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What Spices come from Tanzania?

Few people know that Tanzania grows numerous aromatic and exotic spices, even though it has a nickname of ‘The Spice Island’. Some of the spices Tanzania is known for are nutmeg; cloves; cinnamon; black, white and green pepper; ginger; chillies; cardamom and turmeric. So when you visit be sure to go on the ‘Spice Tour’, or do your own shopping in Stone Town and delight your fellow travellers with a delicious meal or two creating an authentic Tanzanian experience that will leave their tongues hanging out…

Try this Zanzibar Pilau Recipe from Tanzania


1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp black peppercorns

6 cloves 1 cinnamon stick

6 cardamom pods

oil for frying 5 garlic cloves

2 tsp freshly grated ginger

650g rice, washed and drained

3 onions, chopped

800g meat (beef, chicken, mutton, lamb, fish, prawns or any mix) cut into bite-sized pieces

4 tomatoes, chopped

4 potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 apple, peeled and sliced

200g raisins or sultanas


Heat the whole spices in a dry frying pan until aromatic then grind to a powder. Pound the garlic and ginger together in a pestle and mortar and set aside. Heat oil in a deep pan and fry the onions until translucent, then add the garlic and ginger paste. Continue cooking and stirring until a strong aroma develops. At this stage add the meat, stir and cook over high heat until the meat has browned on all sides. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a few minutes more. Remove the meat and most of the onions from the pan and set aside.

Add the rice and stir thoroughly so that each grain is coated with oil. Add the spices and 250ml water, stir and wait 5 minutes before adding the tomatoes. Cover the pot and cook for simmer for a few minutes more, with occasional stirring. After ten minutes add the potatoes and the apples and raisins. Adjust the water level if necessary and return the meat and onions to the pot. Continue simmering on a low heat for 10 more minutes. Remove the pot from the stove, and keeping it covered place in a warm oven (150°C) for an additional 20 minutes. By this time the contents of the pot should be almost dry and the rice and potatoes should be tender. Serve immediately.

Recipe from celtnet.org.uk

About Bronwyn Paxton

Article by: Bronwyn Paxton
on June 7, 2013
Filed under  Africa Blog • Ask Gerry 
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