Life. Love. Food

Swahili Cooking Class Part I – Makaki ya Kulisha (Swahili Pizza)

What would a trip down to the culturally rich Kenyan coast be without learning a couple of new dishes to make?! I wouldn’t have lived with myself if I came back to Nairobi without new knowledge about food preparation and new recipes in my head. As part of our trip’s package, we were privileged to witness and learn the preparation of three signature Lamu dishes. As a food blogger, this chance was not to be skipped since it is through learning new things that we grow. And no one never ever knows it all, right?

Our teacher’s name was Ummu Ahmed. We could tell from the way she spoke, handled her food and engaged us that she was one foodie at heart. We learnt how to make Faluda, Mkate wa Mkono and Makaki wa Kulisha (swahili pizza) but today I will take you through step by step of the latter so that  you don’t get too overwhelmed. Makaki wa Kulisha also known as Swahili pizza is basically a flat bread stuffed with a selection of ingredients but most popularly veggies and sauteed chicken. The recipe isso easy and you can definitely try these out at home too. In my opinion, this is one way you can get a feel of the Lamu sunshine right at home.

makaki ya kilisha also known as swahili pizza is a common coastal dish served in

I have outlined the recipe as we were actually taught. I have however left some notes after certain pictures showing how I would add my own #KKtwist to this already magnificent dish. Since no recipe is written on stone, I would encourage you too to play around and build on the flavor that this makaki ya kulisha inherently has.

Swahili Pizza Ingredients

Ingredients of making swahili pizza_how to make swahili pizza _easy swahili cuisine_lamu food festival

1/2 a kg of wheat flour

1/4 kg of cooking fat

1/2 a kg of boneless chicken, diced

1 large red onion, diced

1 large green pepper, diced

1 tablespoon of black pepper

1 chicken cube spice (maggi or knor)

1 carrot, diced and steamed

a bunch of dhania, chopped

Salt to taste

5 eggs

1 cup of peas

1 cup of corn flour

2 handfuls of broccoli, chopped and steamed



First, cut up your chicken into strips. In a pan, fry the chicken along with black pepper, chicken cubes and salt. Once the chicken is done, set aside for incorporation later.

for the swahili pizza_use boneless chicken cooken in black pepper, chicken cubes and salt_lamu food

#KKTwist: To make my chicekn more flavorful, I would add 5-6 cloves of minced garlic for it to cook down together with the chicken. Garlic and chicken are a match made in heaven and this would be no different

In a bowl, mix the flour, cooking fat, salt in with warm water. Add the water bit by bit and knead until soft. Once done, proceed to divide the dough into small balls  about 2 inches in diameter.On a flour dusted surface, roll the balls into a flat circle, like you would a chapati dough, only difference is that these should be extra thin and light.

onja food bloggers_makaki ya kulisha_kenyan food bloggers_kaluhiskitchen.com_kaluhi adagala in Lamu_lamu food festival_swahili pizza_

If you follow any of the Onja bloggers on Snapchap, you got a load of some of the action as it was going on live! This was Mohamed (Snap name: @moharez) documenting the steps as we went along. I dis too on my snapchat (@kaluhiskitchen)

roll out the dough of the swahili pizza until its circular and thin_makaku ya kulisha_how to make swahili

Apply some cooking oil on one half of the circle then fold it into half, then again into a quarter. Roll it out once again towards the edges of the quarter circle. If you prefer not to use CowBoy Fat or simply cannot access some, butter or margarine can work just fine too.

butter half of the dough and flod it once

Take the pastry and lightly heat it on a pan until the layers separate. This will take roughly three minutes. Then set aside.

In a separate sufuria, add your onion, steamed broccoli and carrots and dhania.

swahili pizza_begin by frying your onions, carrots, dhania until softened, swahili cooking

After they have softened, which will take about 3-5 minutes, add your pre-cooked chicken. Allow this to stay on the heat for another 3-5 minutes then remove from the heat and allow to cool in a bowl.

add the chicekn at the very last phase of making your veggies, allow this to cook down for a few minutes then remove from the

To this bowl, add your eggs and mix them in. Take the pastry and add the veggie mixture in a layer that’s about 1/4 inch thick.

add the mkaki wa kulisha filling into the pastry about 14 an inch thich_swahili

#KKTwist: I would add a ton of cheese at this point, maybe both parmesan and mozzarella for extra cheesiness. Is there a thing such as too much cheese? I think not!

Let the this fry on a pan for a few minutes, or preferably until each side is golden brown. How fantastic does this look already?!

the makaku ya kupakia is ready when it has turned golden brown on each side_swahili

Allow to slightly cook then enjoy with your favorite drink. I would def hve this right now, right by the beach away from cold Nairobi with some fresh mango or lime juice!!! Can we all just pack up right now and head down to Lamu??!

www.kaluhiskitchen.comkaluhi adagala_best of lamu_kenyan coast food_best african food blogger

Making the Swahili pizza had quite a number of steps, but they were all pretty straight forward if you ask me. You too cam make this at home. Or better yet, lets go to Lamu and make this together with Mwalimu Ummu, yes? Yes!

best food blog in Kenya_nbest food blog in Africa_kaluhiskitchen.com_how to make swahili food

Keep it #KK for the next two Lamu dishes which are so easy to make, but so mind numbingly good!


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  1. Kiki_swtdoll

    I love this! Thanks for posting

    • kaluhiskitchen

      I am so glad you enjoyed this one! I had fun prepping this with the pros and I hope you try it at home too :))

  2. African Kaya-Wangeci

    OMG!! when i saw this photo I thought of how awesome it would be with some bacon, garlic and cheese!! So jealous I did not attend that class

    • kaluhiskitchen

      YAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! But how can I forget BACON!!!! For those who eat nyama ya nguruwe, bacon would be an awesome addition!

  3. Kathy's Kitchen

    Must do a veg edition! Thanks for this mama!!!
    Also a KKKollabo soon!

    • kaluhiskitchen

      I can only imagine how fab a Kathy’s Kitchen rendition of the Swahili pizza would taste like… YUMMMMMMMMM!!!! The collabo must happen soonest! #KKerrthang

  4. Wambui

    Hi Kaluhi. Keep up the good work on your blog. Been a silent follower for a while.
    I personally love swahili cuisine. These look yummy. Cant wait to try them out.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      I am so glad you enjoy my work! I will def keep it up. This is also one dish you should try out at home and maybe eat it while at Lamu made by the pros 🙂

  5. Cynthia

    I have a long weekend end ahead… This is def a must try. Good work KK

  6. nonnie

    hi kaluhi you recipes can no longer be downloaded for reference .why did you remove it

    • kaluhiskitchen

      This was part of the Lamu series so I couldn’t provide a downloadable recipe for a recipe that is not mine. But don’t worry, the recipes I have lined up this month have the downloadable option :))

  7. Jen

    I love the instructor’s henna design! So beautiful.

    • kaluhiskitchen

      So so beautiful! I wish I did some henna when I was down at the coast..

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