Mount Kenya Iruga

» Posted on Jun 28, 2008 in African Recipes | 0 comments

Mount Kenya Iruga

In a country abundant with natural produce, in particular the rich farmland around Mount Kenya, it is only inherent that Kenyans are avid food lovers.

Whilst new and innovative dishes veer towards a fusion of flavors from around the world, Kenya’s traditional fare forms the foundation for every cook worth his salt.

Join us on an imaginary safari to a traditional Mount Kenya village as we walk past small huts built in a circle around the centre of the Boma facing a roaring fire. It’s time for our “Iruga” (Feast) – karibu!

Get ready for your Mount Kenya “Iruga” (Feast)

Market List

For 6 portions

Nyama Choma (Mixed Grill)

  • 1 Fresh chicken
  • 12 Lamb chops
  • 6 Steaklets
  • Chilli powder
  • Tumeric powder
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • 2 Cups of yoghurt
  • Garlic


(The mashed vegetable melee)

  • 3 pounds Potatoes
  • 2 Bunches of Pumpkin leaves (or substitute Spinach)
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 pound of frozen corn
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • A little garlic and salt/pepper to season


(The really hot sauce)

  • 1kg Onions
  • 1kg Tomatoes
  • 500g Capsicum
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 1-2 Hot chilli peppers
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons/limes

And most important: Kenya’s signature Beer aptly named TUSKER (an award winning lager made from real hops grown in Kenya) you can find it in specialty stores.

Preparation: Kachumbari and the Mukimo can be made a day ahead and kept cool overnight.


  • Remove seeds of chilli peppers
  • Finely chop al ingredients
  • Place tomatoes, onions, chilli, capsicum and coriander into a bowl and mix well
  • Add lime/lemon juice and olive oil and toss all in ingredients thoroughly
  • Season to taste and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until all vegetables are soft and blended.
  • Keep cool overnight


  • Pre-boil all ingredients
  • Fry the Pumpkin leaves (or spinach) (or better use frozen spinach)
  • Now mash all the ingredients and pound them for a considerable amount of time or until your arms are sore and the mixture is smooth and green. That’s how they do it.

I find it easier to throw all the cooked ingredients into a processor and mash. Lastly, add the sour cream. Have a sip of cool Tusker and it’s done in a whiff. Season to taste.

The “Nyama” to make Nyama Choma

  • Prepare meat portions and marinate overnight. For the marinade use:
    • 2 cups full fat yogurt, heavily seasoned with tumeric, cinnamon, cumin crushed garlic and some chili powder.
    • Insert meats and chicken separately and cover with the peel of paw paw. (You can chop up the fruit and add it to the Kachumbari for a truly tropical flavor later)
  • Remove meat from marinade and drip dry …ready for the barbeque (discard the marinade).

On the big day…

Make sure everyone has plenty of cool Tusker to enjoy while they wait.

The aroma of the spices will make for big appetites and thirst.

All you need to do is warm up the Mukimo (in the microwave) and keep it warm near the barbeque, ditto with the Kachumbari.

Don your Chefs Apron and cook up a storm on the barbeque. You will have the most tender Nyama Choma (meat) ever, promise!

Karibu chakula – furahieni!

Enjoy your feast!

Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy