Tanzanian Chipsi Mayai Is A Delicious Way To Upgrade Your Next Breakfast

Chips mayai with sauces
Chips mayai with sauces - AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock

Like chicken soup, almost every country boasts a unique variation of potatoes and eggs. Think of the Spanish tortilla, with its creamy interior and hashbrown-like crust; Lebanese Batata Wa Bayd, whose mash of hard-boiled eggs and cubed potatoes is brightened with lemon juice; or the ever-adaptable Italian frittata. Tanzania's answer to the comforting combination is zege, otherwise known as chipsi mayai, which means fries and eggs in Swahili.

As you've probably gathered from the name, the hearty omelet trades diced or scalloped potatoes for fries, one of the few forms of the spud you might have never thought to have for breakfast. Some might add dimension to the heavy base ingredients of the popular street food by adding aromatics like onions, herbs, and Kashmiri chili powder, plus the optional vegetable or two.

It's not hard to find chipsi mayai in Dar es Salaam or other busy Tanzanian or Kenyan cities, but it's good to know where to look first. Keep an eye out for large woks stationed over flames and sputtering with oil — it's the most common vessel street vendors use to cook the breakfast staple.

Read more: 14 Liquids To Add To Scrambled Eggs (And What They Do)

Not Your Typical French Fry

Waxy potatoes
Waxy potatoes - saruntorn chotchitima/Shutterstock

If you're making chipsi mayai at home, there's no need to set up an outdoor rig. You can use the same type of frying pan you'd use for a Spanish tortilla, which is not so different from chipsi mayai in shape and texture or any other type of omelet. If you're using tomatoes in your omelet base, however, you might want to keep them away from your cast iron skillet since the acidity can strip the seasoning away.

As for the homemade French fries, you don't need to go out of your way to master that perfectly creamy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside texture you'd expect from a plate of steak frites. When you add the fries (or chips, as it were) to your omelet along with sauces and salad, if you're using them, they're bound to get a little soggy. To that end, you can use whatever potato variety you happen to have on hand, from a waxy baby potato to a starchy russet.

Don't Skip The Sides

East African kachumbari salad
East African kachumbari salad - Alkarnasia/Shutterstock

If you're someone who reaches for the hot sauce with each bite of scrambled eggs for a hit of brightness, you'll be glad to know that chipsi mayai is often served with dipping sauces on the side to liven up the dish. That usually includes the East African version of the fry's eternal lover, ketchup. Unlike the slightly sweet kind, we're used to slathering over burgers, the type served with chipsi mayai tends to be spicier and less acidic. Others might opt for hot sauce instead.

Another popular addition is kachumbari, a salad popular in Kenyan versions of the dish. It adds much-welcomed vegetal freshness to chips mayai with its simple combination of thinly sliced raw tomatoes, red onions, chili pepper, and lemon or lime juice, plus fresh herbs for good measure. If you make too much, use the leftovers to spoon over fish, meat, or lentils.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.