Simple starters for an ethnic Kenyan meal

In Kenyan culture, appetizers can also double up as desserts. Here are a few simple Kenyan appetizer recipes that you can serve to jumpstart your ethnic Kenyan dish.

Sweet Rice

Ingredients (4 -6 servings)
2 cups rice
4½ cups water
Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon orange food coloring
4 tbsp vegetable oil
8 cardamom pods
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup currants

Wash and rinse the rice. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add the rice, salt and food coloring, and turn the heat low. When the rice is half done, drain the water and set the rice aside. Heat oil in a saucepan and add cardamom and sugar, along with the remaining ½ cup water. Boil together until it forms a thick syrup and add the rice to pan, stirring well to ensure that the rice is well coated with syrup. Cover the rice and simmer for another 10 minutes over low heat, until the rice is cooked al dente. Stir in the almonds and currants. Serve hot.

Other simple Kenya appetizers include samosas. See the samosa recipe below.

Samosas (Deep-fried Meat Pastry)

Ingredients (6 servings)
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp vegetable oil
½tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
Paste for sealing
2 spoonfuls plain flour

Ground beef
4 medium sized onions
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
½ tsp fresh crushed ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
1 bunch dhania (cilantro)
1tsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste

Instructions for filling

Put minced meat, ginger, chopped red and green peppers, and salt into a saucepan and cook for 15 minutes. Add chopped onions and dhania, cloves, cinnamon and lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes, remove and allow to cool.

Instructions for Pastry

Sift flour into a bowl and add salt and oil. Add lemon juice and enough cold water to make a stiff dough. Knead well. Divide mixture into small balls. Flatten three balls at a time and roll them out to the size of a tea saucer. Brush the upper parts of two with a mixture of oil and flour. Place the third on top of the other two and roll all three together to a ¼ inch thickness. Cook over a hot plate for about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and peel the three layers apart carefully. Cut them into 3-inche-wide strips. Take one strip and fill it with the ground beef mixture and fold to make a 3-cornered case. Make a sealing paste with flour and water and seal the ends of all cases. Fry the samosas in deep, hot oil until golden brown. Remove and drain in absorbent paper to absorb any excess grease. Serve hot or cold.

Related Kenyan Foods

TOP of Kenya Appetizers

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