Like most parts of the world, breakfast is a very important meal of the day. Often, local restaurants, cafes & stalls in Diani Beach serve early morning delicacies that are best accompanied with Chai (Tea). To completely immerse yourself into the local culinary scene while having a taste of authentic Swahili dishes, here are a few delicacies that you should try for breakfast while staying in Diani Beach. 


Pronounced as  Vee-Toom-boo-ah

The Best of Swahili Breakfast treats to try in Diani 1

Vitumbua are sumptuous breakfast bitings that are best had while warm with a cup of milk tea. Street vendors and local restaurants will serve them in the mornings and sometimes in the evening. Vitumbua are circular with a diameter of about 4inches, dark brown in color and very soft on the inside. Nicely done vitumbuas are fluffy and literally melt in your mouth.

What’s in It

This dish is made from rice flour, coconut, yeast and cardamon and salad oil.


Pronounced as Maa-ham-ree

The Best of Swahili Breakfast treats to try in Diani 2

A little more popular than Vitumbua and sold practically everywhere along the East African coast from Lamu to Dar-esalaam.  These sweet snacks are made of a dough similar to that of doughnuts and are flavoured with ginger or cardamon. A lot of people eat their mahamri with pigeon peas cooked in coconut paste and washed down with a cup of tea for breakfast.

Mahamri is circular or triangular in shape and brown in colour. The best mahamri can only be had while hot and it is common for Mahamri to be sold straight from the frying pan since they only take 3 minutes to cook.

Whats in it

They are made with: Wheat flour, Sugar, Yeast, Coconut milk, a bit of sugar then cardamon/ginger to flavour. The dough is then fried in liquid cooking fat.



Pronounced as Cha-pah-tee

The Best of Swahili Breakfast treats to try in Diani 3

This round flat-bread is the most popular unleavened bread in East Africa. It is great for breakfast with some tea but is also popular for lunch and dinner when served with stews.  For breakfast, Chapatis are best served with milk tea/ginger tea or at lunch/dinner with curry or stews.

Chapatis are originally from East Asia and found their way to East  Africa through Indian traders and immigrants who came to the coast in the 19th century and were adopted into the local cuisine since then.

Chapatis are cooked on a heavy-shallow pan on with a little oil and are not deep-fried like the mahamri.

What’s in it

Wheat flour, water or milk, sugar,  a little salt to taste and vegetable/ sunflower cooking oil.

There you go – three different ways to enjoy your breakfast.