Chapatis are normally available in any of the Nairobi neighborhood vibandas, and even within the CBD. It is hard work to prepare chapatis. Getting the dough consistency right, ensuring that the chapatis do not come out in all manner of shapes and cooking them so that they are soft and pliable is an art a number of Kenyans have not mastered. The soft chapatis bought from street vendors are normally served with various accompaniments such as kachumbari, a sausage wrapped inside the chapati or even a helping of fries rolled inside the chapati.
Samosas are one of the most popular snacks in the city. They are triangular pockets of dough which are stuffed with either meat, ndengu, beans or potatoes and then fried in bubbling hot oil. They can be eaten as they are or as pasua (they are cut and then kachumbari is spooned into the crevice).
As the name suggests, this is a sausage that is cut lengthwise (in Swahili this is ‘pasua’) then filled up with kachumbari and different sauces. Sausage pasuas are so yum that I have not heard of a person who ate one and called it a day. You have to eat at least two.
This is one of my favourite Kenyan delicacies. Made from intestines stuffed with different kinds of meat, herbs, spices and even blood then grilled, mutura is sumptuous and possibly one of the hardest to find. Most locals serve it with a cup of soup, which has to be shaken vigorously in a kibuyu to mix well. I think it tastes better and cures hangovers faster that way, while the mutura is just exciting to eat.
Outside most nightclubs, there is normally a grilling table with all manner of snacks, where hungry revellers short on cash and in need of a quick meal fix mill around. Mshikakis are normally a staple at these grilling tables. They come with different meats on the wooden skewers, such as beef or chicken, and one can even get a vegetarian mshikaki.
This is a delicacy you will find anywhere in Nairobi with little trouble. The maize is normally grilled on the cob over charcoal, and served on the maize husks. It’s often spiced up by rubbing a lemon cut into half that has been dipped in a mixture of salt and red chilli powder. Yum!