Street Eats, Tanzania: Chipsi Mayai

Karibu sana! Welcome back to our “Street Eats” series! Join us as we explore some of our favourite street foods from around the world! This week, we’re taking on Tanzania, a country that is not only known for being home to beautiful landscape (including Mt.Kilimanjaro) and exciting wildlife, but for traditional foods like chapati (a sort of oily, but yummy, pancake eaten for breakfast) and ugali, a dish of maize meal made with water that has the consistency of oatmeal and can be eaten with meat or vegetables, or on its own.

In 2005, when I spent 8 weeks of my summer volunteering in a village approximately 8 hours west of Dar es Salam, our staple meals included chicken, beef, rice and vegetables. When we ventured out of the house, we would order rice and beans, a filling (and affordable) meal. That was until, we stumbled across one of the most delicious street foods I have ever had – ever. Because of it’s superb simplicity yet irresistible appeal, my vote goes to…

#1 Street Food in Tanzania: Chipsi Mayai

Chipsi Mayai
image credit: Sunny Limebird

What is it?

Chipsi Mayai is the combination of fried eggs and potatoes. And oil. Lots of oil.

Where can you find it?

The dish can be found throughout Tanzania! While we enjoyed chipsi mayai in Mvumi, it was just as readily available in Dar es Salam, or the administrative capital of Dodoma, where we would venture on weekends to pick up supplies.

How do you make it?

Chipsi Mayai is incredibly easy to make – so much so, in fact, that I’m surprised a stand or two haven’t popped up along the sidewalks of North America. Best served with Coca Cola or Fanta (as shown here), feel free to add a dash of Ketchup (or any other sauce you have on hand) to the mix for an additional spark of flavour to this satisfying dish. To make chipsi mayai, you’re going to need:

Around 4 potatoes (peeled)

2 Eggs

Oil for frying

Cooking directions: Cut up potatoes into thick wedges like french fries. Heat up some oil. Fry up the potatoes. Scramble the eggs in preparation (or don’t, fried eggs work too). Remove potatoes and empty grease. Butter pan and add half the egg mixture and potatoes. Empty mixture again (flip into another bowl), re-butter pan and add egg mixture. Add the chipsi mayai mixture on top (the fries are suppose to be in the middle somewhere, like a grilled cheese). Finish cooking the remaining egg mixture and enjoy!

What’s your favourite street snack? Send us a post about your favourite street food to ardenjobling[@] and we’ll publish it as part of our “Street Eats” series…or leave  a suggested topic below!

Want to read more about Tanzania? Check out:

Giraffe in the homeland! 8 weeks as an overseas volunteer in Tanzania – Part 1/2

Giraffe in the homeland: The Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and final thoughts on volunteering overseas – Part 2/2

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