Muffins recipes

National dish of Burundi

flag of Burundi

  • Independence: 1. 7. 1966
  • Capital: Bujumbura
  • Official language: Kirundi, French
  • Population: 8 749 000
  • Area: 27 834 km2
  • International code: BI
  • Currency: Burundian franc (FBu) (BIF)
map of Burundi

Mealie-Meal Porridge


  • 1 1/2 cups mealie-meal
  • 60 ml warm water
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp salt
Mealie-Meal Porridge is national food (dish) of Burundi


Put your hupfu (mealie-meal) in a pot, add warm water to make a paste. Add boiling water whilst stirring simultaneously and bring it to the boil. As soon as it begins to boil, reduce heat, close pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes. If you feel it’s too thick, you may add more boiling water until you get the consistency you like.  After 15 minutes, add salt and stir. Your porridge is ready. You may add lemon juice, margarine, peanut butter or roughly broken up pieces of bread. Whatever tickles you fancy, oh and sugar to taste.


The major difference between the regions of Burundi is the fact that there aren’t many restaurants in the small towns and rural areas (in there, homemade traditional food is consumed on regular basis, including beans, plantains, bananas and corn), while in the urban areas, there can be found numerous cuisines. In the capital Bujumbura (located on the Lake Tanganyika) and in Gitega, there are various traditional restaurants, including the most popular ones, French and Greek. In all urban areas, besides the traditional cuisine of Africa and the European ones, Asian cuisine is present in many restaurants and hotels. The Asian influences are felt in the rice dishes, very spicy foods and the famous chapati. Chapati is a bread that comes from India and the recipe of the dough includes flour, water, salt and oil – these are all made in a tawa, which is a round griddle or in an iron skillet. Burundi cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Burundi cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Burundi cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Burundi is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Burundi’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Burundi dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

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