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Kuku Choma

If you have followed me on any of my social media platforms, you’ll see that I love to cook. Truthfully, both Chuck and I do.

While I’m the one with the classical culinary training, he’s an excellent home cook.

Whenever we travel, we love to do some kind of a food tour, and we are really adventurous with what we eat. Given the option of local foods or Western foods, we eat local food 99% of the time.

We also try to cook some of the local foods before we go, and we always cook foods we enjoyed when we return from our trip.

We’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos on Kenyan / East African cooking, and we played around a little bit for dinner this week before we leave.

One of the foods we see all over the videos, and practically a national dish is Nyama Choma. This loosely translated into roasted meat. In most cases, it is a slow-roasted goat, lamb /mutton or beef grilled over an open flame and seasoned lightly with salt.

Chuck doesn’t eat goat or lamb, so he’ll be sticking to the chicken and beef. I found a recipe online for Kuku Choma – which is chicken.

The recipe I found called for combining garlic, paprika, ginger, fresh rosemary leaves, bay leaf, black pepper, lime, rice vinegar, and Maziwa mala  (a natural yogurt).

I used some plain Greek yogurt we had here and basically eyeballed the ingredients for the amount of chicken we had. I used two large bone-in chicken breasts and mixed them into the marinade and let them sit for a few hours.

We grilled the chicken over medium heat for about 35 minutes, starting bone side down and then moving to the top rack to slow cook. The chicken came out moist and delicious with a great char on the outside, and you could taste a lot of the seasoning.

Kenya, as a former British colony, has a considerable Indian influence in their food. Indians were brought to East Africa to build the railway system. Although, we’ve heard that most Kenyans don’t identify everyday food like chapati, or samosa as Indian because they have always had them.

Living right outside of Tampa, we have access to some wonderful Indian markets, so we were able to get some wonderful samosa and chapati, and unleavened flatbread, to go with dinner.

We also had some fresh kale in our garden, so I made some braised kale with onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and coriander.

I also made some Kachumbari, a Kenyan Tomato and Onion Salad with red onion, tomatoes (we had heirloom tomatoes from the garden), chili pepper, cilantro, salt and lime juice (have seen with cucumber or avocado too).

Here is dinner: Samosas, Braised Kale, Kachumbari, Kuku Choma, and Chapati.

Kenyan food - East African food- Kuku Choma - chapati - braised kale - Kachumbari

It was delish, the only thing I might change is using wings next time to cook them more quickly and have the marinade really get into the meat.

The next time you see us blogging about Kenyan food, we’ll be in Nairobi!

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