Celebrating the Christmas holiday in Kenya is special partly because of the feast. Kenyans travel from all over the world to their rural homes to eat with family and friends. Even if some tribes still eat traditional foods, such as Ugali, they serve them differently during Christmas. This is where knowing the foods eaten on Christmas in Kenya comes in handy.
Kenyan Christmas food is rich in species and sweet aromas. You will notice it during your trip to Kenya this Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, here is a list of the 10 special foods eaten on Christmas in Kenya.
Top 10 Most Delicious Foods Eaten on Christmas in Kenya
Africans celebrate Christmas by eating, drinking, catching up with relatives and friends, and attending church services. As part of the huge African community, Kenyans emphasize foods and drinks.
They buy foodstuffs and drinks in bulk to last the entire Christmas week and the New Year holiday. Most families prepare their favorite delicacies more carefully to produce the best tastes and aromas for Christmas guests.
The most special foods eaten on Christmas in Kenya include the following:
The Kenyan flatbread is Chapati or Chapo in short. People in rural areas can only accept a Christmas holiday with a Chapati meal. After all, they do not eat Chapatis that often after the Easter Holiday.
Children born in the eighties and before only saw Chapatis on Christmas day, making them appear as the most special festive dish. Even urban dwellers would not appreciate a Christmas without Chapos.
Most of them carry bales of wheat flour when traveling to their rural homes to ensure nobody misses a Chapati meal on Christmas. The locals serve Chapos with rice and meat stew.
They also taste good with stews made with lentils, green grams (Ndegu), and beans.
Thus, Kenyans who cannot afford enough meat during Xmas serve Chapatis with these cereal stews.
2. Nyama Choma
Most Kenyans love roasted meat (Nyama Choma) so much that they include it in every festivity. It is the easiest Christmas food to find in small and large restaurants and roadside eateries like Kamakis. Kenyan Christmas parties should have Nyama Choma, or else the guests will not appreciate them.
Beef, goat, and chicken Nyama Chomas are the yummiest and easiest to find. We serve Nyama Choma with Ugali and Kachumbari(a salad with tomatoes, coriander, and onions). Nyama Choma is a national dish in Kenya, meaning that all tribes enjoy it during Christmas and other parties. Our sisters and brothers in Uganda and Tanzania also love it.
Kenyans do not complete the Christmas week without cooking Ugali/Sima. People from different tribes prepare Ugali mostly with maize flour and hot water. However, some Western tribes also use millet and cassava flour.
Ugali is an admirable Christmas dish because it cooks fast, and one can serve it with stews, Nyama Choma, and green vegetables. Kenyans also serve Ugali with fish, plus fried ‘Kienyeji’ green veggies like Managu, Terere, Mrenda, Kunde, Sukuma Wiki, Spinach, Saget, Mitoo, etc.
4. Pilau Rice
One way to eat meat in Kenya is to add it to the rice. This type of rice is called Pilau, and it contains various spices, beef, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. Different tribes in Kenya have their Pilau variations.
However, the type (Biriyani) cooked in coastal Kenya is the most delicious and popular. Since Pilau made with Pishori rice is so delicious, females will even get a recipe to prepare the best version for Christmas. Most people eat Pilau with kachumbari and avocado.
During Christmas or any regular day, a Kenyan will eat Mandazi or Mahamri for breakfast. They are a form of deep-fried food that looks like a doughnut. Prepared with wheat flour, sugar, yeast, eggs, milk, and spices, Mandazi is tasty.
We serve them best with tea and milk. Some tribes serve Mandazis with black spicy tea. They are the most preferred morning food on Christmas Eve.
Mukimo is a popular dish in Mt.Kenya region and lately in other regions. Natives of this place, especially the Kikuyus, love cooking Mukimo during Christmas. The Mukimo dish has many variations, enabling Kenyans to cook it as they prefer.
For instance, you can mash potatoes or sweet potatoes with beans, peas, njahi, or green maize. Then, add green veggies used for this food, including pumpkin leaves and stinging nettle leaves.
Serve your Mukimo meal with Nyama Choma or meat stew. It is a delicious and healthy meal for all times. You can purchase it from most eateries in the city if you cannot make it at home during Christmas.
7. Meat and Vegetable Stew
The meat and vegetable stew is another of the special foods eaten on Christmas in Kenya. Kenyans will often cook yellow vegetables like carrots with meat during Christmas.
To cook this delicious stew, you need species such as:
- Coriander (dhania)
- Royco Mchuzi mix
- Fennel seed powder
You might need most of the above species depending on your recipe. Most rural people use the Royco Mchuzi mix product, as they cannot access other expensive spices in local shops.
A Kenyan Christmas stew can use animal meat. Mix with carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, and peppers. This stew tastes best with a tomato sauce containing salt and pepper. You can serve it alongside Ugali or Chapatis.
The most popular street food in Kenya is Mutura. It is still one of the 10 special foods eaten on Christmas in Kenya. Mutura is a slowly barbecued food prepared in a charcoal grill. Mutura is a stuffed, sausage-like food consisting of the meat you usually find in the goat’s belly.
It also has blood. Mutura makes the best appetizer dish when served with Kachumbari and festive drinks like beer. Mutura is proudly Kenyan, and most locals who cannot grill meat at home during Christmas will often settle for a piece of it.
9. Sukuma Wiki
Sukuma Wiki (kale) is a popular green vegetable in Kenya. No wonder it appears on this list of special foods eaten on Christmas in Kenya. We eat it throughout the year and on the Christmas holiday.
Sukuma Wiki is a suitable meal for vegetarians and vegans, as they do not eat meat. Kenyans prepare kale with onions, tomatoes, and sliced collard greens. The best Sukuma Wiki leaves are young and soft, as they are not bitter.
The locals serve kale with Ugali. Those who eat meat and fish can also serve it with Ugali and Sukuma Wiki.