Eating like a Kenyan pt. 1

17 Jun

These two could beat you in a race while running backwards with their eyes closed.


Contrary to popular belief, Kenyans actually do eat.  Unless you live under a freaking rock you probably know that Kenyans are good at running. Very VERY good.  Besides the fact that they grow up not eating fast food and playing Xbox all day like our lazy ass American children, their diet is also a major factor in their success.  As a dedicated runner myself, I decided to live like a Kenyan for a day in hopes of learning some of their secrets.

Ok well, not really.  I didn’t have to worry about being killed due to genocide, didn’t have to suffer from poverty, and I didn’t have to worry about a large lion walking into my kitchen and eating me.  But I decided to eat like a Kenyan for lunch.  I was Starvin like Marvin

Luckily one of my best friends, and my favorite woman, in the whole world had some knowledge of how to prepare Kenyan food!  I introduce you to the lovely and fast as hell Amanda Russell!

She is cooler than you.

As a member of the track and cross country teams at the University of Arizona, Amanda has been taught by the several Kenyans on her team how to make their traditional foods.  And let me tell you, she has been taught well.  Hopefully I took good enough notes so you can try out some of these recipes for yourself!

The first food she taught me how to make was called “Chapati“.

Dough-Boy fresh


Chapati is pretty much the Kenyan equivalent of a tortilla.  It is traditionally served with meat stew and vegetables.  Luckily this recipe requires no fancy or expensive ingredients (via 3rd world recipe). All you’ll need for the chapati is:
-2 cups of white all-purpose flour
-1 Teaspoon of salt

1.) First, get a good mixing bowl and pour in the flour and salt.
-2 Gradually add water until the dough no longer sticks to your hands.   Do this carefully, if you add too much water you will have to put in more flour.  Be patient on this step, it may take up to 10min to knead the dough to the perfect consistency.

Mix the dough and water with your hands in the bowl like this

When mixed right the dough should look like this

3.) Next, take out handful size balls of the dough and roll them into a circle/sphere.   Then put a little extra flour on each dough ball.
4.) Just as you would with making a tortilla, roll out the balls of dough you have made.  Make them as thin as you can make them.

She's a pro

5.) Get a large pan and place it on a burner on medium heat until it is fairly hot.
6.) Some recipes call for you to cover the dough and let it sit for up to 30min but we were impatient and they still came out fine
7.) place one of the circular dough disks on the hot pan and pour a little olive oil onto the pan as you do so as shown in the picture below:

Lift up an edge and pour a little oil under

8.) Let the dough cook for roughly 1 minute (or until it is light brown) and then flip it to the other side. When tiny bubbles form its time to flip it over.
9.) Amanda showed me a technique they use at Arizona that I will try to describe to you.  She used a paper towel in her hand to press down in the center of the chapati and turn the dough disk in circles as it cooked. You can use a small clean towel as well.  If you don’t want to try this method, press the sides of the chapati with a spoon until it puffs.

Using a paper towel to turn

10.) When the chapati is  golden take it off and place it either on a plate or in foil to keep warm.


11.) Eat it! It’s best warm.  If you want to turn it into a dessert you can add some cinnamon, sugar, and dip it into honey!


We also made Ugali but I’ll save that recipe for another day (hence the “Part 1” in this toast title).

You may have noticed there were no pictures of me cooking or helping with any of this project…WELL, somebody had to take low quality iPhone pictures and be the test eater didn’t they?

Thanks for all the help Amanda!


Other News of Note:
Over 400 views on this blog already! Thanks y’all!! Love my followers ❤
– Hey LeBron, Don’t Mess With Texas
-Wow, I guess Canadians do ‘Go Hard’

Recommended Song of the Day:  “Touch The Stars” by Chris Young and Rossy



5 Responses to “Eating like a Kenyan pt. 1”

  1. catewestenhover June 17, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    That’s awesome! I want in next time! I want to be a kenyan too! And that really did look like a tortilla. Simple recipe via 3rd world, I bet…

  2. ye.a.. June 27, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    Chapati is actually eaten in India…

  3. eatrunswag June 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    It’s a staple food in many African countries as well

  4. jaun November 7, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    is there any nutritional value

  5. Lydia Monroe November 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    I took the photo of the boy in the green shirt making Chapati. His name is Johnstone and I met him when he was an orphaned street boy living on the streets of Kitale, Kenya. He came to Oasis of Hope (the organization I co-founded in 2004) in the year 2006 and then went on to live in one of our group homes (where he was in this pic as he made supper with his house brothers.) Johnstone is now in his second year of High School. And yes, he is one of the BEST chapati makers I have ever known! Oasis of Hope is currently assisting over 250 street children, orphans and other vulnerable children in Kitale. You can learn more about Oasis of Hope on our Facebook page at: .

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