Food in Tanzania
Tanzanian food is, on the whole, unsubtle but tasty and filling. If there’s one dish that could be described as quintessentially Tanzanian, indeed East African, it would be nyama choma – plain and simple grilled meat. If the restaurant is any good they’ll add some sauces – often curry and usually fiery – to accompany your meat and the whole lot will usually come with rice, chips, plantains or the ubiquitous ugali. This is a stodgy cornmeal or cassava mush. Usually served in a single cricket-ball sized lump that you can pick up with your fork in one go, ugali has the consistency of plasticine and gives the impression of being not so much cooked as congealed. A bit bland, it nevertheless performs a vital role as a plate-filler, and acts as a soothing balm when eating some of the country’s more thermogenic curries.
With the indigenous cuisine catering for carnivores, the country’s significant Indian minority has cornered the market for vegetarian fare. Indian restaurants abound in Dar, Moshi, Arusha and Nairobi, catering mainly for the budget end of the market though the cuisine at a top-notch Indian restaurant in Tanzania is amongst the best served outside Britain or India.