Nyama Choma is a favorite for Kenyans and being the holiday season, we will certainly be firing up a charcoal jiko to facilitate its preparation. Roasting meat in this way has been an age old tradition for Kenyans who can’t resist the smell and taste of their favorite meat. Techniques may vary from one region to another, but one thing is constant; the meat often gets burnt and charred as it sits on the grill bars.

Unfortunately, our love for Nyama Choma is putting us at serious health risks. Reports from the American Association for Cancer research, for example, indicate that meat cooked in very high temperatures to the point that it burns can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. This was informed by the discovery of heterocyclic amines which are closely linked to cancer in meat cooked in high temperatures. Thankfully this is not an alarmist article and for that you will get handy tips to help you enjoy sumptuous Nyama Choma without fretting about increasing your cancer risk:

  1. Buy organic meats from grass fed or free range animals.
  2. Choose cuts whose fats have been stripped away as it is the excess fat that gets charred so easily.
  3. If you go out for Nyama Choma and find some charred pieces on your side, cut them away and do not eat them at all.
  4. Place the meat a little higher on the grill to prevent direct contact with the coal in order to prevent burning.
  5. You should also remember to prepare as much Kachumbari (salad) as possible to ensure that there are some vitamins for the party. Avoid using sodium packed tomato sauce on the Nyama Choma as it only increases your calories. It is better to use homemade seasonings or rubs for your meat instead of choosing harmful processed products.

If you follow these tips, then you can truly enjoy your beef or goat Nyama Choma without any reservations. In fact this information will make yours come out so juicy, well cooked and delicious that nobody will want to leave your party. Some fruit juice would also be a great way to make sure that your guests are refreshed.


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