Local and international cuisines; advice from nutritionists for eating well | The new times

Welcome to Rwanda, when you visit the country for the first time it is easy to get lost in its beauty, cleanliness and warm welcome. However, it is advisable to find time and try our various local foods. Rwanda is blessed with a variety of local culinary specialties and has over time adapted other East African dishes. Food is rooted in Rwandan culture.

Most restaurants serve buffet during lunch time and it mainly consists of carbohydrates such as potatoes, bananas, beans, rice, cassava, with peanut paste, meat or chicken with sauce. Sometimes the meal is accompanied by green vegetables, fruits, salads and snacks. If you are lucky, you can also taste ‘Isombe’.

Isombe is made from crushed cassava leaves, mixed with groundnut paste and served with meat or fish.

It is rare not to find French fries (also called french fries) on the menu, as Rwandans love them. On a chilly evening while you relax with friends, ‘ibirayi’ (Irish fried potatoes) is a must, along with a skewer. This Irish is peeled or unpeeled, as locals sometimes like it more with peels, but it is however washed. It is first boiled and then fried until it turns brown. Usually it is cut into two pieces. Some people prefer it with beer, but it can also be served with soda or tea.

Local food prepared at the Nutrient Rich Early Childhood Development Center. Experts advise including protein, grains or carbs and vegetables to balance your diet regardless of your dietary needs Photos by Sam Ngendahimana

Skewer or grilled beef in Rwanda tastes delicious, the meat is skewered and grilled giving it a pleasant aroma and taste. It is usually served with fries, boiled potatoes or roasted bananas.

You hear a lot of people ordering “Akabenzi”, which means fried or roast pork. The name derives from a Mercedes Benz, as its shape is known to resemble that of a pig.

“Agatogo” can mean a mixture of bananas, with peanut paste, meat or with other cooking ingredients. When left on low heat to form a thick sauce, it tastes delicious and can be served with rice or chapati.

‘Mizuzu’ (fried plantains) is another meal we enjoy here. The preparation is easy, it is peeled and sliced, then dipped in heated oil. You know it’s ready when it changes color to golden brown.
‘Ubugali’, made from cassava flour, is also an easy meal to prepare, especially if you are hungry and want something so quick in your throat. You need to boil some water and once it is ready, use a wooden spoon to quickly start mixing the flour and water. Add a handful of flour and continue mixing the water and flour until it forms a smooth paste.

It can be accompanied with green vegetables such as “sukuma wiki”, or fish curry, vegetable egg sauce, peanut stew, meat stew, etc.

All of the foods mentioned above may be available at most restaurants.

For drinks, in most bars you will find around five different types of beer, such as Turbo King, Primus, Mützig, Amstel and Skol, in large and small sizes. For soda, there is Coca-Cola, Fanta orange, Fanta Lemon, Fanta fiesta, Sprite and Krest tonic.

Milk, both hot and cold, is what some locals choose. They can take it with cassava, sweet potatoes or snacks like chapatis and mandanzi.

International cuisine

We have a number of international restaurants with tasty cuisine, some of them are Indian restaurants like Khana Khazana. They cook the best chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, biryan rice, fish tikka and much more. It is located in Nyarutarama.

The Zaaffran Restaurant also serves original, home-cooked Indian cuisine with well-balanced flavors and contemporary presentation. The restaurant offers meat and seafood dishes, in addition, it offers vegan, gluten-free and halal options. Besides the good tasty and spicy dishes, the customer service and the ambiance are the best.

The other best Indian restaurants at checkout are; DineDivine Resto, New Lahori Pakistani Restaurant (for Indian and Asian cuisines), Ki Asili Resto Bar & Fast Food (good for Indian and African cuisines), Delhi Darbar Kigali (Indian and Chinese) and many more.

For great Nigerian cuisine, for example, chicken jollof rice, chicken yassa, assorted meats and more, JollofKigali is the best place to go.

The best delicious Chinese restaurants are; Bamboo Rooftop Restaurant, Century Park Chinese Restaurant, Pan China, Zuri Hotels & Resorts Ltd and many more. Two things they have in common, appetizing food and a great atmosphere.

Eat healthy

Although there are a variety of foods to choose from, it is necessary to stay healthy. According to Private Kamanzi, nutritionist and dietitian at Amazon Nutrition Cabine-Gasabo, your food plate should be partitioned into proteins, cereals or carbohydrates and vegetables because this allows you to balance your diet whatever your dietary needs, by eating only local products. food available.

Emmy Ntamanga, a nutrition consultant based in Kigali says that while you may crave different types of food and drink, or no appetite to eat, he cautions against eating too much or too little habits, noting that this may affect nutrient intake, for energy, protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber and fluids.

Kamanzi emphasizes that a balanced diet is essential every day and should include; fresh fruits such as apples, pineapples, oranges and others, fresh vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and dodo, whole grains such as millet, oatmeal, brown rice, legumes such as beans and peas, lean proteins such as fish, beans, eggs, milk and beef, carbohydrates such as Irish potatoes, bananas.

When it comes to junk food, he says it needs to be avoided repeatedly as it lacks micronutrients, antioxidants and can cause cancer and high blood pressure in the long run.

Ntamanga says fruit should be part of his meal plan, “you can have fruit 30 minutes before or after eating and drink water at least 30 minutes after eating is healthy.”

Kamanzi recommends eating salads, such as tomatoes, onions and cucumbers every day after meals. For those who often enjoy mayonnaise in dishes or salads, he advises eating a lemon afterwards.

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