Mandazi-Zanzibari Cuisine

Zanzibari Cuisine Guide

The best part of travel is the tastes you get to sample. Zanzibar has a long and rich history of spices and varied cultural influences so it’s no wonder that when it comes to food, you can really indulge all your senses here. Here are some dishes you absolutely have to try:

    • Sorpotel – the dish owes its origin to India. It has a rich masala base, a hint of the acid of vinegar and the tang of tamarind, all coating meat that has been boiled. While different meat is used, the focus is on the heart, liver and tongue. This dish is fragrant and flavorful.

    • Urojo – Often called a soup, the urojo is a fritter, or a mixture of fritters all immersed in gravy. The dish you have as a result is layers – urojo, gravy and then more urojo. This is ‘junk’ food and it pleases every single sense.

    • Samosa – this iconic street food is instantly recognizable by its triangular shape. It’s filled with meat or with vegetables and is over in a couple of bites. But you can always go back for more!

    • Zanzibari pizza – think of this dish as a pancake and you’ll understand what the Zanzibari pizza is. Toppings can be of any kind, including Nutella for that perfect delicious bite.


  • Meat sticks – a perfect on the go snack, kebabs are deliciousness in each bite. Carry these meat sticks as you wander about in this beautiful country of Zanzibar. For instance, can’t you imagine walking on the sands at your beach view accommodation Zanzibar with a meat stick in your hand?


    • Date and hazelnut bread – this dish is associated with the holy month of Ramadan, and is suffused with the flavors of sweet dates, hazelnuts and vanilla.

    • Mishkaki – made of chicken or beef, mishkaki is a kebab that’s very popular with the locals and the travelers.

    • Spice cake – predominantly chocolate, the cake also carries the flavors of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

    • Zanzibar Mix – this broth is like the urojo and comes with fritters and vegetables. Cassava, lettuce and potato are the most popular choices. Apart from this, the Mix has the tanginess of green mango and the rich flavor of coconut and turmeric.

    • Vitumba – sweet, soft and delicious, this coconut rich flour cake is a perfect sweet tooth snack.

    • Grilled sweet potatoes and spicy bananas are a hot favorite too.

    • Seafood – with such a rich coastline, how can seafood not be famous? You can try many exotic items, including octopus and pepper shark.

    • Mandazi – Deep-fried, sprinkled with cardamom and sweet, this donut is a good snack to try. It is slightly sweet and sprinkled with cardamom.

    • Pilau meat – the main meats used are goose, calf, or cow meat. The meat is cooked in coconut milk with vegetables.

    • Biriyani – like the pilau, biriyani is a popular rice dish where curry and rice is cooked separately, mixed together and eaten.


  • Drinks – try the sugarcane juice with lime and chili. Refreshing is the word for it. When it comes to local beers, the Kilimanjaro leads the pack. If you need something to wash down the snacks and kebabs, do pick up a glass or two of masala chai.