Visit Rwanda: Try the 10 Most Popular Rwandan Foods

Ahmed Ibrahim
5 min readSep 8, 2022


Rwandan cuisines are based on local staple foods produced by traditional subsistence-level agriculture and have historically varied across different areas. If you love meat, don’t worry, many Rwandan dishes are made from meat and seafood.

1-Umutsima-Mixed cassava and corn

“Umutsima” is the mixture locals use to create wedding cakes, but any event or occasion can be an excuse to bake a cake out of umutsima. It is one of the best discoveries for gluten-free enthusiasts travelling to Rwanda since they need their bread to be grain-free. Various versions of these cakes exist, but umutsima is their common denominator.

2-Grilled Tilapia

For those that live near lakes and have access to fish, Tilapia is a popular and reasonably famous fish in Rwanda and many African countries, and it is also known as “The Big Fish.”

The dish will suffice for about 2 to 3 people. You will fall in love with the distinctive smoky taste of fish, onion, garlic, carrot, and spices. Rwandans often use their fingers to eat fish.

3-Brochettes-Rwanda Meat Skewers

Brochette is a common choice of people in the Francophone region. You may also find it in the cuisine of Gabon and other African countries. The French brought these excellent grilled skewers to Rwanda, but Rwandans have created their own versions.

In Rwanda, you can find skewers with beef or goat meat, fish, onions, and vegetables marinated with spices and grilled over charcoal in the streets and restaurants. When you order Brochette, you will be served with Pili Pili sauce and fried potatoes.

4-Sambaza-Deep-Fried Fish

Sambaza is an excellent suggestion for people who love to enjoy a dish with crispy tiny fish, when eating with mayonnaise or Pili Pili sauces, it will bring an excellent taste. The restaurants often enter their names on the list of appetizers on the menu. The Rwandans also make it as a curry to eat with rice.

5-Igisafuriya — Chicken With Plantains And Vegetables

Igisafuriya is a delicious cuisine with plantain contributions. This cuisine is a delicious combination of chicken and plantains.

The word “Igisafuria” in Kinyarwanda means “Pot”. This name comes from cooking all the ingredients in a single pot. When you enjoy it, you will also taste the flavours of tomato, onion, and other vegetables that blend.

6-Akabenzi (Pan-fried Pork)

Most Rwandans are livelihood farmers. This justifies their love for vegetable dishes. This should not discourage pork lovers.

What exactly makes Akabenzi special? First off, the small pieces of ham can only be eaten with your bare hands. Secondly, the locals believe that the snout of a pig resembles the logo of a Mercedes-Benz. That’s why it is even named after “Benzi”-a Mercedes-Benz.

The meat is dry-fried and later garnished with coriander leaves. Akabenzi makes a perfect accompaniment for boiled rice.

7-Agatogo (Plantains with meat and spices)

Agatogo is made from a blend of plantains, meat, and spices. The green plantains are fried with slightly cooked beef. Some water is also added to make a thick stew full of natural spices. It can also be made as a vegetarian meal. This dish is often served with rice or fried bread.

8-Kachumbari (Fresh Raw Veggies)

Kachumbari is a mixture of thin-sliced raw vegetables. It is a common serving dish across most East African countries. For the Rwandan kachumbari, cayenne and black pepper is included for a spicy flavour. The dish is made from onions, tomatoes, coriander, chilli and some lemon juice. The next time you enjoy your barbequed meat in Rwanda, try some kachumbari.


Matoke is made from bananas, fried with onions and seasoned with salt. Freshly ground spices give your Matoke a hot-sweet taste that you’ll enjoy. It is widely served in Rwanda and Uganda, where bananas are produced in large quantities.

You may have it slightly wet or with a spoonful of raw vegetables. Some fried beef does the trick too.

10-Beans and Avocados with Boiled Sweet Potatoes

The components are boiled sweet potatoes, cooked beans, and fresh avocados. There are plenty of avocados in Rwanda, and they are eaten regularly. These aren’t like normal avocados, either; they are giant! There aren’t a lot of spices or flavours used to make these, but it’s a filling, vegetarian meal.

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Ahmed Ibrahim

Full-fledged Content Creator & Tech Journalist. Worked previously with top publishers like AkhbarTech, Abda Adv, and RobbReportArabia.