The Proven Platter — Kenya, January 2023

Potatoes and eggs are a comfort food prepared all over the world. This popular Kenyon dish uses crisp French fries and eggs spiced with chili paste for a warm and filling meal. There are as many variations of this dish as there are street vendors and home cooks preparing it.

Chips Mayai – or your version of it – can go from breakfast or brunch to lunch or dinner with ease. It is hearty enough for cold winter meals and flexible enough to help use up leftover vegetables. Tailor the spices to your family’s liking and it becomes a kid friendly dish, too.

Chips Mayai

4 c French fried potatoes
oil for frying potatoes and sauteing

1 c onion, diced
1/2 c bell pepper, diced
1 c tomato, seeded and diced
6 eggs
2-3 tsp chili paste
salt and pepper to taste
chopped cilantro

Peel and cut potatoes into long thin strips. The thinner the strips, the crispier the fries. Put potatoes in a bowl and cover with cold salted water for at least an hour before cooking. Bring 2 inches of vegetable oil to 375 degrees in a frying pan. Drain the potatoes and blot excess water off before putting a single layer in the oil and cook until golden brown. Cool the cooked potatoes on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all potatoes are fried.

Drain excess oil out of frying pan. Sauté the onion and pepper until browned around the edges. Add tomatoes to heat. Put the vegetables aside. Mix the eggs with the chili paste and salt and pepper to taste. Pour half of the egg mixture in the frying pan over medium heat. Layer the French fries and sauteed vegetables in the pan and the pour the remaining egg mixture over the vegetable layer. When the eggs have set, flip to cook on the other side.

Serve topped with chopped cilantro.

Serves 3 – 4

Recipe and photo credit: Georgia Reader