What Is Irio?

There are so many culinary secrets in African cuisine that have remained largely undiscovered by the general world population. Indeed, African cuisine is probably the last frontier remaining for world cuisine.

What is Irio?

It is the Kikuyu work for food. Irio has such a central place in Kikuyu cuisine, that it defines the word food. Irio is also referred to as mukimo – mashed food.

The Kikuyu are the largest tribe in Kenya. They are Bantus, which implies they traditionally depended on agriculture.

The Kikuyus grew sweet potatoes, vegetables, beans, and more recently maize and Irish potatoes. Although many of the Kikuyu are now involved in various professions, businesses and industry, agriculture is still a favourite occupation.

Irio, or mukimo, is what you prepare for special occasions. You start by boiling maize and beans – usually red kidney beans – together till they are ready. Shortly after the harvest, or during the rainy season, fresh maize and beans are plentiful. Later, dried…

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