Life. Love. Food

Cumin Nduma Fries with Roasted Garlic & Grapefruit Aioli

There really isn’t any place on earth where you can get the freshest, most bountiful, most flavorful, cheap organic produce than you would in Kenya. Most African countries also have the best tasting fresh produce but god was in a fantastic mood when he gave Kenya her fresh produce. I know for a fact we do appreciate it and I hope we intentionally enjoy it because life is to be lived and enjoyed!

If you have been following me for a long time now you know I love potatoes. I however never shy away from switching things up and in as much as regular potatoes are dope as hell, other root tubers also really bring alot to the table! Nduma in particular not only tastes fantastic, they are also so versatile and they take up flavor so beautifully! We made this nduma recipe waaaay back in 2015 ( I cannot believe I have been blogging this long!) and today we add another one that is even better, and for sure, plenty more are coming in the future!

I made a dope vid to accompany the blog post. Do watch below, and subscribe!

PREP TIME: 5min    COOK TIME:  30 min       SERVES: 2


For the fries

1 nduma root (about 200g)

1/3 cup of molten coconut oil

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon of ginger spice

1/4 teaspoon of thyme

1/8 teaspoon of black pepper

A sprig of rosemary

Salt to taste

For the aioli

200g of mayonnaise

1 teaspoon of very finely chopped chives

1 teaspoon of minced roasted garlic

Dash of salt and pepper

1 tablespoon of grapefruit zest

Splash of grapefruit juice


The star of this recipe is nduma. Nduma is arrow root and is a root tuber. It not only is very delicious, it is super sustainable as well and because we are moving into an era where we shall be living as consciously sustainable species, consuming sustainable food is something we all must align ourselves with.

Nduma has a deep brown fibrous exterior. When you slice it, the flesh is white and sprinkled with purple streaks and speckles all through. When cooked, it turns into a soft lilac/ lavender color while some strains turn grey.

To prepare your fries, slice your nduma into fries – as thick or as thin as you fancy- and place them in a bowl. I always get the question in my DMs on how to slice a potato- and the answer really is as simple as passing your knife through the potato and cutting it into pieces. If the pieces are thick, keep on slicing until you get to the size you desire. I like mine are thick as my finger, but other times I slice them even thinner. For today, this is the size I wanted.

To the bowl, douse them in the coconut oil. The coconut oil will not only facilitate the baking, but will also impart that gorgeous nutty flavor to them which is a huge plus!

Then, to the same container add in the spices and toss them.

Once coated, spread them over your baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at 150c (time will vary according to how thick your fries are cut so keep checking every 10 minutes or so).

As that is going, prepare the aioli.

An aioli is a sauce/dip that has base ingredients of oil, eggs and garlic. The name may sound intimidating but it really is straight forward to make. To cut through the time taken to make it, we swap oil and eggs and grab mayonaisse instead (which is made form oil and eggs anyway!)

Garlic is a key ingredient for any aioli. You can use fresh garlic, however for this I chose to use roasted garlic instead. Roasted garlic has a richer flavor. To prepare the roasted garlic, just cut off the top of the bulbs and place them over some foil.

Douse them with some oil, close them in the foil and let them bake for about an hour at 150c. You can watch the process from 4.36 – 4.55. Once they are done, the color will be slightly tan, and the garlic will be very very soft, almost spreadable.

I always roast my garlic in large batches and in advance then I store them in my freezer. When I need some I just retrieve some. I advice you so the same.

So for the aoili, place your mayonnaise into a bowl. Add the very very finely chopped chives (bought mine from Carrefour at 19bob a bunch), the zest of your grapefruit, the roasted garlic and then your salt and pepper. Add your grapefruit juice, a little at a time until the aioli is as thick as you like then you are done. You can see the viscosity of mine from the video at 5.44.

In place of grapefruit, oranges would be divine for this as well. Besides fries, you can enjoy this aioli as a dip for your fish & chicken fingers and as a sauce for your grilled fish.

Set the aioli aside and once your nduma fries are done, serve those two together. Perfection! Completely out of the box and very delicious too!

Both my sisters and I really loved this one. And let me tell you guys, if my sisters say something I prepared was delicious, trust me it really is! The flavor of the cumin and the ginger were the most prominent notes for the fries and they went so so well with the citrus flavor of the aioli. The nuttiness in the fries as a result of the coconut oil really popped and wove in to the creaminess of the aioli body. The nduma fries were crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside and made for a delightful bite after bite!

As I mentioned in the video, always be keen to step outside what you are used to and try something new! The world is a melody of flavors and you would do yourself a favor by trying out, eating and experiencing new things. I hope you loved the read and enjoyed the complimentary video as well!

Have a delicious Wednesday!


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  1. Marta

    We call nduma “malanga lila” in the Puerto Rican culture. It makes me so proud to see that the foods of our African ancestors are still cherished though we are separated by an ocean.

    • Kaluhi

      This is so interesting to know! Our cultures are truly connected and i love to see all african people share the same vibrant foods, but via different equally vibrant techniques!

      • Robin

        Nduma is Taro Root or Arrow Root here in the U.S. I have eaten it prepared similar to a potato chip in the past, but your aioli took the Nduma to an all new level of greatness!

        • Kaluhi


  2. Renia Butler

    How on earth you knew that grapefruit and garlic would work so well together is beyond me, but this aioli is now jarred in my refrigerator for future use!

    • Kaluhi

      A match made in heaven! I am glad you fell inlove with tis beauty. It does pay off to always have a jar in your fridge!

  3. Kate

    Glad to see you transform boring ndumas to something so delicious! I really had fun making these and they tasted amazing!

    • Kaluhi

      So thrilled to know you loved them!!! This recipe truly is stellar!

  4. Jessica

    I wasn’t able to find nduma but I needed to try this aioli so I made it for potatoes. So good! Will be going to the market this week so I can make the whole recipe with nduma. Thank you!

    • Kaluhi

      This does go so so well with normal potatoes too!!

  5. Mila

    This was something new for my pallate, but I love trying new veggie-based dishes. The sweetness of the aioli was super memorable and the unique flavors complemented the nduma really well.

  6. Cat William

    The grapefruit in the Aioli sent me over! I absolutely loved it. Thanks for this amazing recipe

    • Kaluhi

      Happy you enjoyed it!!

  7. Chef Mireille

    we call this vegetable tannia where my family comes from. Although we cook it in many ways, never before thought of making fries with them. What a fab idea and OMG the grapefruit juice in the aioli made such a difference. That aoili is the bomb!

    • Kaluhi

      I love how we all eat the same foods only under different names! It is beautiful! And happy you loved the recipe too!

  8. Crystal

    I love root vegetables so I was so excited to find this recipe! The fries and grapefruit/garlic dip were incredible!

  9. Tamara

    These nduma fries were amazing! Even better though, that aoli! The grapefruit in the aoli was EVERYTHING!

  10. Marsha

    My palate has been expanding over the past couple of years as I’ve been trying to try new foods and this was really good. The aioli also gave it a lot of flavor!

    • Kaluhi

      The aioli is a sure show stopper!! Glad you enjoyed this!

  11. Capri

    I had so much fun making these nduma fries! The aioli was the best! I love the flavor of the grapefruit and garlic together!

  12. Chenée Lewis

    These Nduma fries were SO good, but that roasted garlic grapefruit aioli was my favorite! Such an amazing flavor combination!

  13. Jazz

    Grapefruit is perfectly in season here, right now, and the freshness made my aioli perfect. Had to look up nduma and it turns out that we call it arrowroot in the states and my local grocery store had it. Very delicious and unique dish!

  14. Glad

    Wow this looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it!

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