Kenyan Style Masala Chips
EVENT: SHHH COOKING SECRETLY
THEME: HOMEMADE RESTAURANT STYLE FOOD
RECIPE: KENYAN STYLE MASALA CHIPS
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 in Kenya.
Here, chips is what the North Americans call French Fries. Being a former British Colony, chips is the word used for french fries and the North American Chips is what we call crisps.
How did this popular dish come about? No idea but all I know that the love for Masala Chips started from Exotica Restaurant in Nairobi. At that time the restaurant was very small, so majority of the people ordered food from their cars and enjoyed it in the car. Now Masala Chips is referred to Masala Fries on their menu. Exotica was not the only restaurant selling masala chips. So many other fast food places sell it. Slush is one of them, So does Chowpatty. In Mombasa, Blue Room does them very well.
Meru Potatoes grow abundantly in Kenya and chips made from them are out of this world. No seriously, they are. The chips become nice and crunchy without burning and yet are soft inside. Whenever hubby and I go out of Kenya for a month or two to visit family, the first thing we want to have at the airport when we’re waiting for our connecting flight to Mombasa, is a big plate of masala or garlic chips. At the airport Paul Caffe make them pretty good.
I feel that some smart restaurant owner must have come up with an innovative way of using up old fried chips instead of binning them. Once left for a couple of hours, chips tend to become soft and tasteless. Whoever, invented it, it is sure is a popular dish that is ordered all over Kenya to enjoy on its own or with chicken, fish, nyama choma, kebabs, chappati, etc.
Why Make Kenyan Style Masala Chips?
- First of all it is a totally different way to enjoy a plate of chips or fries.
- Serve it as a snack or starter.
- Serve as a side dish with chicken, roasted meat, fish, kebabs or parathas stuffed with eggs, meat or vegetables.
- Take care of that nostalgic feeling when you’re miles away from Kenya/Home.
- Kids Party – just go easy on the chillis.
- BBQ or Koroga Parties – Masala Chips cooked on a big tawa and served hot as a snack to go with your cold beer or drink.
A Bit About The Group:
In brief, every month a new theme is chosen by members. Furthermore, the participants are paired up. In turn, they give each other 2 secret ingredients to use in their recipe which is prepared fitting the theme.
As soon as their dish is ready, the photo is shared on our Facebook group. The other participants try and guess the secret ingredients. Towards the end of the month the recipe is shared on the group. Additionally, members get to know each other and interact with them.
This Month’s Theme
Aruna who blogs at VasusVegKitchen suggested that we make Restaurant Style Food at home.Anything that is a family or our favourite. While on restaurant style food, I would love to try out Aruna’s Curd Rice Recipe. For the theme she prepared …
My partner this month is Sujata who blogs at Batter Up With Sujata. I knew my dish would be a savoury one so I asked her for ingredients that would go into a savoury dish. She gave me tomato ketchup and ginger as those are fast food restaurant popular ingredients. Keeping that in mind, I gave her kasuri methi and lemon juice. Using those two she had made creamy Chicken Keema Kali Mirch The restaurant style dish that I would really like to make (as soon as I get some okra) is her Bhindi Korma.
This time round also partnered with Renu who blogs at Cook With Renu as she had no partner. I gave her wheat flour and yeast as she had wanted to bake something. With those ingredients she has prepared Domino Style Garlic Breadsticks which I love. Also on my list to try out is Mangodi Ki Kadhi from her blog.
Some Of My Restaurant Style Food Made At Home:
Will never forget the delicious Momo Soup we had every evening during our stay in Kathmandu.
Love Mombasa Mix so much, usually have it on Sundays from Cafe Ayaz in Mombasa.
A must have whenever I go to Indian Restaurants in UK – Garlic Chilli Mogo
Honey Chilli Potatoes – love to order these from Indo Chinese Restaurants in India.
If I could, I would finish a whole bowl of Paneer Butter Masala, love it soooo much.
Besides Podi Idli which I always order from Madhurai Idly and Rava Idli from Shri Krishna In Bangalore.
French Toast is what I love when we go to different cafes for brunch in Montreal.
Banana Mango Smoothie Bowl whenever we have breakfast at the Elementum, Bali.
My Restaurant Style Recipe – Kenyan Style Masala Chips
I had two recipes in my mind when this month’s theme was suggested, mushroom tikka and Masala Chips. Kenyan Style Mushroom Chips won as we’ve been away from Kenya for 7 months and MacDonald or any other fast food place chips cannot stop the craving for Kenyan Style Masala Chips.
Many people are under the impression that this dish is popular among the Asians of Kenya. However, that is not true, as you will see kids and adults from all different cultural backgrounds enjoying this dish. I remember every time we had our Lions Club board meetings, masala chips were always ordered to enjoy with our drinks.
The other popular Chips Dish in most restaurants is Garlic Chips. One style is like making masala chips but with more garlic added and with little or no onion. The other style is where garlic is stir fried in oil, some paprika or Kashmiri chilli powder is added and then the fried chips. With a sprinkle of lemon or vinegar and a bit of salt, garlic chips is ready.
Ingredients Required For Kenyan Style Masala Chips
- Chips/ French Fries – fried, air fried or baked. I used frozen chips which I baked in the oven according to the instructions on the package. Make sure the chips are crunchy and not soft. Otherwise they will become soggy when you add to the masala.
- Oil – any oil of your choice. I have used sunflower oil.
- Onion – peeled and chopped. Can use red, white or yellow. Chop up the onion finely.
- Garlic – peeled and chopped finely or minced.
- Ginger – peeled and grated or minced.
- Green Chillis – chopped, use according to your taste.
- Red Chilli Powder/ Paprika – use according to your taste.
- Turmeric Powder – haldi.
- Coriander Powder – dhania powder
- Fresh Tomato Puree – thick. I usually cook the tomatoes and puree them with little water.
- Tomato Ketchup – some restaurants use only ketchup to make masala chips while some use a combination of fresh tomatoes and ketchup.
- Chilli Sauce – while the best one to use is the famous Kenyan Peptang Sauce, you can use any one you have at home. I used Sriracha.
- Salt – add according to your taste. Many frozen chips/fries already have a bit of salt so taste and add accordingly.
- Fresh Coriander/ Cilantro – chopped.
Watch How To Prepare Kenyan Style Masala Chips
KENYAN STYLE MASALA CHIPS
- 200 -300 g chips/french fries
- ¾ cup onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1-2 green chillis chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp red chilli powder or paprika
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- ½ cup fresh tomato puree thick
- 1 tbsp chilli sauce
- ½ -1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
- First prepare the chips or french fries. I used frozen ones which I baked in the oven following the instructions on the packet.
- Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion and stir fry till it becomes soft.
- Add garlic paste and stir fry till it begins to turn light pink.
- Add ginger and chilli. Stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add turmeric, chilli, coriander powders and mix well.
- Immediately add the tomato ketchup. Mix well.
- Add tomato puree and chilli sauce. Mix well.
- Allow the sauce to become a bit thick, it should not be watery at all.
- Add the fried, air fried or baked chips.
- Sprinkle salt over it. Mix well. Allow the mixture to become hot and mix gently occasionally.
- Add chopped coriander, mix well and serve immediately as a side dish or on its own as a snack.
- Allow the chips/fries to become a bit crunchy so that they do not become soggy when you add to the masala.
- Adjust the spice level according to your taste.
- Be careful when you add salt. Some frozen chips/fries already are salted.
- Usually it is best to consume masala chips as soon as you prepare it. However, if it becomes cold, just heat it up in the pan or in the microwave oven.
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