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Chips Mayai - Jikoni

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Chips Mayai

Chips Mayai

Chips or ‘fries’ are EVERYWHERE in Kenya. They’re a popular street food and side dish at cafes. So popular they’ve even found their way into breakfast. Cooked with scrambled eggs (mayai in Swahili) and various veggies and spices, this fry omelet is a popular street food that got its origins in Tanzania but is beloved in all Swahili-speaking regions.

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Chips Mayai

  • Author: Kiano Moju


Crispy potatoes and eggs make this delicious breakfast omelet.



1 small red onion, sliced

1/2  green bell pepper, small dice

1 medium tomato, diced

4 large eggs

½ teaspoon chili powder, kashmiri preferred

Salt to taste

1 pound waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” thick sticks

Neutral oil for frying


  1. Heat a 10” non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Drizzle in enough oil to lightly coat the bottom, then add the onion. Cook until they begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add in the bell pepper and tomato, cooking until the tomatoes have let off their liquid and the peppers have softened but are still a vibrant green. Season well with salt and transfer into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set the pan aside to use again.
  3. To the bowl, crack in the eggs, seasoning with cilantro, chili powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
  4. Fill a separate medium-sized pot with 2-inches of oil and heat to 350°F (180°C). Pat the potatoes dry using a clean kitchen towel. Working in batches, fry in the oil until they’re tender and lightly golden, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Drain the fries on a paper towel-lined plate, lightly seasoning with salt.
  6. Set the 10” frying pan over medium-low heat. Add in the butter, once melted pour on top the egg mixture, scramble until 1/2 way cooked. Then spread into an even layer then press the fries into the top. Gently shake the pan to keep the bottom from sticking.
  7. Place a large plate (wider than the pan) on top of the skillet. Use a kitchen towel to protect yourself, and one swift motion, flip the omelette onto the plate.
  8. Add a splash of oil into the pan, then slide the omelette in, so the other side can cook until set, another 2-3 minutes.


Kiano Moju is the editor and founder of Jikoni. She has created and hosted cooking videos for several publications. Her culinary education began at age 7, taking cooking classes in her native California and spending summers on her family's Maasai ranch in the mountains of Kenya.

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