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Eating Rwandese Beef Stew

Hey there! I’m Oluwalanu! Today we are back with more from my cultural trip to Rwanda.

On my second day in Rwanda, I woke up early, got ready, and set out in search of Rwandese food. Sometimes before a trip, I’ve done all my research on an ethnic group, and other times, I do the research day by day. It was the latter in Rwanda. I did a little google search to find out the most popular Rwandese dishes. I remember seeing brochette and loads of fruits. After seeing the fruits, I thought I can’t go on a fruit tour of Rwanda? I mean I can but I didn’t want to because I’ve eaten most of their popular fruits before. Whenever I feature a new ethnic group, one of the highlights of my trips is always eating something I have never tried before and letting everyone see my first reaction.

So my next move was to turn to locals. I asked my taxi driver where I could eat some Rwandese food and even he was a bit turned around. It didn’t seem like there were a lot of really traditional Rwandese dishes. I’m not sure but it came across to me like dishes weren’t as structured as they are in other cultures. I believe they eat a lot of buffets and pick different foods to form their own plate.

After thinking for a while, my taxi driver said he knew somewhere I could go. He took me to a restaurant called Java House. Upon entering, my first thought was the restaurant looked commercialized like fast food. Yes, that’s the best way to describe it, fast food. So I thought whatever I ate there may not be so authentic. Either way, I went up to the till and asked the cashier if they had any traditional Rwandese dishes. The lady replied, “yes but we only have Rwandese beef stew”. I had no idea what that was but I’m always down to try any food because I mean people eat it every day in the country so what could happen to me? And I’m also not allergic to anything.

After ordering, I decided to also order a banana and yogurt smoothie while I waited. As I mentioned in earlier posts, bananas are a favorite in Rwanda and are used for many things like just eating, weaving baskets, and making beer. So I thought it wouldn’t be fitting if I left Rwanda without eating something with banana in it. I loved the smoothie, it was sweet and familiar. While I drank my smoothie, I did a little research about the meal I was about to have for the first time, Rwandese beef stew.

The Rwandese beef stew is made with plantain, potatoes, tomatoes, carrot, peas, spinach, and of course, beef. I don’t like peas so I was getting prepared to avoid them throughout the meal. The meal came after about 20 minutes. The beef stew looked very rich and healthy. When I tasted it, however, it didn’t seem as flavourful as I would have liked. However, I will assign that to eating it at a fast food joint as opposed to a bukka-style restaurant. I think in other places the dish would have been much better. I hope to go back to Rwanda again soon and have a more authentic experience of Rwandese beef stew and of course, try other local dishes like isombe or sambaza.

Before I go, I also had brochettes at the end of my trip. After a lovely tour that I shall not disclose now, I had some brochettes for dinner. Brochette is goat meat on skewers. It was like eating asun without the pepper and on a stick. It felt familiar of course and I enjoyed it.

Hope you enjoyed today’s post. See you again soon!




Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a writer and illustrator from Lagos, Nigeria.


In 2015, I started a company called IheartLagos with the aim of showcasing Lagos culture in a unique and fun way.


That journey took me down an exciting path, discovering and learning so much about Nigeria.

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