Zanaki Street Market >> Market Photos!

I was able to hop on a tour of Dar’s City Center yesterday, led by a friend who was gracious enough to allow me to hitch a ride with her group. It was the best kind of tour, one that pointed out significant landmarks, but more importantly, hit on key points such as: great BBQ street vendors, open-air markets, where to buy milk and butter and cheese (Dairyland, fyi), a good butcher, imported goods for way cheaper than Shoppers, a small alley market where they sell nail polish and hair products…you know, the really important stuff.  IMG_0001bw

The tour not only taught me where to get some basic necessities, but also cemented my opinion that yes, getting off the peninsula is a really great, really beautiful thing.

Now all I have to do is figure out if I can find my way back to these places. While I study Google Maps right now to figure out where I was yesterday and to see if I’ll be able to find my way out there again, here are some pics of Zanaki Street market. Excitingly, it’s pineapple season, and mango season is definitely creeping in, as evident by the three varieties of mangoes at the street market yesterday!

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Yes, the streets of Dar es Salaam really are as bustling and frenzied as they look. It’s amazing.

Recipe >> Coconut Braised Greens, two or three bowls.


The first time I learned coconut milk could be used in cooking (aside from curry), was when I was working at a restaurant in New York. For our pre-service family meal one day, one of the cooks made rice cooked in coconut milk instead of water. Blew. my. mind. I typically don’t eat that much rice (bad Asian, I know) but that day, I must have eaten two or three bowls worth.

Last week, on our trip to Zanzibar, after spending several days in Stonetown we escaped to a more remote part of the Island. On the eastern shore, at the Pongwe Beach Hotel, we enjoyed the beautiful blue waters, caught up on a lot of reading (him), and work that had piled up (me). We ate some excellent food, including mchicha (local spinach) stewed with coconut milk every morning as part of breakfast. We each must have eaten two or three bowls worth, each, every single morning.


Since we’ve been home, for the last two weeks, I’ve been recreating this dish using greens from our backyard and fresh coconut milk that I’m now making every few days. It’s not a chore to make this coconut milk, but rather, a craving and a necessity.

These greens that are stewed in coconut milk resemble, in many ways, the familiar collard greens dish of the south, with fatty coconut milk replacing fatty pork instead (just for once, I’ll say that despite the lack of pork I think this version is better!). Having a hearty helping of greens for breakfast has put an extra bounce to my step in the morning. And it’s certainly making my old, staid routine breakfast options of oatmeal, granola, and toast seem so lackluster (and, so brown). Trust me, have two or three bowls of these coconut braised greens every day, and you’ll be hooked- and healthy- too.


Coconut Braised Greens

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • Three bunches of leafy greens- collard greens, kale, or chard will do just fine.
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Sautee yellow onions in olive oil on high heat until semi-soft, about three minutes. Add in leafy greens, season with a few pinches of salt, and give it a vigorous stir.
  2. Pour in the coconut milk, keeping heat on high. Allow the greens to cook in the bubbling milk until most of the milk is reduced, about 15 minutes. Turn heat to medium and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
  3. Season with plenty of ground pepper. Eat, two or three bowls.


How to open a coconut, and

How to make coconut milk

At the market in Zanzibar

How many posts do you think I’ve got now, that are titled “at the market”? Probably a few dozen, at least. The Zanzibari market was bustling, busy, nothing short of thrilling, and unlike the Kariakoo Market in downtown Dar es Salaam, I felt like I could move around without being jostled or hustled too much.

Selling Fish in Zanzibar

Fishy As with most island cultures, fish reigns supreme. We saw only one butcher area – in the back, hidden from most of the front activity. Though, I suppose it’s a combination of this island culture AND Muslim culture, where strict butchering practices MUST be practiced.

spinach cucumbers and some feet. bananas The fruits and vegetables here looks ripe, plump, green, colorful, and healthy. Which begs the question, why can’t I seem to find these in Dar…? Also noticeably different was the lack of dust everywhere. At the markets in Dar, a thin blanket of rust-colored dust covers everything – people, animals, baskets, vegetables, shoes, and self. At the market in Zanzibar, they seem to have their dust under control!


Eggs Seeing this egg guy reminds me. Guys, our second chicken has finally begun to lay eggs! News of the month, surely.

These next two images were the most fascinating at the market in Zanzibar- set apart from the usual sightings of piled vegetables, rice, and fish. The first were these big drums of milk on carts. Coconut milk or goats milk, I still don’t know, but I’m almost (almost) positive that it can’t be cow’s milk. Poured out of spigots and sold in used plastic bottles, these guys were scattered throughout the strip of vendors.


Bread And then there was this. A mountain of bread, the size and shape of what we know as a pound cake. In case you didn’t know, the DiploMan and I are on the Whole30 diet at the moment (i know, i know, the most inopportune time ever. Tell me about it). So seeing these little golden loaf pyramids were like seeing bars of gold stacked atop one another.

I’m still not quite sure of how bread plays into the diets of the Zanzibarians, but seeing that there were almost as many bread vendors as vegetable vendors, I figure it’s something significant, and I’m dying to find my answer.

So there you have it, a market in Zanzibar. My collection of world markets is becoming quite numerous! To see recaps of my recent South African market experiences, click over to these entries: The Boeremark and The Hazel Street Food Market. Or to view a few other markets all over the world, go HERE.




Saturday Series / NO. 2

Vegetable Market

07’20’13 >> I caught a cold this week (no worries, it wasn’t Malaria) and spent the better part of the week indoors, resting. We got the rest of our shipment, from DC, so the week was also spent nesting. I did manage to run out a few times this week for errands – here’s a snapshot from my run to our neighborhood vegetable store – yes, this week was full of excitement…(sarcasm doesn’t fare as well online, does it?)


What’s the plural of asparagus? Asparagi? Asparaguses? It’s just asparagus, right, like moose?

Anyway, check out these bad boys I found at the market last week. A whole new season of vegetables is upon us. Watercress is replacing spinach, and the cauliflower that was so abundant in January is now sparse and frankly, looking a little brown and sad. And there are baskets of asparagus!!

Being my second spring in town, I’m looking forward to knowing what’s coming up next. I wish that could be the same about our impending pack-out!



I just arrived in Taipei, where I will be for the next three weeks. But before I start on my slew of stories of night market treasures, the various cooling Taiwanese snacks, what’s around the market on this side of the Strait, and most anticipated of all, a documentation of a trip around the island, I wanted to share with you the beautiful green onions that were at the wet market in Guangzhou earlier this week. I just couldn’t wait any longer, because clearly neither could these onions. My go-to lady for greens told me they were young green onions, with tiny white heads and more mild and delicate than their robust elders.

I wonder if these have a specific name in English? Does anyone know? I hope they will still be at the markets when I return in July!