Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chipsi Mayai

I don’t know if Tanzania has a “national dish”, but one dish you can order at just about any restaurant or that can be found in little wooden shacks on the corner of any village or city is called chipsi mayai.  It is delicious and to be honest, so many volunteers here have wondered why Americans haven’t caught onto this easy to make and delicious to eat dish.  So, here is a recipe for those of you who like to cook:
  1. 4 medium potatoes
  2. 2 eggs
  3. Oil (for frying)
  1. Peel potatoes and cut into the size of steak french fries
  2. Heat enough oil to cover the potatoes until drops of water cause “boiling”
  3. Put potatoes in the hot oil and cook until soft, turning occasionally so they cook evenly.
  4. Remove potatoes from oil and place in frying pan with 1 TBSP of oil.
  5. Beat two eggs and pour over the potatoes in the frying pan
  6. Cook them together for a few seconds and then flip using a plate (invert the frying pan over the plate and then slide the chips mayai  off the plate and back into the pan with the uncooked side down on the heat).
  7. Press the chipsi mayai into the pan with a spatula as it cooks.  After a minute or so, flip again using the plate and press again with the spatula
  8. Continue cooking until the egg is completely cooked.  
Most Tanzanians eat it with a tomato or chili sauce over top, you can use ketchup.  The name comes from “chipsi”, which is just basically British English for french fry with a Swahili accent and mayai means eggs in Swahili.
If you try it out, let me know!


  1. what is the tanzanian dish that has hominy, beans, etc all mixed together? I am racking my brain trying to remember the swahili name..

  2. In my village, they call it kande, though I am not sure if it is the tribal word or swahili...I will see if I can ask soon for you.

  3. kande - that's it! thank you! you wouldn't have a recipe for that by any chance, would you?

  4. The school I work at cooks it every Wednesday. I'll head to the kitchen Wednesday and see if they'll show me what they do!

  5. Any luck with getting the ingredients? If someone would've told me when I was living in Tanz years ago that someday I would be hunting down the recipe for Kande I would never have believed them! :)

  6. Hi! Last week, my school didn't make it (who knows why!)...I haven't forgotten & will definitely get it for you. I can't believe you're hunting it down either. :)

  7. Hello Sara. I have found your blog while searching for Chipsi Mayai recipe :)
    Thanks! I quoted your text on FB profil giving references where did I take it. Recently I had an opportunity to live and work in Zanzibar. Chipsi Mayai are my and my partner's favourite dish :) If you would like to visit also my blog you are warmly welcomed:
    Soon I hope to link it to my main blog:

    Talk to you soon I hope!

  8. Hello Nouveau Souffle - I have a rough recipe for you for the konde - send me your email.

    K - I am excited you found my blog. I am going to look aty ours now! cheers!

    1. Hello Sara, my name is Katarzyna and on 12th of Arpil I have posted a comment on your blog. Could you plz remove it from your post about chipsi mayai? Thank you for your understanding. Best!

  9. yay! thank you, sara! My email is

  10. Thank you so much!!!! This was my staple diet in Dar-Es-Salaam for 4 whole months!!!! You just brought back all those wonderful memories!!!! I can't begin to tell you how much this means to me! God bless you!!!