Street Food: The Nairobi Way

If you’ve ever lived in a highly populated area, or near a university, you must have seen food vendors. They range from Chipo Mwitu, Mutura, Chapo, Smokies & more. Well, I won’t deny, I love the snacks! A little too much. Every chance I get… When I am walking away from Roysambu or, after a night out with the fellas or, when I feel like my notes are going to give the makanga a headache. I turn to street food.

I went to Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi to do my O-Levels and every other break time, I’d visit the Cafeteria and order for a mandazi and a samosa. Do some surgery on the mandazi in order for it to accommodate the samosa and make a ‘combi‘. One of the teachers, noticed this mostly unusual combination of food, (Mostly because people would buy Pizza, Italian Pastries, and Pies) and ordered the exact same thing and he found that I was on to something.


Pizza Slice
Italian Pastry







The sweetness of the mandazi blends well with the savoury samosa and the occassional green chilli would always complete the blend of flavours and make it worth more than a pizza or pie, and way cheaper. The trend caught on with the teachers and some of the subordinate staff.








Although, now that I look back it seems it would have benifited from some salsa, or guacamole!! You live and you learn isn’t it? 🙂

Well, after that episode, I moved on to the uni life, and I lived in a hostel with a cafeteria within the premisis, and well the street food life continued with smokies, kachumbari, and chapo. That used to be my dinner for the days I messed up my money and had to survive. I’d spend about 35shillings, because kachumbari is free. Chop up my smokie, and place them strategically on the chapo, top with kachumbari, and roll the chapati to make a roll of sorts.

poor example but… you get the idea?
Smokie na Kachumbari

Though, I feel that the Kachumbari can benifit from some Vinegar, sugar, and black pepper. Apart from that, the addition of some toasted cumin may improve the overall taste of the popular snack.

Some vendors even took it as far as making it a ‘hot-dog’!! Ujanja to the max


The one thing I know that needs major improvement, is Mutura aka African Blood Sausage. It is rarely well seasoned, the minced meat and the innard mix can do with some marinading and we can also roast the sausage while brushing it with barbeque sauce to give it an excellent barbeque taste. I feel like thy would also benifit from some smoking with a strong smelling wood chips. Definitely would make it superior. Or something as simple as flogging the sausage with Rosemary or Parsley as it roasts, would definitely make a difference in the balance of flavours.

Mutura, pre-bbq sauce

I want to talk about it all, but I think my boss will get mad if I go too far with the stories, so stick around til next TastyTuesday for a look at Part II (deux en francais) on Street Food Nairobi Style.

Keep it #Tasty.


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