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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 must-try Zanzibar food dishes – Experiencing Zanzibar through its Scrumptious Food
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 must-try Zanzibar food dishes – Experiencing Zanzibar through its Scrumptious Food

Part of enjoying a country is actually relishing in its cuisine. Zanzibar has its own set of delightful dishes that tourists enjoy trying out. Below are a few of the most popular names


Coconut Bean Soup

Zanzibar makes good use of its local produce and the coconut bean soup is proof of the fact. Since the country is blessed with an abundance of coconuts this local soup is fresh, delicious and truly tantalizes anyone's taste- buds. The primary ingredient used in preparing the coconut bean soup is, of course, the coconut. The milk from the coconut is combined with shredded coconut which is then blended with kidney beans and tomatoes. The dish is finally seasoned with some spices, pepper and salt and served warm. Highly nutritious, the soup is also ideal for vegetarians. No matter what your taste is like, you are bound to fall in love with this treat.


Date Nut Bread

One dish you absolutely must try in Zanzibar is the famous date nut bread. In fact, a day in Zanzibar is not quite complete without this famous treat. Wholesome and nutritious this bread trumps all other bread and once you have had a taste of it you will want no other bread ever. The date nut bread is made more or less like any other bread with an exception of some chopped dates and walnuts being added to the dough. The resultant bread, however, is both unique and delicious and if you want something exotic for breakfast this is your pick.



If you are looking to try East Africa's staple dish, then Ugali is most certainly a must-have. The primary ingredients used in making Ugali is nothing other than maize flour and water and the resultant dish feels like a merge between Polenta and mashed potatoes. The consistency is dough-like and is usually eaten by breaking it up and mashing it into a ball and dipping it into this special saucy dish. Often Ugali is consumed with Nyama Choma which s a type of grilled meat or a special soup called Mchuzi. If you are looking for a Zanzibar restaurant where Ugali is served you can find plenty. Even hotels and resorts like The Residence Zanzibar have their own restaurants where traditional cuisine is served.


Mchuzi was pweza (Octopus Curry)

In Zanzibar Octopus is considered a favourite seafood, Mchuzi wa pweza in fact literally translates to Octopus curry and is among the many dishes that are absolutely loved by the locals and foreigners alike. This is one dish that is found in both the most luxurious hotels and the simplest of street stalls. This dish is prepared by combining a variety of spices with the Octopus which is then added into a pot of thick coconut gravy. The infusion of flavours makes this one unique treat that is definitely worth savouring.


Biryani ya Zanzibar

This is good old biriyani with a local twist to it. The Zanzibar version of this internationally renowned rice dish is made up by adding a number of local spices which are blended and mixed with either fish or meat. Both the curry dish and the rice are first cooked separately and then later mixed creating the perfect biriyani.

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