Friday, 21 December 2012


It is a world known fact that Kenyans love chicken and especially "Nyama choma"- meaning "Roasted meat". There are hundreds of "Nyama choma" corners in Nairobi. The awesome smell is really inviting. This time I tried to cook and try this at home with my small "JIKO" meaning "stove" in Kiswahili. Jiko is nothing but a simple stove used by Kenyans each and every day for their daily living right from cooking at home or to sell food in the streets. It is just like a barbeque grill and uses charcoal.

 I really cherish the moments when I cook food in a Jiko. I should call it as an adventure as lighting the Jiko is very challenging for me.Though it is tough to make fire in the Jiko I love the fact that it is super quick than my cooking range. Above all when I cook in the Jiko my whole family is with me talking and waiting to try a piece of chicken which gives me lot of joy.

Nyama choma is the hot favorite of an ordinary Kenyan. Roasted beef is an absolute delicacy here followed by chicken and mutton. Kenyan roasted meat is very simple and does not have too many dressings or ingredients. Salt, oil (mafuta) and that's it.Everytime when the meat is turned during roasting the  meat is brushed with plenty of oil and roasting happens even for hours.On a friday evening what a Kenyan would all ask for is Nyama choma and a bottle of beer and when it is Christmas the feasting never ends.

Lemony Nyama choma

Kenyans prefer to celebrate Christmas with their parents and relatives in a simple way upcountry(village). Whether they are a great business man or a millionaire they would prefer travelling to their village 2 to 3 days before Christmas, spend time with their parents, greet them and go around their village, talk to their old village friends . When there is a big gathering/ get together they sing their traditional Christmas songs and then dance and of course enjoy eating "Nyama choma".

1 whole chicken(skin peeled)

Juice of 3 lemons

Paprika- 1 tbspn

Salt to taste

About to be roasted

Marinate the chicken with the ingredients and leave it overnight in the fridge. The next day prepare the fire in the jiko and roast the chicken from 30 minutes to 1 hour very slowly by turning the sides to avoid charring. I have not used oil here completely. The fat in the chicken was good enough. I like this way of eating the chicken rather than to fry it. Make sure the chicken is cooked properly. Slow roasting will help to achieve this.

Getting ready
Ready to relish
Serve with salads of your choice.  It tasted better with cut slices of cucumber, tomatoes and onion.
Eat responsibly this Christmas!
Merry x'mas!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice looking chicken and yummy.. we call roasted chicken lechon manok in Philippines