Tanzania is one of the most famous tourist places in Africa. Together with Kenya, this is the land of the wild animals, of the great National Parks, the land of safari. Its tradition looks very much like the one of the nearby nations, in fact all of them – in South-Eastern Africa – belong to the swahili culture. As for food, as well. Tanzania shares with Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa some recipes, and with Middle East and Asia most flavours.

In Tanzania you will find the same famous dishes as the swahili food tradition, Ugali for example, or Pilau. Many recipes of the nation copy the particular food of the island of Zanzibar. And fish recipes are most spread all over the territory, especially along the beautiful coastal regions. You might be surprised to find shark, among the typical recipes. You will probably love to taste the many banana-based dishes, too. Let’s go find out more about Tanzanian food.

Tanzania food, spices and bananas

Tanzanians love bananas very much. Their bananas, though, are not like the ones we know. They call them Matoke, much larger and pulpier fruits, very good for making creams and purees. Matoke is also the name of a rich and delicious dish they prepare with these bananas: boil the bananas with coconut milk and mix them with spices. You will accompany them with sliced meat or sliced fish. It all will be cooked as a stew and the flavour is unique.

Bananas go also in the renewed Indian recipe of curry chicken, here including these fruits and more spices.  Spices change the flavour of a common beef stew, or of the swahili traditional Pilau, here called Viungo Vya (“the mix of spices”). Chicken and lamb are the favourite meats of Tanzanians, you find them in many recipes. But also fish is a food they like to prepare and eat. You might be surprised of the many way they know to cook shrimps and octopus. And … sharks, too!

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matoke dish

Tanzania food, do not miss a shark recipe

Pepper Fried Shark is a typical Tanzanian recipe, many tourists are curious about it. It is not common to eat shark meat, in many parts of the world, but here it is a delicious tradition. Try it prepared this way: mix flour with spices, pepper and salt, then prepare the batter by mixing in another bowl more flour with water and egg. Bread the shark meat with spiced flour, then put it into the batter. Fry it in a lot of hot oil. You can taste it accompanied with banana puree, coconuts, salads.

Where to eat

You will find the best Matoke recipes in many restaurants of Dar Es Salaam and along the coast, but you will also find them in the most famous tourist safari places. A good place where to eat Matokes is the inner coastal region of Lake Victoria, for example at Musoma. As for shark recipes, taste them along the Ocean coast or at Zanzibar. Also, Mafia Island hosts some of the best restaurants for fish recipes, and for shark dishes.

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good recipes in the Lake regions