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Kenyan Chips Masala Recipe, (Masala Fries)

Fries(Chips) are good on themselves but we just don’t leave them alone; cheese fries, steak fries, loaded fries, animal style fries, and now masala fries? Let’s explore how we can transform regular fries.

Kenyan Chips Masala are just regular chips, but saucy and curried. They are a menu option in most restaurants throughout the country as well as local fast-food joints. They are so flavorful and you will be too spoilt to have regular fries again. Just like when you get used to toast, regular bread slices will be tasting raw

In this Kenyan-style recipe, we prepare a dish influenced by Indian cuisine where fried potato chips are coated and infused with flavors by cooking them in a masala sauce. This versatile dish can be enjoyed as a  main course, a side dish, or even as an appetizer. When served, it typically offers a delightful aroma, an appetizing color presentation, and a punchy spicy kick.


  Servings : Serves 1                   

  •  Potato Chips (Cooked)
  •  1 Onion, medium size
  •  1-inch, Ginger, fresh
  •  3 Garlic Cloves 
  •  Garam Masala 
  •  Paprika(Optional)
  •  Turmeric(Optional)
  •  Salt
  •  1 bunch, Coriander, (Cilantro)
  •  1Tsp, Chili Powder


  1. Cook your chips till done, set them aside, and let them cool
  2. Dice your onions finely, and grate your ginger and garlic into a paste. Blend your tomatoes till smooth and saucy
  3. Cook your onions first till translucent, before proceeding to add the ginger-garlic paste, cook for a minute on low heat till fragrant.
  4. Proceed to add your blended tomatoes and simmer till reduced and all thick. Add your dry spices now and some coriander(cilantro) leaves.
  5. Go in with your cooked potato chips(fries)and ensure they are evenly coated in the sauce by gently turning them over
  6. Cover and let simmer for at least 2 minutes on low heat
  7. Serve hot and garnish with extra coriander leaves.
Air Fried Potato Chips(Fries)
Air Fried Potato Chips(Fries)

How does Chips Masala Taste?

Chips Masala

They taste like heaven. Aromatic, spicy tender on the outside, and crunchy on the inside, just the reverse of fried chicken. All the flavors and spices are bussing and explode in your mouth but not in an overwhelming way. 

Serve as a side, a main, or an appetizer


  1. To make fries, I used 5 medium potatoes to make a single serving above. Peel them and cut thin into fries shapes, wash the excess starch off, and soak them in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Once done, drain the water and dry the potato fries with a kitchen towel. Add salt at this stage and any seasonings you prefer. I added 2 tbsp of cornstarch to help crisp the chips(fries) in cooking. However, I didn’t bother to add any seasoning because the masala sauce was gonna be heavily spicy.
  2. Use high smoke point oils eg sunflower, canola, or vegetable oil for deep frying your chips. Not me realizing I ran out of veggie oil while doing this recipe at an ungodly hour, 2am. Thankfully my trusty airfryer came to the rescue, which brings us to the next point…
  3. …Cooking method choice of your fries, you are not limited to deep frying, (although is the authentic choice), you can use oven-baked chips or air-fried ones. If you’re air frying then the choice of oil is up to you, I used olive oil for this case.
  4. Grate your ginger and garlic instead of dicing them for a good infusion with your chips. You can use store-bought ginger garlic paste, but fresh ingredients will always win. For the tomatoes, if you don’t have a blender then grate them with the fine mesh and you will be just fine. Since I don’t own a blender I grated my tomatoes.
  5. Add your fresh spices and aromatics in the order specified above. Adding garlic first will burn off and your sauce will be bitter and black. Also don’t overcook your onions, wilted is just fine enough to add ginger garlic next. I haven’t tried using canned tomatoes but I know it will work just fine.
  6. If you want to thicken your sauce, you can use tomato paste. I skipped that because I was trying to keep this recipe as authentic as I could. For the spices too, twist according to your preference by leaving out some adding in new ones, or just substitution. However, Garam Masala is the main character here and make sure you use that.
  7. If your sauce turns out extra thick, just water it down a little and let it simmer till desired consistency is attained.
  8. Upon addition of your chips, reduce heat and cook on low gradually. This is to allow for the chips to infuse the sauce. However, don’t overcook till they turn soggy and break apart. I find 3 minutes to be enough since I love my chips masala with a little crunch at the center. Also, cook with the lid on at this step
  9. Serve hot and garnish with your favorite herb. You can substitute with parsley if you don’t have, or don’t like coriander. Chips masala tastes better when steamy hot and not lukewarm


Chips Masala

Chips masala is a tasty East African snack made of French fries cooked in a spicy tomato sauce with onions, garlic, and local spices. It's a flavorful, popular street food in Kenya and Tanzania, and restaurants too
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish, Snack
Servings 1 person
Calories 338 kcal


  • Frying pan or skillet
  • Cooking utensils (spatula, spoon)
  • Blender or food processor, you can use a pestle and mortar (for blending tomatoes)
  • Grater (for ginger and garlic)
  • Knife and cutting board (for chopping onions and coriander)
  • Measuring spoons


  • 1 serving Cooked Potato Chips (Fries)
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1-inch piece Ginger
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika OPTIONAL
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric OPTIONAL
  • 1 bunch Coriander (Cilantro)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder OPTIONAL


  • Cook your potato chips (fries) until they are done, then set them aside to cool.
  • Finely dice the onion, and grate the ginger and garlic into a paste.
    Blend the tomatoes until smooth.
  • In a frying pan or skillet, cook the diced onions over medium heat until translucent.
    Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for about a minute until fragrant.
  • Pour in the blended tomatoes and simmer until the mixture is reduced and thickened.
    Add the dry spices (garam masala, paprika, turmeric), salt, and some chopped coriander leaves.
  • Gently add the cooked potato chips (fries) to the sauce, ensuring they are evenly coated.
    Cover and let simmer for at least 2 minutes on low heat.
  • Serve hot, garnished with additional coriander leaves.


  • Preparation of Fries: If making fries from scratch, peel and cut the potatoes into thin fry shapes. Soak them in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour to remove excess starch, then drain and dry them before frying. Optionally, add cornstarch to help crisp them up during cooking.
  • Choice of Oil: For deep frying, use high smoke point oils like sunflower, canola, or vegetable oil. If air frying, choose an oil suitable for high-temperature cooking.
  • Cooking Method: While deep frying is the authentic method, you can also bake the fries in the oven or air fry them as an alternative.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Grate the ginger and garlic instead of dicing for better flavor infusion. Fresh tomatoes can be blended or grated for the sauce.
  • Spice Sequence: Add garlic after onions to prevent burning. Avoid overcooking onions; they should be wilted before adding ginger-garlic paste. Garam masala is crucial for flavor, but spices can be adjusted according to preference.
  • Thickening Sauce: Tomato paste can be used to thicken the sauce if needed, but it’s optional to keep the recipe authentic.
  • Cooking Chips in Sauce: Ensure the chips are evenly coated in the sauce and cook them gently on low heat to allow flavors to infuse without becoming soggy.

Nutritional Information

Per 100g serving: 

Calories: 169kcal

% Daily Value* 

Total Fat 4g, 5% Saturated Fat 0.7g, 3% Cholesterol 0mg, 0% Sodium 154mg, 7% Total Carbohydrate 31.3g, 11% Dietary Fiber 5.3g, 19%

 Total Sugars 6.9g   Protein 4.2g 

Vitamin D 0mcg 0% Calcium 66mg 5% Iron 1mg 8% Potassium 671mg 14%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.


The nutritional information provided is an estimate and may vary based on   Ingredients, cooking methodology, and quantities used. This should only be used for informational purposes and not for dietary advice.

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