Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ndizi na Nyama (Plantains with Meat)


Ndizi is the Swahili word for plantains. Nyama is the Swahili word for meat. This recipe can be either Ndizi na Nyama (Plantains with Meat) or Nyama na Ndizi (Meat with Plantains) depending on what's in the pantry. Make the dish without any meat and you will have a Mchuzi wa Ndizi (Plantain Curry). Also see: Matoke and Mtori.


  • one cup water
  • one to two pounds of beef (or similar), cut into bite-sized cubes
  • one teaspoon salt
  • one-half teaspoon black pepper
  • one-half teaspoon curry powder
  • cayenne pepper or red pepper, (optional)
  • three tablespoons cooking oil
  • one or two onions, thinly sliced
  • two tomatoes, chopped
  • one tablespoon tomato paste
  • one cup coconut milk (canned is okay, see the note about coconut milk on the Wali wa Nazi recipe page)
  • one bay leaf (optional)
  • three to six plantains, peeled and sliced
  • In a pot or pan, bring one cup of water to a boil. Add the meat, salt, pepper, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer.
  • While meat is simmering: Heat oil in a separate pan. Fry the onions for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for several minutes. Reduce heat. Add coconut milk and bay leaf. Cover and simmer.
  • Add sliced plantains to meat. Cook for ten minutes or until meat is done and plantains are tender.
  • Combine the onion-tomato-coconut mixture with the meat and plantains. Stir. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Serve with Rice or Ugali.

This dish can also be made without the coconut milk; just substitute a large spoonful of butter or margarine.

Plantains and meat steamed in banana leaves: Oluwombo.

Nyama is the word for meat in many Bantu languages across equatorial Africa.

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