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Must Try Traditional Tanzanian Foods

Must Try Traditional Tanzanian Foods


Traditional Tanzanian food is a major attraction in any visit to the beautiful country. The locals create food using fresh and organic ingredients, and adding a blend of spices for flavor. These spices include garlic, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cumin, coriander, vanilla, lemongrass, pepper, and cloves. The food is aromatic and delicious, as it is influenced by Indian, Arabic, Swahili, Portugese, Turkish, and British cuisines, as these cultures have been a major part of Tanzania’s rich and beautiful history and heritage. Some traditional Tanzanian foods must be tried by each traveller, as they make the visit extraordinary and unforgettable. Here are the top Tanzanian foods that every tourist must try!


  1. Ugali

Ugali is the national dish of Tanzania, and is a staple item in every meal. It consists of a dough made with maize flour and water and then cooked into a bread. It is often eaten with vegetables, soup, stew, fish, beans, or grilled meat. 


  1. Nyama Choma

Nyama Choma is a mouthwatering Swahili dish of grilled meat. The tender barbecue of lamb, chicken, goat, or beef, is marinated in lemon juice, turmeric, and curry powder, and roasted over hot coals till it is well cooked, juicy, and delicious. 


  1. Mshikaki

Meat skewers are popular around the world, and in Tanzania, they are found as Mshikaki. One of the top street food items that tourists can try, this consists of marinated meat skewers which are slowly cooked over open coals. These can be made using goat, beef, or mutton, which are grilled to perfection and served.


  1. Pweza Wa Nazi

Seafood is an important part of East African culture, and is eaten in many unique ways. Pweza Wa Nazi is an octopus curry made creamy coconut gravy, and flavored with coriander, black pepper, garlic, tomatoes, and turmeric.


  1. Biryani

An Indian inspired rice dish, biryani is made with a blend of spices that provide it with exquisite flavor. The rice is flavored with black peppercorn, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom, and often served with meat or chicken.


  1. Samaki

Samaki is a creamy dish of fish curry in coconut milk. The traditional food item is delicious as it is flavored with lemon juice, tomatoes, coriander, garlic, and onions.


  1. Chipsi Mayai

Chipsi Mayai is a dish of french fries served with eggs, which is often enjoyed with a side of tomato sauce, vegetables, or sauteed potatoes.


  1. Wali Wa Nazi

A popular Swahili dish, Wali wa Nazi consists of rice boiled in coconut milk and then topped with a garnish of vegetable leaves. The coconut flavor is amazing, and works as an excellent pairing with meat, fish, chicken, or curry. 


  1. Zanzibar Pizza

In Zanzibar, one of the most famous dishes of the region is Zanzibar Pizza. Made with a dough, it is filled with onions, peppers, meat, egg, and cheese, creating a delicious and unique dish that provides an insight into life at the lively island. 


  1. Vitumbua 

This deep-fried dish is commonly eaten as a breakfast item. It is made with rice flour, coconut, and yeast, and provides a lovely sweet taste in the morning.


These are some of the top traditional dishes that tourists must try during their visit to Tanzania, so they can connect deeply with the beautiful culture of the region!