Exploring Tanzanian Cuisine One Bite at a Time


When in Tanzania, you can’t pass up the meat and seafood. Nyama choma, or grilled meat, is a must-try. Beef, goat, chicken and fish are popular options, seasoned with local spices and slow-cooked over hot coals. Mishkaki, meat skewers, are also delicious and portable.

Meat and Seafood Dishes: Nyama Choma, Mishkaki and More

For seafood lovers, head to the coastal areas. Fresh-caught fish like red snapper, lobster, crab and prawns are plentiful. A fish curry or coconut-based stew served with rice or chapatis (flatbread) can’t be beat. Or try samaki wa kukaanga, whole fried fish garnished with lemon or tamarind.

With its mix of African, Indian and Arabic influences, Tanzanian cuisine is as vibrant and varied as the country itself. Whether it’s a beachside shack or urban restaurant, you’ll find meals bursting with exotic spices, tropical fruits and flavors as welcoming as the people. Dig in and enjoy this edible journey! Your taste buds will thank you.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Tanzania

In Tanzania, the fresh produce will blow you away. The variety and flavors of fruits and veggies are unlike anything you’ve tasted before.

  • Mangoes: Sweet, juicy mangoes are ubiquitous in Tanzania. Bite into a ripe mango straight from the tree – the sticky, syrupy juice will run down your chin. Tanzanian mangoes come in many varieties with a range of flavors, from very sweet to quite tart.
  • Passion fruit: The wrinkly, egg-shaped passion fruit has a mildly sweet and tart pulp with edible seeds. Tanzanians like to add the pulp to yogurt or ice cream.
  • Jackfruit: The huge, prickly jackfruit contains sweet, yellow pods of fruit with a texture like shredded chicken. Cooked green jackfruit is also used as a meat substitute in vegetarian curries.
  • Plantains: Starchy plantains, similar to bananas, are cooked and eaten like a vegetable. Green plantains are fried into chips, while riper ones are boiled, grilled or ground into flour.

With its fertile soil and tropical climate, Tanzania offers a cornucopia of fresh produce. Don’t miss the chance to taste these exotic fruits and veggies – your taste buds will thank you! Enjoy exploring the vibrant culinary traditions of Tanzania, one delicious bite at a time.

Popular Street Foods and Snacks to Try

Chapatis and Mandazi

When wandering the streets of Tanzania, two popular snacks you’ll encounter are chapatis and mandazi. Chapatis are unleavened flatbreads, similar to tortillas, made from whole wheat flour and cooked on a griddle. They’re usually served wrapped around a savory filling like beans, meat or vegetables. Mandazi are sweet, fried doughnuts made from wheat flour, sugar, yeast and eggs. They’re often compared to beignets or zeppoles. Either snack is perfect for satisfying your hunger on the go.


If you’re looking for something more substantial, try mishkaki, or grilled meat skewers. Cubes of beef, chicken, mutton or fish are marinated in a spice blend and grilled over an open fire. Mishkaki is usually served with a side of kachumbari, a fresh tomato and onion salad. For the full experience, eat your mishkaki with your hands while standing at the grill.

### Samosas

Another popular snack is samosas, fried or baked pastry pockets stuffed with spiced potatoes, lentils, ground beef or vegetables. Samosas are found throughout Tanzania, with slight variations in the filling and spices used in different regions. Bite into a hot samosa and you’ll get a burst of flavor from the aromatic filling and flaky crust.

With such a variety of tasty snacks, your taste buds will be delighted exploring the street food of Tanzania. Sampling these specialties is the best way to understand the local culture and cuisine. Just make sure to bring your appetite!