Gusiiland is blessed with sumptuous meals waiting for you to taste.

Photo: Courtesy.

Food is essential for our survival on the planet. Different cultural groups have their unique way of preparing these meals to meet their standards and be sumptuous. African tribes have been among the top in the preparation of local delicacies. In Kenya even though there is a modern way of preparation, some cultural groups prefer making their food like the old ways.

The Gusii community a tribe that hails from the southern part of Nyanza near Lake Victoria is among these communities.  The community occupies two counties that are Kisii and Nyamira counties.  From using pots and local utensils to prepare and serve these meals, to intense cooking of the meals. These meals prepared are delicious and some are eaten raw. They enrich an individual with a strong body and immune system.

The most commonly pre [eared meals include, ugali, matoke (bananas), sour milk, local brew (busaa), sweet potatoes, and boiled corn. These are among the main daily meals that are prepared and consumed by the majority of the population in Gusiiland.

This is the most consumed food in 99% of the households in Gusii. The meal is prepared by adding maize flour to already boiling water, giving time for water to evaporate then mixing the content till it hardens, this process will take up to utmost of 7 minutes. When ready you can serve it hot with any cooked vegetable or meat. Some of the local vegetables are the most appropriate to serve with ugali. There is a short story about how these perfect processes were attained. 

It goes, there was a woman who was envious of her pregnant co-wife. She was told to prepare ugali and back then ugali was just a stir-like porridge, the woman due to her envy was set to prepare the ugali to an extent that it will burn her stomach.  When the pregnant co-wife tested the new ugali she started sweating and happily requested for her to prepare it the same way she did.  Envy-made ugali. 

Matoke/ banana 
Gusiiland is mostly known as the "land of matoke". This is because here Gusii every household has a banana plant. Some are grown on small and large scales. They are two ways that bananas can be prepared these include peeled and unpeeled bananas. 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.

Unpeeled cooked bananas. Photo//courtesy 
Fermented Milk 
Locally known as amabere amaruranu 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 and given time to turn sour. once fermented the milk will be served with ugali. For a continuous supply of it, one has to keep on adding boiled milk into the calabash, ensuring that you don't empty it.  note don't place it near fruits such as ginger and lemon. For quick fermentation place the calabash in a warm place.

A lady mixing fermented milk. Photo//courtesy.
Chinsaga and pumpkin 
Chinsaga is a local vegetable that can grow in any condition. They are normally prepared by cleaning them and purring them in a pot, they are sometimes a breed that is bitter so a ripe pumpkin is peeled and added to the cooking content after sometimes the end product is local as Orokore. it is normally served hot with Ugali. It is very sweet and has health benefits for one's immune system it is also known to heal the common cold.

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?