I’m a big fan of Instagram. It’s a great way to keep in touch with friends all over the world, and although some travel-related posts engender a bit of envy, the travel inspiration that comes with it is just too good. Any kind of Instagram accounts related to Kigali or Rwanda (like @rwandalicious_) are, for obvious reasons, my favorites. Hanging out in Kigali trying to get work done while seeing @rwandalicious_ post stunning shots of street scenes, volcanoes, Lake Kivu, and more is always a welcome break.
Recently, I found an Instagram account based right here in Kigali that is slowly becoming a new obsession. @kigali_eats, an account dedicated to restaurants and meals around Kigali, has been up and running for a little over a month now. Already, the account, run by an anonymous foodie living in the city, has a dedicated legion of followers due to their quality photographs of hot spots around town. Recent posts have included wine at Pane Olio & Pomodoro, eclairs at Baso Patissier, grilled cheese at Inzora, squid ink risotto at Filini, burgers at Poive Noir, samosa chaat at Fat Mama’s Kitchen, and more. Honestly, opening Instagram and getting instant (haha get it?) inspiration on where to eat that day or week in Kigali has been wonderful, and a much needed addition to my daily Kigali calendar. Plus, it’s always great to see initiatives supporting and loving all the wonderful things our city has to offer.
With a little luck, I was recently connected to the founder of Kigali Eats. We exchanged a couple of messages, mainly about our favorite spots in the city, before I was invited over to her home for a little cooking demonstration. In addition to being fed seriously delicious food (get excited for the photos below), I also received all the helpful tips and tricks for cooking delicious meals in this city as well as some background on Kigali Eats.
Mixing pancake batter, the mastermind behind Kigali Eats told me about her family, her connection to food, and her love for Kigali. “Regardless of what city I live in, I have always been very interested in the food culture: discovering local foods and food markets, exploring the restaurant scene, and cooking with easy to find ingredients.” This was undeniable looking around her kitchen – though Kigali Eats manages to travel quite a bit, she largely uses ingredients that she purchases e in Rwanda to make her dazzling treats.
Sneaking a bite of pancake (and giving me a nibble as well), Kigali Eats continued. “I have lived in Kigali now for several years, and wanted to start sharing my knowledge of the food and drink options here. I want to share my favorite restaurant dishes, highlight delicious cocktails, give instructions on where to find unique and tasty ingredients, and offer ideas on how to use them.”
The grocery stores stores and food suppliers near and dear to this foodie’s heart include Frulep, Sawa City (both Remera and original location), the Deli Store, Inzora, Nakumatt (they apparently have a ton of spices – you just have to look!), and Fresh Basket. As I loitered around her kitchen pretending to help while she cooked, I was able to see representatives from all of them – jams and chia seeds from Inzora, eggs and vegetables from Fresh Basket, sriracha from Sawa city, and more. As someone who has on more than one occasion been charged for overweight luggage on the way to Rwanda (I couldn’t say no to that extra bag of chocolate chips from Trader Joes!), I was seriously impressed with her creativity and commitment to finding great items in Kigali.
As we sat in her backyard, chowing down on avocado toast and mimosas, we spoke about our families and how they have impacted our relationship to cooking and food in general. With regards to her own familial and food-oriented experiences, Kigali Eats commented, “I grew up in a family and culture where food was a language of love. To share good food brought my family so much happiness and gave us all a wonderful sense of community. I want to continue this family tradition by sharing food and drink through Kigali Eats.”
Chia Seed Pudding with Mango Puree
Ingredients (and where to buy them!):
- 2 1/4 Tablespoons Chia Seeds (Inzora, Rwf 4,500 for 350g)
- 1 cup Coconut Milk* (Sawa City, Simba, MTN, Nakumatt, or Frulep for Rwf 1,300)
- 1 Tablespoons Honey** (Inzora, Rwf 5,000 for 500g)
- 3 Dashes on Lemon Juice*** (Sawa City, Rwf 1,400)
- 1 Dash of Almond Essence (Sawa City, Rwf 1,000)
- 1/2 Mango (Any market, including Kimironko and Frulep, Rwf 500)
* This recipe is good with most non-dairy milks. Kigali Eats has also used soy and almond milk, which can be found sporadically at Sawa City (Rwf 4,500).
** You can use any honey, but this honey, in the opinion of Kigali Eats, is the best honey in Rwanda. She also recommends Nyungwe Forest honey that is sold at Baso Patissier.
*** Kigali Eats has also used fresh lemon or lime, but found the bottle of lemon juice from Sawa City to be faster and to also have a more consistent flavor.
- Combine the chia seeds and coconut milk; stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Add honey, lemon juice, and almond essence to this mixture, stir. Let sit covered for 5 minutes, and then stir again. Place mixture in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Kigali Eats recommends doing this at night, so that it is ready first thing in the morning for breakfast! And voila, pudding!
- When you’re ready to eat your chia seed pudding, peel and slice 1/2 a mango and blend it until smooth and creamy.
- Put the chia seed pudding on top of the mango puree, and dig in!
Avocado Toast with Arugula and Soft Boiled Egg
Ingredients (and where to buy them!):
- 1 Avocado (Fresh Basket at Kiseki,* Rwf 300)
- 1 Egg (Fresh Basket online, Rwf 2,000 for 12 eggs)
- Arugula (Fresh Basket at Kiseki, Rwf 750)
- 1 slice of whole grain bread (Bbrood at Sawa City, Rwf 2,500 for a loaf)
- 2 Dashes Lemon juice (Sawa City, Rwf 1,400)
- Sriracha sauce (Sawa City, Rwf 5,400)
- Dash of the following spices: salt, pepper, dried coriander**, cumin seed, and garlic powder.
* Kiseki sells Fresh Basket’s produce, but you can also place an order online at freshbasketdlvd.com and they will deliver fresh greens to your door every Monday.
** The dried coriander is imported, but you can also use fresh coriander if you don’t have the dried in your spice cabinet.
- Boil a pot of water. Add the egg (or eggs, if you’re making a proper family-style brunch!) once the water has begun to boil. Boil egg (set your timer!) for 5 minutes and 45 seconds.
- Take out the egg and place it in a bowl of chilled water. Let it sit, and peel the egg.
- Mash the avocado until it is spreadable. Add all spices to taste and the lemon juice. Mix together well.
- Toast your bread according to preference, and spread a layer of the avocado mixture to the toast. Put arugula on top of the avocado, the egg on top of that, and add Sriracha if you want (the Sriracha gives it a great flavor). ENJOY!
Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes with Pineapple Jam and Maple Syrup
- 1/2 Cup quick oats (Sawa City, Rwf 3,500)
- 1 Cup whole wheat flour (Frulep, Rwf 2,000)
- 2 Teaspoons baking powder (MTN German Butchery, Rwf 1,000)
- 1 Egg (Fresh Basket, Rwf 2,000 for 12 eggs)
- 1 Cup soy milk (Sawa City, Rwf 4,500 – you can use regular milk here too)
- 2 Tbs sugar (Frulep, Rwf 750)
- 1/4 Cup yogurt (Frulep, Rwf 1300)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla essence (Sawa City, Rwf 1,000)
- Maple syrup (Frulep, Rwf 8,500 for 250g – you can substitute honey if you’d prefer)
- Coconut oil (Frulep, Rwf 5,000 for 500ml)
- Pineapple jam (Inzora, Rwf 5,500)
- Spices: cinnamon and salt
- Combine the oats, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and set it aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix the egg, soy milk, sugar, and yogurt together until smoth.
- Mix the two bowls together, folding the mixture with a spatula so it does not over mix (don’t want dense pancakes!).
- Head a griddle to 270 degrees fahrenheit. If you don’t have a griddle, a non-stick frying pan on a medium stove is fine too.
- Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan. Once hot, drop a 1/3 cup of batter into the oil. Cook until the edges are crispy and bubbles are in the middle, then flip and cook the other side. Cook about a minute or two.
- Almost there! Stack those pancakes, drizzle them with maple syrup and pineapple jam, and eat every last bite!
Alright Kigali-ites! What did you think of these recipes? Ready to try them out? Ready to go stalk @kigali_eats on Instagram? Have more suggestions for recipe categories for her to share with us? Let us know in the comments and happy (healthy) brunching!