A foodie’s guide to Dar Es Salaam

Tanzanian food is a rich fusion of Indian, Middle Eastern and African flavours. Here’s a list of local dishes you must try when visiting the capital, Dar Es Salaam.

Nyama Choma

Nyama Choma, or roasted meat, is so popular a dish in Tanzania, it even has its own festival. Always eaten with the hands, you’ll find Nyama Choma anywhere from the finest restaurants to roadside shacks. Popular meats for the dish include goat, beef, chicken and fish. Kachumbari salad, ugali (cornmeal starch) and greasy French fries are typical sides.


Makubi is a traditional Tanzanian dish consisting of wild spinach, sweet potato leaves, tomatoes and onions cooked in a creamy peanut butter sauce. Beyond being delicious, it’s reputed to have medical benefits, like helping to fight off various dietary problems.

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Don’t forget to try it while you’re in Dar Es Salaam.


To make mishkaki, Tanzanians marinate beef, goat, chicken or fish, and roast the meat until blackened. The end product has a wonderful, fiery flavour. It’s similar to Indian tandoori or Middle Eastern kebabs, but with distinctly Tanzanian flavours added in.

Many Tanzanians eat mishkaki with garlic naan or French fries.


Often called an East African doughnut, mandazi is a type of fried coconut bread. It’s sweet and triangular, it has a fluffy texture, and Tanzanians eat it for breakfast, dessert or as a light snack. Have one or two over chai tea – another local favourite.

Coconut Bean Soup

Thanks to its coastline, Tanzania has a constant supply of beach foods like fish or coconut. One perk of the country’s access to beach ingredients is the ever-popular, sweet-and-spicy coconut bean soup. Its ingredients include coconut milk, beans and shredded coconut, creating a delicious, versatile meal. That is, it works as a starter and as a main course.

Sweet Potato Pudding

Lastly, don’t forget to try Tanzania’s delicious sweet potato pudding. It’s a healthy dish made from sweet potato and other local ingredients, like cardamom and saffron.




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