Nyama Choma. The direct translation from Swahili to English is “Burnt Meat.”
Nairobians are a fan of this. More so than most cities I’ve lived in. From small local mabati’s to larger more more popular joints like Njugunas and Max Lands, NyamChom can be found in many bars and restaurants. You will see cuts hanging in butcher shop windows in markets and streets wherever you go. Though the most common meats will be Ngombe, Mbuzi and Kuku (Beef, Goat and Chicken respectively) you can go to places such as Carnivore and find specials such as Zebra, Crocodile, Antelope or other less common meats.
There is a lot I will discuss about NyamChom in subsequent posts, this most is more about the Nyama itself.
Some weeks ago my cousin invited me to handle the meat at his housewarming get together. I have a well earned reputation at when it comes to BBQing (and other culinary pursuits). Having not seen him or used particular skill-set in months, I enthusiastically accepted his request.
The day began with the usual pre-party prep. We went to Nakumatt Mega, (which is quite Mega indeed) where he made a few late minute purchases plus some ingredients I needed for the marinade. (Cheffin’it tip : Marinate your meats. Hell, even for an hour, but its advisable to do it for 3 hours to overnight.) Nyama Choma is an apt term as it is often just meat thrown onto the grill then served with salt to taste.
At his place we found other food being prepared. I cleared some space in the kitchen, unloaded the ingredients and he brought in the meat. To be specific, having stepped out of the house, I returned to him carrying a dressed goat carcass. Ah yes, this is Nairobi.
Nyama can also mean, is animal. Many of of you may be fans of BBQed meat but have never been in the presence of the live animal or post-death and pre-packaging. Of those that have, few can apportion let alone dress the animal, and a fraction of this small number have watched or participated or could/would in the slaughtering.
I find participating in this helps one get a better understanding of the circle of life that you are a part of. Life begets life, death can continue life, lives can cause death. More on this later.
- Shameless plug : I cook often, so do other friends. Cheffin’ it Up is a project that I’m finally launching. Its about food, check it out.
- Previous This is Nairobi Posts – Mosquito Menace ::: Intro to This is
::::Viewers discretion advised. Below is a gallery including animal carcasses::::
If that is not a problem for you