tanzanian machalari stew recipe
What’s the food like on Kili? It’s a common question we’re used to answering – and for good reason. When climbing at a high altitude, it’s possible to experience a loss of appetite. It’s important to have food that’s as nutritious as it is tasty, and Thomson’s Kili kitchen staff has mastered that quite well.

Banana and beef coconut stew, locally known as machalari, is a guest-favorite that’s often served on the mountain. A traditional stew from the Kilimanjaro region, it’s packed with protein so trekkers have all the energy they need to continue their climb. Try it out on your own today!

Banana and Beef Coconut Stew Recipe


  • 1 pound beef fillet, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 bunch plantains
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp coconut powder
  • Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper



1. Heat cooking oil in large saucepan. Add onions and garlic, and fry until lightly golden.

2. Add beef and cook over medium heat until the outside of the beef is golden brown.

3. Add sliced carrots and chopped tomatoes. Continue to stir well, slowly adding about 1/2 liter of water. Season with salt and pepper, then cover the pot until stew is lightly boiling.

4. Add peeled plantains, stir well, then cover the pot and leave to boil for about 10 minutes.

5. In a separate bowl, mix coconut powder and 1 cup warm water, and add to stew.

6. Reduce to low heat for 5 minutes. Check if the bananas are tender, and if so then it’s ready to serve!

7. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, and enjoy.

(serves 4 people)