I can see someone making faces already😂 …
If I conducted a survey today of people who love omena I am pretty sure only about 2 out of 10 people would admit to loving and eating it. The other 8 will be busy making faces, saying how the smell puts them off, thinking of the tiny eyes that seem to stare at them and the bitter taste it leaves behind when it’s badly cooked. But worry not, I will change that.

Omena are ‘tiny fish’ filled with calcium from Lake Victoria (I don’t know of omena from any other place) They are usually harvested in masses & sun dried and thereafter used for human and/or animal consumption. I have always known omena by two other names; sardines and dagaa (Tanzanians call it that). I recently found out that they are also called The Silver Cyprinid. Did anyone else know that or I’m the only one who missed something in my Biology class?

So where I come from, eating omena is not so much of an option. It is ‘our’ food but we always can’t eat it the same way all the time; fried or stewed. Therefore once in a while whenever we have it, I throw in new ingredients to better the taste and the aroma. And where could you possibly go wrong with peanut butter?


2 cups of omena
100gms of peanut butter
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
Vegetable oil

Soak the omena in warm water for 5 minutes then drain the water. (You can add a little salt or Apple Cider vinegar to the water.)
In a non stick pan, heat some vegetable oil. Throw in the onions and tomatoes. Let them cook till the tomatoes are all mushy.
Add the omena and stir.
Add the peanut butter, a cup of water and a pinch of salt then stir. Reduce the heat and cover. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Plate and garnish with fresh coriander or green onions (like me ^_^)
And you’ll need hot Ugali to go with it.


Try this out and let me know what you think.


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