Viazi Karai (Potatoes in Gram Flour)

Happy New Year everyone!

It is yet another year, still very young and fresh! Who knows what it holds for us?

As we find out, here a recipe of one of my all time favorite snack to kick-start the New Year with.

Viazi karai are basically boiled potatoes coated in a batter made of white flour, gram flour and saffron or turmeric powder then deep-fried. They are then served with tamarind chutney (but any other chutney would do).

These potatoes are a major street food snacks in the Kenyan coast and are among other beloved snacks in the Kenyan cuisine. They can also be served for breakfast or as a side dish.

Below is a simple recipe to enjoy at home.


6-8 large potatoes

1 cup of flour (white or all purpose)

¾ cups of gram flour

1 cup of water

1 teaspoon safron, turmeric or yellow food colour

salt to taste

Oil for deep frying


Place unpeeled potatoes in a sauce pan. Add enough water to cover them and boil for 15-20 minutes or till done. Drain, peel and quarter them

In mixing bowl, add flour, gram flour and salt. Combine together

Add water and whisk to make a smooth lump free batter that is not very thick

Heat up oil in a wok and reduce heat to medium

Dip potatoes in the batter and cover them with the batter  then drop them in the hot oil

Fry the potatoes evenly turning from time to time till crispy. Drain on a paper towel.

Serve hot with Tamarind chutney or any other chutney of your choice.

Tamarind Chutney

1 packet tamarind (about 500g)

2 big carrots, washed, peeled and cut into chunks

15-20 green chillis

2 cups of hot boiling water (more or less depending on how thick you wish the chutney to be)

2 cloves of garlic

1 inch of fresh ginger, grated (optional)

2 tablespoons of chilli powder

Salt to taste


Soak tamarind in 2 cups of hot boiling water for 1-2 hours

Boil carrots till soft

With your hands, squeeze the pulp for the tamarind. Strain and set the juice aside

Place all the other ingredients in a blender with the tamarind juice and blend well.


16 thoughts on “Viazi Karai (Potatoes in Gram Flour)

  1. I’ve always wondered what they put in the viazi! Now i’ll try these at home 🙂 And can I omit the chilli from the chutney?

  2. One of the foods associated with the Kenyan coast is Viazi Karai. It is sold in little kiosks all over our coastal towns and by hotels too. I decided to add my own twist to the traditional recipe and added several more ingredients which made this already delectable meal even more spectacular.

  3. Hv started following ur recipe & I hv seen they, ar soo help ful… Can u pls send me ur recipe books~`via email… & the cost

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