Kenya Appetizers - Great recipes for home cooking

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Find here our best selection of Kenya appetizers. Mandazi is often served as an appetizer - a somewhat sweet, flat kind of doughnut. Mandazi is also great for breakfast and afternoon tea – authentic Kenya chai tastes best of course!

Samosas are also a great Kenya appetizers. Samosas are tasty deep-fried pastries, filled with meat (usually) or alternatively with potato, rice or vegetables. In Kenya they are also sold as a snack by street vendors and fast food restaurants.

M’baazi is an appetizer based on dried pea beans. Though the thought of eating pea beans as such isn’t exactly appetizing to some, you’ll be surprised to find how good they can taste if prepared in the right way!

On this page you’ll find authentic recipes to make these Kenya appetizers yourself! Please note: the weight of ingredients is in American units with the European units in brackets.

Would you like to see your recipe for Kenya appetizers appear on this page? Contact me and I’ll be happy to add it.

Also have a look at my recipes for main courses and dessert recipes.

Mandazi recipe (serves 6 persons)


- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 4 cups white wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup of regular sugar
- salt to taste
- corn oil
- powdered sugar to taste

Make the water and milk warm. Make sure all other liquid ingredients are at room temperature. Mix the liquid and dry ingredients all together (except the corn oil and the powdered sugar). Kneed the result until you have a smooth dough. Cut them into whatever shape you like (but in Kenya they are typically triangle shaped) and fry them in the hot corn oil. The oil should be hot, between 300-400 deg. F (150-200 deg. C). You can test the oil by putting a little bit of dough into the pan – the dough should gradually sizzle and turn brown. Then sprinkle the powdered sugar on them before serving.

Samosas (80 servings)

- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 inch (3 cm) ginger root
- 3 large onions
- 2 pounds (1 kilogram) ground lean lamb or beef
- 2 pounds (1 kilogram) frozen egg-roll dough, thawed
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon mussala
- salt to taste
- oil for deep-fat frying
- some flour

Put the ginger and garlic in a blender and blend them until they’re well mashed. Thinly slice the onions and combine them with the ginger, garlic, meat, curry powder, turmeric and mussala. Mix everything. Take a heavy frying pan and sauté this without adding any fat over a low heat for half an hour. Stir it occasionally and break up the meat. Also spoon off the fat.Cut the thawed egg-roll dough into strips of 3 by 6 inches (8 to 16 cm). Make a triangular pocket of each strip by folding one point up. Fold over again and fill the pocket with a bit of the meat mixture you just made. Bring down the top, then seal all the open sides with a paste made of water and flour. You should now have a meat-stuffed pastry in triangle shape.Now take a pan, heat the oil and deep-fat fry the samosas a few at the time until they are golden brown. Drain them before serving. If you have any left, you can freezee them and serve them later by warming them in a hot oven at 400 deg. F (200 deg. C).

M'baazi (8 servings)

- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
- 1 cup dried pea beans (or any other dried bean)
- 1 quart (1 liter) of salted water
- 1/2 cup bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 lettuce head
- 1 tomato
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt

Take a sauce pan, put the salted in it and make it cook. Cook the beans in it for 1 hour, or until the beans have become tender. Then remove them from the heat and drain them in a cullender. Take another sauce pan and heat the oil or butter. Put in the bell pepper, cayenne pepper, onion and salt. Sauté until the onion is tender but not browned. Add the beans and continue to saute until the onion is browned. Add the coconut milk and cook and stir, until the coconut milk reaches the consistency of a medium sauce. Put everything in a bowl and put it in the fridge until it’s thoroughly cold. Take small dishes and put lettuce leaves on them. Then put 1/2 cup of m’baazi on each dish. Finally garnish with pieces of tomato and parsley.

I hope you'll enjoy these Kenya appetizers as much as I do!

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