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Easy recipe: Athola

 Easy recipe: Athola (Photo: iStock)

In the olden days long before refrigerators were invented, foodstuffs used to be stored when dried or dehydrated via smoking, salting, or roasting.

The Luo community still has one of those traditions intact, as they roast their meat to store it. This meat is famously known as athola, which means roasting.

After roasting it and draining all the water, they coat the meat with ash from scorched beans.

Since this was a storage method, the meat was not consumed immediately after roasting. Nowadays, people make athola to access the added sweetness that it contains.

This is how athola is made:


500g of meat

Crushed beans ash

Oven or heated charcoal


1 onion

2 tomatoes

3 garlic cloves, crushed


Cooking oil


Select the lean piece of meat. One that has less fat. Slice it horizontally to form even thinner slices for ease of roasting.

Salt the meat. Place it over heated charcoal or in an oven. Use low heat for better results.

Ensure that the meat is totally dehydrated. Set it aside and let it cool. Coat with ash and store in a dry place.

To fry it, wash it thoroughly to remove the ash. Boil it for a few minutes to soften the meat.

In a different cooking pot, heat cooking oil and add onions.

Once they turn translucent, add in the garlic and sauté. Add the tomatoes and let them cook till soft and pasty.

Add in the meat, salt it, stir, and cover for ten seconds to allow the flavours to slip in. Add water or the beef broth. Stir and cover for ten minutes.

Once the meat is ready, you can serve it with ugali and greens. Enjoy!

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