-ions and chillies salad commonly known as (“kachumbari” or salsa) and accompanied with a ripe banana. This tastefully spiced dish is characterized by whole potatoes and meat chunks as key ingredients. 


3 1/3 cups (595 g) raw white rice½ kg beef10 seeds (1 g) cardamom, whole5 sticks (3 g) cinnamon, whole5 seeds (1 g) black pepper, whole5 seeds (1 g) cloves, whole6 tsp. (30 g) salt, iodized2 tbsp. (11 g) cumin4 potatoes, unpeeled, raw (840 g) 3 onions, red skinned, unpeeled, raw (387 g)5 cloves (17 g) garlic, whole1 root (23 g) ginger½ green capsicum (115 g)62 g coriander, fresh8 ¼ cups (1788 g) water1 ½ cups (293 g) cooking oil

Preparation 20 minutes | Cooking 1 hour | Serves 4

 Cut meat into medium size chunks.Boil the meat in a large cooking pot with all the water for 30 minutes, drain the water and set both meat and water aside.Prepare and chop onions and potatoes, grate capsicum, pound coriander, crush garlic and ginger. Place each prepared ingredient in small separate bowls.Toast cumin seeds under medium heat on a dry pan until they start to brown. Remove from the heat and grind.Toast cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper together until they produce an aroma. Grind them. Put oil into the pan used to boil the meat.Add onions into the hot oil and cook for 5 min-utes until they brown (a golden-brown colour).Add ginger and garlic. Stir.Add all browned spices; cumin, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom after 3 minutes.Add capsicum, coriander and potatoes after 1 minute and stir. Meanwhile, wash the rice.Add rice and salt after 3 minutes and stir in to properly mix the ingredients.Add water drained from boiling the meat, stir the rice and bring the mixture to boil for 25 minutes.Add the cooked meat to the boiling mixture. Cook for 30 minutes and serve. 

Oat Porridge

Oat porridge provides a high satiety value to the family. Mainly an urban dish, it is growing in popularity as an infant dish but also serves as a breakfast option for adults. 


5 tbsp. (107 g) oatmeal flour½ cup (105 g) sugar4 ½ cups (990 g) water1½ cups (331 g) cow milk

Preparation 5 minutes | Cooking 10 minutes | Serves 4 

Put 1 ½ cups of water into a cup, add oat flour and stir to a smooth consistency. Put the rest of the water in a pot and bring to boil.Add the flour mixture into the boiling water and stir.Continue stirring while cooking for 2 minutes.Add milk and heat while stirring for 7 minutes.Add sugar and stir to mix.Remove and serve while hot. 

Finger Millet Porridge

This porridge is made from the tiny finger millet grain best known for its characteristic brown colour and good source of fibre. It is common in Western and Eastern parts of TZ. This porridge is prepared from carefully cleaned and dried finger millet grains. It is commonly enriched with milk or sugar and serves children and adults alike.


 1 cup (123 g) finger millet flour, whole2 ½ tbsp. (35 g) sugar, white7 cups (1509 g) water 

Preparation 5 minutes | Cooking 20 minutes | Serves 4 

Boil 5 cups of water in a pot.In a separate bowl, add 2 cups of water to the finger millet flour and mix to a medium paste.Add the paste to the boiling water and stir to prevent lumps from forming (do this until the mixture boils).Leave to boil for 5 minutes and add sugar.Stir, remove and serve the porridge.

You can add Yorgat on top. 

Bulrush Millet Porridge

This recipe is common among the Bantu communities particularly in Eastern part of Kenya. Bulrush millet is a rich grain. Its porridge was traditionally a special treat during passage rites ceremonies for young boys. In modern times, this porridge is consumed by both children and adults.  


1 1/3 cups (176 g) bulrush millet flour2 tbsp. (29 g) sugar4 1/3 cups (940 g) water

 Preparation 5 minutes | Cooking 25 minutes | Serves 4

 Put 3 1/3 cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil.In a separate bowl, add 1 cup of water to bulrush millet flour. Stir to a smooth light consistency.Add the paste/ mixture to the boiling water while stirring to prevent lumps. Stir until the mixture starts to boil.Add sugar after 5 minutes and continue stirring.Cook for 13 minutes and then remove from fire.

Cassava Porridge

The ancient cassava has been a traditional staple in most Kenyan communities, particularly Western and Coastal regions. Dried and ground into fine flour, cassava makes refreshing porridge for the entire family.  


10 tbsp. (100 g) cassava flour2 tbsp. (22 g) sugar8 ½ cups (1840 g) water

Preparation 2 minutes | Cooking 20 minutes | Serves 6

 Boil 6 cups of water in a pot for 6 minutes.In a separate bowl, add 2 ½ cups of water to the cas-sava flour and mix to a medium paste.Add the paste to the boiling water and stir continu-ously until the mixture boils to prevent lumps.Continue boiling for 13 minutes and add sugar.Stir, remove and serve the porridge.

Sorghum, Finger Millet and Maize Porridge

This recipe is made from a mixture of 3 grains ground together into flour. It is rich in nutrients and is en-riched with milk. Popular among many households in Tanzania as a family dish, the porridge, serves infants/children. 


8 tbsp. (83 g) sorghum flour, whole6 ½ tbsp. (68 g) finger millet flour, whole8 ¼ tbsp. (82 g) maize flour, whole, white1 2/3 cups (366 g) cow milk7 ¼ cups (1833 g) water

Preparation 5 minutes | Cooking 30 minutes | Serves 4 

Mix the whole maize flour, sorghum flour and finger millet into a bowl.Add 2 cups of cold water into the flour mixture, stir until smooth using a wooden cooking stick.Bring 5 cups of water to boil in a cooking pot.After the water has boiled, add the mixture as you stir. Keep stirring to avoid forming lumps.Add milk after 10 minutes of cooking.Keep stirring until cooked. If the porridge is too thick add a little water (¼ cup) or until desired consistency is achieved.Serve hot. 

Maize Porridge

Whole maize flour has been used for many years by many communities in Kenya to prepare porridge. Enriched with milk, it also serves as an infant dish. 


1 ¾ cups (236 g) whole maize flour, white7 cups (1513 g) water1½ cups (330 g) cow milk

Preparation 5 minutes | Cooking 25 minutes | Serves 4  

Put 5 cups of the water into the cooking pot, cover and heat until it boils.Meanwhile mix the maize flour with 2 cups cold water separately. Use cold water to avoid forming lumps.Stir until smooth.Add the mixture into boiling water while stirring and continue stirring to avoid forming lumps.Allow to cook for 3 minutes.Add milk and cook for a further 7 minutes. Serve hot. 

Tanzania Mixed Tea

This is the most popular non-alcoholic beverage in Tanzania. Enriched with fresh milk, it is drunk as a break-fast beverage and enjoyed by the entire family. 

13 cups (2968 g) water4 ½ cups (1020 g) cow milk¾ cup (139 g) sugar3 tbsp. (12 g) tea leaves

Preparation 5 minutes | Cooking 1 hour |Makes 17 cups 

Bring all the water to a boil.Add the tea leaves and continue to cook for 5 minutes.Add milk and bring to a boil.Add sugar, stir and bring to a boil.Turn off the heat and sieve.Serve while hot. 

Vegetable Samosa Snaks

This vegetarian samosa is made with vegetables in season and heavily spiced, giving it a deliciously great taste! Loved for its health consciousness, the vegetable samosa serves as an all-time snack and mainly enjoyed by the whole family

Ingredients557 g cabbage1 head garlic, fresh (42 g)4 onions, red skinned, raw, unpeeled (389g) 2 carrots, orange, raw (307 g) 3 pieces ginger, fresh, (34 g)3 cups (363 g) garden peas, green, raw3 ¾ cups (825 g) water4 ¼ cups (608 g) wheat flour, refined1 ½ tsp. (7 g) salt, iodized1 ½ tsp. (2 g) green chilli, fresh4 1/3 cups (857 g) cooking oil

Vegetable filling cooking:In a pot, heat 4 tablespoons of oil for 2 minutes.Add onions to cook for 12 minutes.Add garlic, ginger and the green chilli. Cook for 3 minutes.Add carrots, stir and cover to cook for 2 minutes.Add cabbage, and stir. Cook for 1 minute.Add salt, stir and cook for 1 minute.Add peas and cook for 1 minute.Remove from heat and let this cool before filling the pockets.Samosa pocket preparation:Put 3 ½ cups of wheat flour in a bowl and add 1 cup of cold water.Mix the ingredients and knead to a soft dough.Divide the dough and roll into medium-sized balls.Lightly dust the rolling surface to prevent the dough from sticking onto the working surface.Flatten the balls and apply a little oil onto the surface of each of the spread dough and stack three pieces together (the oil will help the layers to separate later).Roll out each stack into thin discs.Place a circular plate on the rolled-out dough and trim the edges to form a circle the size of the plate.Place a pan on the fire on high heat for 1 minute.Place the rolled-out dough onto the hot pan and lightly cook each side for 1 minute.Separate each lightly cooked layer (previously placed on top of each other), place into a wide

Preparation 1 hour | Cooking 1 hour 30 minutes | Makes 23Samosa filling preparation:Wash and finely chop the cabbage.Peel the carrots, wash and grate.Peel the onion and chop.Peel garlic and ginger, then wash and crush with a mortar and pestle.Wash peas and boil in 2 cups of water for 15 min-utes.bowl or plate and cover to prevent them from dry-ing. Spread the next batch of stacked discs and cook for 1 minute on each side.To make the paste:The paste is used to seal the envelopes as a bond-ing agent.Mix ¾ cup of wheat flour and ¾ cup of water to make a paste.Make the casings using the paste to bond and seal the edges.Fold the layers previously covered into 2, cut into half and then into quarters.Take a quarter and fold it into a samosa case and apply the paste to hold the edges together. Repeat this for the rest of the batches.Filling the Samosa:• Take each piece and fill in the pocket in the previously prepared vegetables.• Use the wheat flour water paste to seal the samosa case.Cooking:Put the remaining oil onto a pan and heat for 17 minutes or until the oil bubbles when a pinch of dough is dropped in the oil.Drop the samosa gently into the oil and cook each side for 2 minutes until golden brown.Remove from the oil and place over kitchen towels to drain any excess oil.


Meat Samosa Snacks

Nothing more delicious like the Tanzania meaty samosa! Mainly an urban dish, the meaty samosa serves as a breakfast item and a whole day snack. It is enjoyed by the entire family.


  • ½ kg minced beef 
  • 30 g coriander, fresh 
  • 1 stem (356 g) leek, unpeeled, raw 
  • 1 clove (5 g) garlic, unpeeled, raw
  •  ¼ tsp. (1 g) chilli pepper, fresh, raw
  •  3 cups (475 g) wheat flour, refined½ tsp. (2 g) salt, iodized 
  • 1¼ cups (264 g) water 
  • 3 cups (572 g) cooking oil
Samosa pocket preparation: 
  • Put 2 ½ cups flour in a bowl and add 1 cup cold water. Mix into a medium soft dough. 
  • Turn dough onto a flat surface and knead thor-oughly until smooth.
  •  Make a thick long roll, cut into 9 pieces and make the pieces into small balls.
  •  Roll out the balls, one at a time into desired thickness. 
  • Flour the surface, slightly oil the top of each rolled-out ball and stack them on top of each other. Continue until all the pieces are placed. 
  • Stitch the edges by poking light holes. 
  • Roll them out together to one large round piece. 
  •  Heat a shallow pan and toast the rolled dough for 2 minutes per side. If the shallow pan is too small, cut the rolled-out dough to fit. 
  • Toast each side lightly, peeling off each layer after toasting until all the 9 pieces are separated. 
  • Cut triangular shapes on each separated piece; fold each of the triangular pieces into an enve-lope and seal the edges with a preparation of wheat flour paste.
Preparation 1 hour | Cooking Time 1 hour | Makes 28Meat Filling:

  •  Put the meat in a pan over a fire. Stir continuously.
  •  When the juices start oozing out from the meat, cover to cook. 
  • Finely chop the leek, coriander and crash the garlic. Mix them together in a bowl. 
  • Add salt and chilli to the meat after about 10 minutes. 
  • Continue stirring and crushing the meat to prevent it from forming balls. 
  • Cook the meat until it dries.
  •  Add the leek, garlic and coriander after 4 minutes and stir.
  •  Remove from the fire after 1 minute.
  •  Let the meat cool before using it to fill the casings. 

To make the paste:

 The paste is used to seal the envelopes.
 Mix ¼ cup of water and ½ cup of flour to make a thick paste.
  Make the casings using the paste to bond and seal the edges.Filling the Samosa:
 Spoon the cooled meat filling into the casings and seal off the edges using the paste.
 Do not overfill the casings to prevent it any tears or rips on them.Cooking: 
Heat the remaining oil in a deep pan up to 170°C or about 6 minutes or until the oil bubbles when a pinch of dough is dropped in the oil. 
Carefully, deep each samosa into the hot oil and cook while turning until golden brown on both sides. 
Remove from the hot oil making sure to let any excess oil drain back into the pan.
 Place onto paper towels to drain any excess oil. 
Repeat the process until all the samosas are cooked.