Gusii Ense y’omwando, foods to celebrate with this Utamaduni Day (Photos/Courtesy)

Gusii Ense y’omwando, foods to celebrate with this Utamaduni Day (Photos/Courtesy)
Photo Courtesy

Utamaduni Day is a day set aside to celebrate Kenyan Culture and cuisines among volunteer activities geared towards development. Kenyans have been urged to pray for the nation on this day, carry out volunteer activities that are geared towards culktural development and as well celebrate our cultural diversity. To many, this is a day of rest vas most government civil workers don’t have to go to work. Therefore, visiting your friends, relatives should be the bucket list to kick.

Interestingly, you could opt to visit the Kisii land, often referred to Land of ‘matoke’ and enjoy the local cuisines. Among them include:

Ugali (Cornmeal)

This is the most consumed food in 99% of the households in Gusii. The two common types of ugali include maize flour and wheat floured ugali. The latter, which is uncommon due to cultural mix-up was the favorite and order of the day. It could be taken with meat, chicken or beans.

Matoke (Bananas)

Gusiiland is mostly known as the "land of matoke". This is attributed to the fact that almost every homestead has a banana plant. Some are grown on small and large scales.

Bananas can be prepared in two ways, which include peeled or unpeeled. Peeled bananas are prepared by removing the outer peel of the banana, cutting them into small pieces, and cooking it.  Unpeeled bananas are prepared when the fresh bananas are washed and both tips end cut and then placed in a pot and water to cook. Both meals can be served while hot with tea for breakfast.

One can also eat ripe bananas, which are considered a fruit.

Amabere Amaruranu (Fermented milk)

This is the most amazing milk that you could ever test. The milk is prepared by boiling fresh milk then putting it in a well-cleaned calabash (ekerandi) and given time to turn sour. Once fermented the milk will be served with ugali or with sweet potatoes. For a continuous supply, one has to keep on adding boiled milk into the calabash, ensuring that you don't empty it.

Chinsaga no’mwongo (Spider flower plant mixed with pumpkins)

Chinsaga is a local vegetable that can grow in any condition. They are normally prepared by pruning the leaves, cleaning them and cooking them in a local pot. If they are young (omonyenye), they can be cooked and taken with ugali without any additives. However, if they are old enough (amasabore), they can be bitter thus addition of a pumpkin. Our forefathers used to cook them with blood, a cuisine that is out of circulation.

Boiled corn

These are normally maize that is yet to harden. They are harvested from the farm with their green covers and then they are removed until one layer remains then add Rig'ati (local salt) and water added for the corn to boil for about 15 minutes.  Once ready you can serve it with hot tea or coffee. There is also another way they prepare it by removing all the green layers covering them and cutting them with cobs into two or three pieces and then boiling them.  But the ones covered are sweet.

Sweet potatoes

They are cleaned added to remove all the soil, then put in a clean cooking pot on fire then left to cook for 15 minutes. When ready you can serve it with tea making it a perfect breakfast. For those who do manual work, this is the perfect breakfast rich in carbohydrates for your energy.

Do you think there is a meal here that is shared among the cultures and if so, which unique way does your community use to cook it? Or did any of the food mentioned above make your mouth water?