Kiti moto means hot seat, and is a peculiar reference to a meal — juicy, succulent fried pork. It is also known as mdudu, meaning insect, or mbuzi katoliki meaning a Catholic goat!
The names ascribed to this delicacy stem from the need to shroud its eating in secrecy. Forbidden by the Muslim faith that is predominant in Tanzania, people had to come up with code names to hide the fact that they were eating pork.
Rearing of pigs was introduced to Tanzania by the German colonialists.
In 1993, there were riots in Dar es Salaam led by Balukta, a Muslim radical, during which pork butcheries and places that serve the meat were destroyed.
Despite these setbacks, eating kiti moto is still a vibrant part of Tanzanian culture. Many restaurants have a specialised kitchen just for preparing the meal, a segregation done in respect to conservative Muslim clients. It is a favourite of revellers and party goers.
“I think people thought of the name kiti moto because of the process of getting the meal to your table. After you order you have to wait a good 40 minutes to an hour before the meal arrives. So the hunger and anxiety have you on the edge of your seat,” says Patrick, a regular partaker of pork.
Hygiene is a concern for many like Patrick. Most pubs have chefs who have mastered the cookery of pork and you want to pick a place that will leave your stomach settled and healthy.
So where do you find the tastiest kiti moto in town?
Didi’s pub in the upmarket Oyster Bay region of Dar es Salaam is one place. The high makuti thatched roof provides shade from Dar es Salaam’s heat.
Hidden behind leafy green trees, it is a place you can peacefully enjoy your tasty chunks of pork, watch a football match and have beer with friends.
The meat is carefully selected from the butcheries, cleaned and cut into portions.
The portions are marinated for 40 minutes in spices that include black pepper, vinegar, soy sauce, salt and a flavour enhancer.
The pork is then grilled on top of aluminium foil on a mesh above hot coals on a metallic stove. The marinated meat slowly cooks its own fat for five hours until it is done.