Mombasa Mix

January 31, 2015mayurisjikoni
Blog post

Recipe: Mombasa Mix

Mombasa Mix is popular as street food in Mombasa. Nowadays it is much easier to find it at fat food restaurants. It is basically a brown chickpea potato curry cooked in coconut milk. It is then served with deep fried lentil fritters, coconut chutney and some chevdo. Chevdo is popular snack made of potatoes, lentil and flat rice with spices.

The origins of this super delicious dish is debatable. Some claim it originates from Mombasa and others claim it is from Zanzibar. As far as I am concerned, during the British Rule, it was all one area and coastal food was and is different from the inland. Most coastal food has a strong, Arab, Portuguese, British and Indian influence.


Where To Go For Mombasa Mix?

The first time I tasted Mombasa Mix was at the canteen situated next to the Aga Khan Jubilee Hall. I forgot the original name of the canteen. Now it is called Cafe Ayaz. The chana mix or Mombasa Mix tastes the same, really tasty. Nowadays Blue Room, Bhagwanji, Chetna Restaurant and so many other fast food joints sell it but I love the one from Cafe Ayaz.

I had the opportunity to taste a homemade version. Hubby’s friend’s mum makes it so well. Unfortunately, now she is quite old and does not cook as she forgets. However, I was lucky enough to get the recipe from her years ago. Gave it a try and my family loved it. Now that the kids are not at home, I just order from Cafe Ayaz and enjoy it.

But I promise, pretty soon I will redo the the recipe at home and hopefully shoot a video too.


Packing is all done, finally cleared out the fridge and after breakfast we will be leaving for the airport. Really excited. There’s much talk about the new terminal at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.Also will get to pass through the new terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport after it burned down and is now renovated.Who wouldn’t be excited to go to India? I know of many Indians born and brought up in Kenya who really don’t have such a strong feeling for India. There are times when the crowds and noise get to me. However after a good night’s sleep, that is all over and I am ready for another exciting adventure. Shopping, eating out, movies, spending time with family and getting pampered. Love India 🙂

Some More Popular Mombasa Recipes

Mahamri is basically like a doughnut but it is flavoured with coconut and cardamom powder. Doughnuts are ring shaped, but Mahamri is usually triangular in shape or sometimes round. Generally mahamri is enjoyed as a breakfast item on its own with tea or coffee or with mbaazi (pronounced as mmmbaaazi). Mbaazi is soaked pigeon peas cooked in coconut milk. 
Check out this recipe
Makai Paka/ Corn Coconut Curry is an easy to prepare, tasty and creamy Kenyan style curry in which corn is cooked using coconut milk. Usually, makai paka is enjoyed with mahamri, chappati or rice. Makai is the Kiswahili word for corn.
Check out this recipe
Kachri Bateta/ Kachri Babu is a tangy, lip smacking spicy potato stew served with a dry coconut mango chutney and topped with ganthia and crushed potato crisps or chips.
Check out this recipe
Vibibi are gluten free rice pancakes with coconut flavour from the Swahili Cuisine. Enjoy it for breakfast with the traditional kahwa.
Check out this recipe
Kenyan Chapati is a soft, flaky, chewy flatbread that is a staple part of celebratory meals in Kenya and other East African Countries. Popularly known as "chapo" in Kenya, it is usually enjoyed with curries as a main meal, with tea or eggs for breakfast.
Check out this recipe
Kenyan Style Masala Chips also known as chips masala, is a popular dish on most restaurant menus in Kenya. Easy to make, spicy and tasty. It is a must to try out these chips when you visit Kenya.
Check out this recipe
Deliciously crunchy, lentil or dal fritters, Vatidar Na Bhajia is a famous Mombasa Street Food. Enjoy piping hot with fresh coconut chutney, as an evening snack.
Check out this recipe

Vitumbua – rice pancake balls


Components Of Mombasa Mix

  • Chickpea Potato Coconut Curry
  • Vatidar Bhajias
  • Coconut Chutney
  • Chevdo

Ingredients Required For Mombasa Mix

Brown Chickpeas

Bengal grams. Soak about a cupful overnight in warm water. Next day drain out the water, wash the soaked chickpeas in a colander. Transfer them to a pressure cooker. Add enough water and 1 tsp salt. Cook for 3 whistles. You can cook them in a pan. However, it will take longer and you may need more water.

Split Cow Peas

Also known as chora ni dal, kunde in kiswahili. Need to soak the dal overnight. If you don’t get split cowpeas then use whole one.

Chana Dal

Split brown chickpea, also known as chana dal. Soak the dal overnight in warm water. You need it to make the vatidar bhajia (lentil fritters).


Need 2-3 medium ones, boiled and peeled. Cut them into large quarters.

Coconut Milk

Preferably of good quality and thick, not watery. You need it to make the vatidar bhajia (lentil fritters).


Peeled and minced for the chickpea curry.


Peeled and minced. Need it for the chickpea curry, for the vatidar bhajia and also the coconut chutney.

Green Chillis

Finely chopped or minced. You need it for the chickpea curry, the bhajia and for the chutney.


Peeled and finely chopped. Preferably red onion to add to the bhajia mixture.

Turmeric Powder

Need for the chickpea curry and the bhajia mixture.

Red Chilli Powder

To add to the chickpea curry. You may need some to add to the bhajia mixture if the green chillis are not hot enough.


For the chickpea curry, chutney and bhajia mixture.


Need enough water to cook the chickpeas. Need a little bit to grind the dals for bhajia and the chutney too.

Raw Mango

Peeled and grated. To add to the chickpea curry, the bhajia and the chutney.

Fresh Coconut

Grated. For the chutney. If you don’t get fresh coconut then use frozen one. I have tried this chutney with desiccated coconut and it does not turn out too good.

Fresh Coriander

Dhania, cilantro. To add to the chutney.


Any cooking oil. I prefer to use sunflower oil. Need a little for the chickpea curry. Also need enough for deep frying the fritters or bhajia.

Cumin Seeds

Jeera, jiru. A bit to add to the bhajia or fritter mixture.

Fresh Greens

Amaranth leaves, fresh fenugreek, spinach. Finely chopped to add to the bhajia mixture. If you don’t have any of the mentioned greens then add fresh coriander. fresh amaranth leaves are called chicha or terere in Kenya.


Is an Indian Snack that is readily available in all Indian Stores, online, etc. Kenyan Chevdo is a bit different from the Indian one. Kenyan chevdo has lots of potato crisps (chips), deep fried chana dal, deep fried flat rice (poha), spices, deep fried peanuts. Some also add deep fried moong beans and cashew nuts. I prefer to use Tropical Heat brand chevdo which is available in all supermarkets in Kenya and Indian Stores in UK and US.

Tamarind Water

Thick tamarind water in which a bit of salt and red chilli powder is added. This is an optional ingredient.

Red Chilli Chutney

Most fast food joints mix water and red chilli powder and a bit of salt. Some may a bit of lemon juice. Again this is an optional ingredient. Or serve it with my homemade red chilli sauce.



Mombasa Mix is popular as street food in Mombasa. Nowadays it is much easier to find it at fat food restaurants. It is basically a brown chickpea potato curry cooked in coconut milk. It is then served with deep fried lentil fritters, coconut chutney and some chevdo. Chevdo is popular snack made of potatoes, lentil and flat rice with spices.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Meal, Snack, Street Food
Cuisine Kenyan
Servings 8



  • 2 cups cooked brown chickpeas
  • 2 -3 medium potatoes boiled
  • ½ cup raw mango grated
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste or 2-3 chopped chillis
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 -1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil


  • ½ cup raw mango grated or chopped
  • 1 cup fresh coconut grated
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 - 4 green chillis
  • 1/2 inch ginger peeled
  • ¼ cup coriander fresh optional


  • 1 cup chora dal
  • ½ cup chana dal
  • 1 cup fenugreek or amaranth leaves chopped fresh
  • ½ cup raw mango grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste or 2 chillis finely chopped
  • ½ cup onion finely chopped
  • Oil for deep frying


  • 3 - 4 cups chevdo/chivda



  • Soak the dals separately overnight or for 8 hours.
  • Wash the dals and drain out the water.
  • Grind the dals coarsely  in a food processor. I prefer using the chopper as then it does not require water.
  • Add chilli, ginger, chopped onion, cumin seeds, chopped greens, salt and grated mango.
  • Mix well. Do not leave this mixture as it will turn watery. Immediately make the bhajias or fritters.
  • If the mixture appears too dry, add about 2- 3 tbsps of water. Usually its not required.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan or wok over medium heat.
  • Drop a small piece of batter in the oil. If it comes up immediately, the oil is ready.
  • Take a tablespoon of batter and using your fingers pat it into a round flattish shape. Drop into the hot oil. Repeat till you have about 6 to 8 bhajias in the oil. Lower the heat and start turning the bhajias, starting with the one you dropped in first.
  • Fry till they are crispy and golden brown. Remove and put on a kitchen towel or colander to drain out the excess oil.
  • Before frying the next batch, make sure the oil is hot.


  • If you are using dry chickpeas, you need 1 cup. Soak it overnight in warm water.
  • Next day drain out the water and wash the chickpeas.
  • Put the chickpeas in a pressure cooker. Add water till it just covers the chickpeas. Add 1 tsp salt. Close the lid and let it cook over medium heat for about 3 - 4 whistles. Alternately you can used canned chickpeas.
  • Cut the boiled potatoes into chunks.
  • Grind the grated mango into a paste or use it grated, your choice.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan over medium heat.
  • Add the garlic paste and stir fry it for 30 seconds or so.
  • Add ginger and green chillis. Stir fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the turmeric powder and chilli powder.
  • Immediately add the cooked chickpeas.
  • Add salt, potatoes, mango paste, coconut milk and the water.
  • Let the mixture simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with some fresh coriander, chop.ped


  • Put the grated raw mango, salt, coconut, water and green chillis into a blender jug. Also add coriander if you are using any.
  • Liquidize the mixture.
  • Take the chutney out into a serving bowl.


  • Spoon the hot chickpea gravy into a wide bowl.
  • Add 2 - 3 bhajias to it.
  • Add chutney and top it with chevdo.
  • Serve.


  • Adjust the chillis and other spices according to your taste.
  • I prefer to used the tinned coconut milk or cream for this recipe as it makes the gravy a bit thicker.
  • Mash a few potato pieces for a thick gravy.
  • Can also serve red chilli chutney with Mombasa Mix.
Keyword chana mix recipe, how to make Mombasa Mix, Zanzibar mix recipe


  • beena stephen

    February 1, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Wow new recipe to me , Looks yummy

  • remya sean

    February 4, 2015 at 9:28 am

  • Swathi Iyer

    February 4, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    You are right this is really delicious and filling one

  • Maha Gadde

    February 21, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks fr introducing new dish..

  • Herbs Spices and Tradition

    March 2, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Very nice recipe, i will try soon. You enjoy your trip to India.

  • Anonymous

    March 7, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Nice blog. ..good luck

  • Nana Mke

    August 30, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Where in Mombasa can I get fenugreek leaves?

  • Seema Doraiswamy Sriram

    November 28, 2018 at 2:15 am

    Wow, this looks so delicious. I love the way you have layered these up. It is such a beutiful mix of tastes and textures

    1. mayurisjikoni

      November 28, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks Seema, its our family favorite and a must if anyone visits Mombasa.


    August 7, 2019 at 11:05 am

    OMG! This is so delicious I want to make it immediately however will have to wait till the next mango season for the raw mango. I am sure the girls will go crazy over it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 9, 2019 at 6:15 am

      Archana please try it, its such a delicious Mombasa style chaat. Am sure the girls will love it.

  • Renu Agrawal Dongre

    December 18, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    wow all the recipe names you mentioned here looks so much like Indian. I need to keep checking your blog for Kenyan recipes. This Mombasa mix looks like a perfect mix and a yummy complete food with different flavours and textures

    1. mayurisjikoni

      December 19, 2019 at 12:39 pm

      Renu thank you so much. Mombasa Mix is a very popular street food in Mombasa. Its an amalgamation of different cultures to create a delicious dish.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    July 26, 2021 at 10:06 am

    I love chaats and would be happy to have this one too. Looks delicious and something which we will like.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      July 27, 2021 at 6:51 pm

      Thank you so much Jayashree.

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