Life. Love. Food

Rosemary & Garlic Viazi Karai

I loved walking home from school. Every other day, we took the bus, but on Friday, we would forgo a bus ride and instead use the fare for buying snacks and treats along the way. We would grab some sukari nguru ya 3 bob in Otiende, then viazi karai or bhajia for 5 bob at Akiba and with what’s left over- some mahindi choma or ice near SouthLands. 10 bob could really be stretched a long way, and everything we got was very much worth the walk. Now as adults and with full knowledge of how to make all these tasty things ourselves, we do just that, of course with tiny but super delicious twists. Hope you are ready for my rosemary and garlic viazi karai.

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

PREP TIME: 15min     COOK TIME:  30min       SERVES: 4


9 large potatoes

1 cup of all purpose flour

1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

Handful of finely chopped dania

1 sprig of rosemary

5 cloves of garlic

Salt to taste

For the filling (optional)

1 tablespoon of chilli powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 a lemon, juiced


Peel your potatoes and place them in your sufuria together with some salt, the rosemary, the cumin, garlic and let them cook until soft. A pack of whole cumin seeds costs 69 bob in the well stocked supermarket, so make sure you buy some! We boil them with garlic and rosemary so that that flavor can be absorbed by the potatoes and give you something much delicious in the end.

First difference between viazi karai and bhajia is: bhajia potatoes will be fried raw but for viazi karai need to be boiled first before frying.

As you boil, be careful not to let them get too soft. Drain the water if any, and allow them to cool for a while.

In a bowl, add the flour, turmeric, a tiny bit of salt and mix it all in. Traditionally, yellow food color is used, but I personally prefer turmeric as a natural yellow colorant for my viazi karai. But if you prefer or have food color and want to use it, go ahead.

Second difference between viazi karai and bhajia is: All purpose flour is used for the viazi karai batter while garam flour is used for the bhajia batter

Add some water bit by bit and once combined and with the same consistency as yoghurt, add the finely chopped dania and then we are ready to proceed. Watch the video to see the consistency.

Now, let us talk about the filling that viazi karai usually has: A chili lemon filling.

This is a pasty filling, made with just three ingredients: chilli powder, lemon juice and some salt. Check out the video to see the exact consistency of this as well- it should not be majimaji

The chili lemon filling is optional, and you are free to leave it out entirely. I often have mine without the filling. For today, half of them had the chili, and the other without because my sisters enjoy them better without the filling. Slice one of the boiled potato half way, stuff in the chili lemon paste, join the two pieces and set aside.

Take the potatoes, dip them in the batter we had earlier on made and once coated, proceed to fry for about a minute or two.

Serve with your favorite meaty side, like my chicken curry, and some kachumbari. I love my potatoes so so much and my viazi karai came through so hard!!

Nothing but ecstasy from biting into the crispy outer crust, to the soft, fluffy core with the inviting flavor of garlic, rosemary and cumin! Such simple flavors, but beyond delicious in combination! I made a honey ukwaju bbz sauce for my bhajia, do check that out and try it out with this recipe too!

Do watch the video as well juuuuuust incase you doubt these gorgeous pictures. Subscribe as well, and let me take you on a journey on how easy it is to make delicious and beautiful food <3

Much love!


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  1. New Matic

    wow its look to tasty yummy I’ll try to making it at my home. thanks for sharing your amazing recipe.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      I know you will love this!!

  2. Mrembo asha

    Hello This is good blog and I would like to introduce the number one east Africa social networks that hires bloggers or content creators contact whatsapp +255620827531 for more info how you can start this online job or click my name see the left of this comment

    • kaluhiskitchen

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  3. karen

    definitely trying out this recipie!love potatoes

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Potatoes are delicious in literally any form!! I am so with you on this!!

  4. Muindi Kimanzi

    Kaluhi, you are amazing and what you share is equally amazing. Can’t wait to do this recipe soon.

    Something else

  5. Mina Joshi

    Stumbled upon your blog and loving the Vegetarian Kenyan dishes.I am going to try making these soon. They look amazing.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      Cheers and welcome to the family!!

  6. reinlena.

    Thank you for your recipes.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      You’re most welcome honey!

  7. Graca

    Ilove it
    I will try this new recipe with rosemary …looks amazing

    • Kaluhi


  8. Judy

    Made this for lunch. My sons loved it! This is my third success story from this blog…..first was the peanut coconut milk matoke. Second was Ndengu in coconut milk and the rosemary gseluc potatoes which were a hit. Thanks kaluhi

    • Kaluhi

      I deeply love this kind of feedback!! I love that everything you tried worked out and may all the other recipes you are about to make be a hit with you and your boys!


  9. Florence

    Hi Kaluhi. I have been a silent follower of your blog for several years now. Whenever I want a way to cook food and I don’t know how you are my go-to. Take for instance this blog on viazi karae. I tried and I must say I enjoyed the combination of flavours in my mouth! Thank you so much for always posting great content!

    • Kaluhi

      Such a warm comment! Thank you so much for supporting me! It means the whole world to me!

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