Tanzanian cuisine is quite rich and basically protein-based. Meat and fish, fried, in coconut sauce, with vegetables or simply grilled are among the dishes always present in the menus of typical restaurants.
Generally, it is beef or chicken, but goat is not difficult to find. The fish that arrives in the inland areas comes from Lake Victoria, while excellent sea fish is found on the coast and islands.
SPICES AND ANCIENT FLAVORS
The recipes are prepared with ancient spices and flavors from India or the Middle East and ginger is never missing, with which Tanzanians flavor everything, including the famous Masala tea, a tasty tea with cinnamon and, indeed, ginger, to serve hot.
The Indian community is quite large in Tanzania and has brought with it flavors and tastes typical of their culture, such as chilli pepper. Tanzanians have developed a delicious sauce for meat and fish to use with side dishes. It is prepared with tomato and chilli pepper and is decidedly spicy.
Another typical example is sambusa, triangular pancakes filled with spiced meat or vegetables. Very tasty.
Pilau and biriani are also spicy and of Arab and Indian origin, two dishes based on rice, meat and spices in quantities that are never lacking on Tanzanian tables, even on holidays.
The most common side dishes are kachumbari, a delicious salad of tomatoes, carrots, courgettes, cucumbers and onions then stewed beans, boiled white rice and, of course, ugali.
UGALI, THE NATIONAL DISH
Ugali is the national dish of Tanzania and the most common side dish. It is a sort of very compact polenta made with water and white corn or millet flour, strictly without salt.
RICE RICE RICE
Rice is served white as a side dish, but it is also the basic ingredient for some desserts such as the excellent vitumbua: sweet rice flour pancakes.
DRINKS IN TANZANIA
Apart from masala tea, you should not miss the freshly prepared fruit juices: mango, pineapple, watermelon, passion fruit or mixed and called healthy juices.
CURIOUS CULTURAL ASPECTS
A cultural curiosity concerns the way in which Tanzanians eat food: with their hands and often on common plates because in Tanzania the concept of sharing is the basis of everything and sharing food becomes a very important cultural aspect.