What do we know about Rwandan food recipes?

Rwanda is still a young nation, just born again after a cruel civil war. It is trying to rebuild its touristic face and safari and food are two good ways to do it. The territory of Rwanda is mainly a mountain and highlands land, and its main attractions are forests and mountain gorillas. Safaris are different, here, compared to other trips you may do in Africa. And so is food.

Africa is famous for weird recipes, based on wild animals’ meat, or for fish dishes. In Rwanda you mainly find land fruits: vegetables, fruit itself, tubers or farmed meat. You can also find some fish recipes, but they will be lake fish. This territory also shares some gastronomic culture with neighbour swahili lands, so you will find dishes as Ugali here as well. But with a special addition. Are you ready to taste it … and much more?

Rwandan food recipes

The populations of Rwanda are basically farmers and hunters, so meat and vegetables are the roots of local cuisine. You will taste many different ways of cooking beans, potatoes, pulses and bananas. Manioc is another traditional food they use for many recipes, accompanying chicken or beef. Many dishes consist of corn, pumpkin and cabbages which often produce delicious mixes. Rwanda is also famous, in Africa, for a special recipe of … beer, the Urwagwa drink.

The most common dishes in the national territory are: Matoke, or fried plantains bananas; vegetable and manioc stew; Bugali – that is the local version of Ugali swahili recipe, based on corn flour, plus the boiled cabbage leaves. Rwandan people also love sweet potatoes very much, they eat them fried, stewed or cooked as french fries. Due to the war, many people had to leave the nation and only recently they could come back home: they brought to Rwanda international cuisine. So you can also eat Italian, French and American food if you like. Especially young people love to mix local food and foreign recipes, creating a new Rwandan cuisine.

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Recipes you must taste

Do not leave Rwanda before you have tasted some special recipes. Ibihaza, for example. This stew is a very delicious recipe from the country, made of a local pumpkin, sliced and mixed with beans. It all will be boiled and stewed so to become quite creamy, and can be eaten with manioc or maize. If you love fish, you will certainly try Isombe, that is mashed manioc leaves served with dried lake fish. You shall also taste the Rwandan beer, Urwagwa drink. It is a particular alcoholic drink derived from the long-time fermentation of banana (or plantains) paste. How many people in the world could tell to have drunk a … banana beer?

Where to eat the best Rwandan food

The capital city, Kigali, is the best place for your choice of Rwandan food. There are many good restaurants, small and cheap tasting marketplaces and also local farms where you can eat genuine food as they prepare it.  If you want to try fish recipes, try the restaurants at Rubavu, on the Lake Kivu shores. As for mountain food, the best place to try is the town of Ruhengeri, Musanze region, not far from the Volcanoes National Park.

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