The name “the land of a thousand hills” refers to Rwanda’s famed fauna and magnificent landscape. And if you decide to travel there, you should absolutely sample the cuisine. The primary ingredients in Rwandan food are meat, grains, vegetables, roots, fruits, etc. As a result, we have included several Rwandan meals for you to taste and experience their extraordinary flavors!
22 Most Popular Foods to Eat in Rwanda
This dish from Rwanda, which is also known as “Kinyarwanda,” is straightforward but delicious and mostly made of chicken, veggies, and spices. It is specially made with some green plantains and chicken thighs. By adding some hot and green pepper, it can occasionally be made a little spicier.
The majority of Rwanda’s farmlands are used to raise a variety of grains, like sorghum and maize. These grains are used to make umutsima, one of the major staple dishes in Rwandan culture. Sorghum was once the most widely-grown cereal crop, and the word “umutsima” only applied to the sorghum dough. To manufacture sorghum flour, sorghum was harvested, dried, and processed. The sorghum dough’s distinct, well-balanced flavor makes it a wonderful complement to a variety of stews, meat and red bean dishes, and soups.
Cassava is a common component in Rwandan cuisine, and it serves as the foundation for this dish. It is necessary to prepare some pounded and boiled cassava leaves with onions, green pepper, and spinach throughout the preparation procedure. Isombe has a great flavor and, thanks to its high fiber content, is also beneficial to the body.
Misuzu, sometimes known as “fried plantains,” is a tasty yet healthy Rwandan snack. It is simple to produce and takes less time. It calls for a specific method of frying the bananas and serving them with salt or honey.
In practically every traditional Rwandan backyard, taro grows. In addition to being incredibly high in nutritional fiber, it is also delicious. Peeling, washing, and boiling are all you need to do to prepare it. Because of its delicious flavor and powdery texture, taro is very popular.
This meal can be referred to as grilled meat in Rwanda. After skewering the meat (often beef), Rwandans roast it over charcoal to give it a smokey, unique flavor. Brochettes are frequently served with roasted bananas, fries, and possibly cooked potatoes on the side.
A vegetable called isogi turns on the sour. Isogi is a very delectable vegetable that was extremely common in traditional Rwandan society. It is particularly well-liked by older people, both for its multiple health benefits and its distinctive taste. Isogi can be made in myriad ways, but the most common one is to fry it in butter. From the stem, the leaves are removed and cleaned. On low heat, a small amount of butter is added to the pan. The leaves are added after the butter has melted, and they are then combined with a wooden spatula. After adding salt, tomatoes, and onions, let the food simmer on low heat. Red beans are cooked beforehand and then added.
One of Rwanda’s basic foods, commonly known as “Ubugali,” is cassava flour, which offers excellent health advantages. Cassava meal is boiled in hot water with a little salt to make it. The porridge is also combined with some butter for a creamier texture and richer flavor.
Banana-based beer, known as uruwagwa, is a staple in Rwanda. It is made by fermenting banana juice, and sorghum, maize, or millet flour is added as a source of yeast. It is one of Rwanda’s most well-known and traditional drinks; it tastes great!
Without including igihembe, a traditional stew made from peeled red beans, this list would be incomplete. Since more than 200 years ago, red beans have been one of Rwanda’s most widely grown crops. The peeling is the first step in preparing this outstanding dish. The peel and flesh of the red beans are separated by soaking them in cold water overnight. The beans are taken out of the water in the morning, and the peels are manually taken off. After boiling the peeled red beans in water for one to two hours over high heat, salt, thin slices of bell pepper, and tomatoes are added.
The isambaza, one of the most frequently cultivated fish species in Lake Kivu, is at the top of this list. Western Rwanda’s national meal for generations has been isambaza. These fish are quite tiny, measuring no more than 10 millimeters. When fried and salted, they are offered as an appetizer or a snack. As an alternative, the fried fish can be made into a soup by combining it with tomatoes, carrots, onions, bell peppers, and spices. The delicious isambaza soup pairs perfectly with umutsima.
Read also – 31 Superfoods For Kids
The meal akabenzi, which is made with pork flesh, is a national favorite in Rwanda. The tender beef is prepared with some vegetables, dry-fried, and then served with boiled rice. It must be tried since the flavors will wow your taste senses!
One of the primary foods from Rwanda that is utilized in many Rwandan recipes is the banana. Bananas are used to make matoke, which is then served with a pinch of salt and occasionally some raw veggies. It has a good flavor and should be tried!
14. Pili pili
The pili pili is an exception to Rwandan cuisine’s generally mild spice level. It is a Rwandan sauce made by grating and crushing spicy peppers, onions, and tomatoes that have been briefly cooked. It is eaten with many different dishes since it gives them a little spice boost.
Fried fish served with pili pili or mayonnaise is known as sambaza. This delectable dish has been served in Rwanda since the 1950s! It is a must-try and fairly easy to make.
The nation produces a considerable amount of potatoes. Ibirayi is comparable to store-bought French fries. The method of preparation is what makes these conventional fries distinctive.
17. Grilled Tilapia
This is a staple of Rwandan cuisine. Tilapia is also referred to as “The Big Fish” and is a very well-known fish in Rwanda and other African nations. It spends a lot of time around Rwanda’s lakes. When visiting Rwandan restaurants, you may choose the size of the tilapia, which will serve approximately 2 to 3 persons. The peculiar smokey flavor of fish, onion, garlic, carrot, and spices will win you over. Fish is frequently eaten using fingers in Rwanda.
A delicious dish made with plantains, beef, and other seasonings is called agatogo. Plantains are widely distributed across Africa. The two types of meat most frequently used in the production of this meal are goat and chicken. During the stewing phase, the chefs will add some water to the pot to give the food a thicker texture. This meal is frequently eaten in Rwanda with rice or fried bread. You may occasionally come across agatogo prepared from fish.
A fresh salad called kachumbari is made with tomatoes and onions. In the nations of the African Great Lakes region, it is rather commonplace. Its name, “kachumbari,” is derived from the Indian word “cachumber.” Rwandans adore it as a side dish. Its other variations may include avocado, cucumber, cilantro, lemon juice, or vodka.
If you’re looking for a delightful sweet delicacy in Rwanda, Mandazi is a great option to soothe your palate. Although it resembles doughnuts somewhat, the extra ingredients give it a greater sweetness. It tastes lighter and sweeter than doughnuts made in the United States. To produce this dessert dough, the chef will mix eggs, sugar, milk, and baking powder. You can get crispy Mandazi in round or rectangular shapes after cooking. When it is smeared in honey, sugar, and peanut butter, the flavor becomes sweeter. It tastes fantastic when consumed with tea or coffee. For breakfast, the plain version is a good choice.
Ikivuguto is fermented milk that is available in various thicknesses and sourness levels. At its densest, it resembles a yogurt smoothie more than a typical beverage, but that is the extreme. The majority of the time, it’s just a tangy, thick milk product. Visit the capital of Rwanda, Kigali, if you want to take advantage of ikivuguto while you’re there.
In Rwanda, nuts are a common street food, and just like many other cuisines, their preparation and presentation may be rather complex. You may buy them packaged with anything from fruit pieces to soft beef and pork bits, in addition to the typical honey and chili-roasted variations. Even something called “G-nut sauce” exists, and it performs quite similarly to peanut sauce in both savory and sweet foods.
These were the 22 popular foods of Rwanda. The cuisine of this country is diverse, with some amazing tastes and ingredients. Do try it someday!
Read also – Top 24 Famous Foods Of Miami