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Your ultimate guide to street food in Tanzania and how to make it

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    The street food in Tanzania is among the things that you shouldn’t miss when coming here. Whether you take a day trip to Zanzibar’s Stone Town or a boat to Pemba Island, trying a popular dish from the street food stalls is an unforgettable experience.

    Walking through the night market in Stone Town will bring you close to the heart of Tanzania culture. Many traditional food dishes in Zanzibar can be found as street food and is wholesome, hearty, and delicious. Another great thing about street food in Tanzania is that you can experience it at any time of the year, whether it’s during the rainy seasons or the dry seasons.

    Now without further ado, let’s get break down the kind of street food you can find in Tanzania.

    Street food in Tanzania: Your comprehensive guide

    Tanzania is a land of incredible diversity, with something to offer everyone. From the bustling city life of Dar es Salaam to the serene beaches of Zanzibar, there is something for everyone in Tanzania.

    And one of the best things about Tanzania is its food. Tanzanian cuisine is a delicious melting pot of Indian, Arab, and African flavors. There are plenty of street foods to enjoy in Tanzania, so let’s take a look at some of the best ones!

    street food in Tanzania

    Chipsi mayai

    street food in Tanzania

    Chips mayai is a traditional dish found in many parts of Tanzania. You’ll find this delicious, popular dish throughout Stone Town and Zanzibar Island. It consists of deep-fried chips with beaten egg. The two ingredients are fried together and are a delicious breakfast meal.

    Where To Buy: Darajani Market, Stone Town
    When To Eat: Breakfast

    How To Make Chips Mayai?

    Ingredients

    • Already Cooked French Fries
    • Salt or salt alternative
    • Black Pepper or an alternative spice for taste
    • Cooking Oil
    • 1-2 Eggs

    Instructions

    • Cook a bag of french fries or buy some already premade
    • Whisk together the eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Then mix in all the French fries.
    • Heat your cooking oil in a suitable pan and add the mixture. Cook until the bottom is golden, then flip and cook the other side.

    Mishkaki

    Tanzania - mishkaki 1 - Your ultimate guide to street food in Tanzania and how to make it

    This popular dish can be served on any special occasion. It consists of BBQ flavored meat pieces on skewers and can be enjoyed in hotel restaurants or during a safari trip in Tanzania. If you happen to be in Dar Es Salaam, consider going to the popular restaurant Mishkaki Mwendokasi. Here you’ll find some deliciously flavored mishkaki to eat.

    Where To Buy: Mishkaki Mwendokasi, Dar Es Salaam
    When To Eat: Lunch – Dinner

    How To Make Mishkaki?

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb beef of sirloin beef
    • 2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
    • 2 tbsp of cooking oil
    • 2 tbsp of vinegar/lemon juice
    • 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
    • 1/2 tsp of spice mix (tandoori masala)

    Instructions

    • Combine all the ingredients (but not the beef) in a mixing bag. Shake well until they’re all mixed together.
    • Cut the beef into cubes and add it to the mixing bag and marinate for at least five hours
    • Soak the wood skewers in water for about 20 minutes to ensure that they don’t burn.
    • Preheat the grill, put the meat on the skewers, and then on the grill. Cook until your desired consistency is reached.

    Fish food galore

    Tanzania - fish food galore - Your ultimate guide to street food in Tanzania and how to make it

    Whether you’re interested in fish and chips, or exotic marine life meals and snacks, we guarantee that the fish food in Tanzania is phenomenal. Before heading down to the beautiful beach for a walk with your lover, consider grabbing a plate of fish in the afternoon. Islands like Mnemba Island, Chumbe island, and Pemba Island all serve fantastic fresh seafood.

    Where To Buy: Fresh fish food can be found throughout the island as it is one of the most common things to eat in Zanzibar.

    When To Eat: Eat nutritious fish throughout the day or as a midday snack.

    How To Make Tanzania Fish Curry?

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    • First heat up the cooking oil in a pan and add the diced onions with the chili powder, coriander, curry powder, and turmeric. Sauté the onion and spices for about 6 minutes on low heat until softened.
    • Gently stir the ginger and garlic paste into the onion and spices. Cook for a couple of minutes.
    • Then, add the diced tomatoes and stir regularly so that they don’t burn at the bottom of the pan. After cooking for a few minutes, pour in the coconut milk/cream and simmer for half an hour.
    • Finally, gently stir the tamarind paste and the fish pieces into the pan. Ensure that the pieces of fish are covered by the sauce. Then put a lid on the pan and cook for 7 minutes. Serve with the coriander.

    Zanzibar pizza

    Tanzania - zanzibar pizza - Your ultimate guide to street food in Tanzania and how to make it

    Some travelers claim this to be the Tourist National Dish. Unlike traditional Italian pizza which can be found in some hotel restaurants in Tanzania, Zanzibar pizza is a delicious pan-fried ball of dough filled with cheese and other delicious toppings such as meat and vegetables.

    Where To Buy: All across Tanzania at Street Food Stalls

    When To Eat: Lunch – Dinner

    How To Make Zanzibar Pizza?

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp salt to taste
    • 2 tbsp of cooking oil
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 diced onion
    • 2 diced tomato
    • Vegetables, cooked and diced
    • Mayonaise (optional)
    • Egg
    • Pieces of meat
    • Chilli to taste

    Instructions

    • add the all-purpose flour, salt and oil followed into a bowl. Then slowly add enough water to bring the dough together into a ball. Cover the bowl with a plate and let it sit for at least 1 hour
    • Pinch off a small piece of dough, oil your countertop, and start stretching the piece of dough out into a large disk.
    • Add your filling of choice, including the egg, vegetables, meat, and mayo for an authentic Zanzibari Pizza.
    • Bring the circle’s edges together, leaving a small space in the center.
    • Lift the uncooked dough ball off the counter and add it to a pan with a little oil. Cook each side for 8 min.
    • Cut up into smaller squares and serve.

    Ndizi nyama

    Tanzania - ndizi nyama - Your ultimate guide to street food in Tanzania and how to make it

    If you love spicy dishes, then ndizi nyama is a must-try. This dish consists of meat and banana cooked in a spicy sauce made up of chili peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and spices. It is outstanding and is full of flavor.

    Where To Buy: Darajani Market, Stone Town
    When To Eat: Breakfast – Dinner

    How To Make Vegan Ndizi Nyama

    Ingredients

    • 5 raw bananas
    • 1 diced large onion,
    • 2 diced medium-sized tomatoes
    • Cooking Oil
    • Salt to taste
    • Garlic leaves (optional)
    • Chives for garnish

    Instructions

    • Wash and slice the banana
    • Heat a skillet or pan on medium heat and add the cooking oil. Add the onions and garlic leaves. Fry until the onion is tender and translucent.
    • Add the tomatoes and cook until tender.
    • Add the sliced banana with the salt and then mix together.
    • Add the water until it boils, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let your banana simmer untill the water is almost dried up.
    • Garnish with parsley or chives. Serve with soya chicken or beef.

    Mandazi

    Tanzania - mandazi 1 - Your ultimate guide to street food in Tanzania and how to make it

    These sweet treats consist of soft dough stuffed with coconut cream and are known as Tanzanian doughnuts. They are often sold by vendors who travel around the country, selling them to locals and foreigners. Mandazi can be found in almost every city in Tanzania, including Stone Town and Dar es Salaam.

    Where To Buy: Throughout the restaurant vendors and markets in Tanzania.
    When To Eat: With breakfast, paired with chai tea or coffee.

    How To Make Maandazi

    Ingredients for 40 mandazis

    • ½ tsp of salt
    • 1 whisked egg
    • 1 can of coconut milk
    • Cooking oil
    • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup of sugar
    • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
    • 2 tsp of ground cardamom

    Instructions

    • Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, and salt together in a large bowl. Use your baking spatula to mix the egg and coconut milk into the center of the mix until dough forms and comes together.
    • Knead a small piece of dough on a surface floured surface until smooth and divide it into sizable portions. Roll a sizeable piece of dough into a circle about ¼-inch (6 ml) thick and then cut the circle into 8 triangles. Repeat until the dough is used up
    • In a large pot, heat up the oil to 350˚F (180˚C). Dip and fry the mandazi for about 3 minutes before flipping it. Drain on paper towels and serve.

    Conclusion

    Street food in Tanzania is phenomenal. The traditional style is wholesome and can be made at home.

    Want to find out more about Tanzania and its street food? Easy Travel curates the best safari experiences where you can watch millions of wildebeests migrate to Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Masaai Mara while munching on delicious food. Get in contact with our Tanzania experts to start planning!