You are currently viewing Recipe: Tanzanian Chips Mayai at Home

Recipe: Tanzanian Chips Mayai at Home

Chips Mayai is basically a french fries omelet. It is as simple as beating eggs, mixing in french fries and any vegetables or aromatics you desire, and cooking everything like you would a normal omelet. 

In this post, we will do exactly that but stepwise.

Chips mayai in Tanzania is also known as zege and it is a renowned street food. At home, you can make this as a snack; and in my experience, it is the best way to utilize leftover fries, that would instead go to the food bin.


  1. 1 Serving, French Fries (Chips)
  2. 3 Eggs
  3. 2Tbs, Vegetable Oil
  4. 1/2 Red Onion
  5. 1 Medium, Tomato
  6. Salt
  7. Pepper
  8. Colored Bell Peppers(Optional)
  9. Spring Onion Leaves(Optional)
  10. Prefered spices & seasonings(Optional)


  1. Stainless Steel Pan or Non-Stick Pan
  2. Flat Plate or Lid
Chips Mayai Ingredients
Chips Mayai Ingredients

What I love about chips mayai is; that it utilizes already available ingredients, and you do not have to go out of your way to secure something.

Also, you can choose to make your own fresh french fries from scratch, use leftovers, or just buy some from the food stall. 

Obviously using your own freshly made fries will yield the best result, especially texture, but there is no food police so use whatever is easily available for you.


Prepare everything ready for the action, start by beating eggs into a bowl and dicing  onions and tomatoes, if you use peppers and spring onions just do so at this point as well

Chips Mayai Ingredients
Chips Mayai Ingredients

Whisk your eggs, add salt and spices at this point, and mix thoroughly till it is all homogeneous. 

Now add the vegetables in and mix till evenly distributed in the mixture. Then add french fries, let them soak up the egg mixture but not for so long till the fries start breaking off, 2 minutes maximum will do it.

Occasionally stir around but delicately, (not to mash the fries), stirring will ensure even coating.

Chips Mayai Preparation
Chips Mayai Preparation

Heat on, and pan on- It is recommended to use stainless steel for the best texture, but non-stick is fine.

I went with stainless steel here, the downer to it is; that it is notorious for sticking food, so to mitigate that, we heat the pan till is warm enough, and then do the mercury ball test. Add a drop of water, if it spreads away then the pan is not hot enough, allow time and try again. 

You know your pan is ready when the drop rolls away when you tilt the pan. And if you add the drop and it immediately vaporizes then your pan is too hot, so let it cool for a while before proceeding.

If you are using a non-stick pan, then you don’t have to deal with those stainless steel shenanigans, JUST PROCEED!

Now that your stainless pan is ready add oil and swirl it to coat every surface, 10 seconds later add your fries-egg mixture on low heat and swirl again to distribute it evenly on the pan surface, allow everything to set and cook, the key here is to cook on medium-low or low heat to prevent burning.

Chips Mayai Cooking

When everything is set and the top has dried a little(not all the way dry), use a spoon to scrape the edges in case there is anything around the pan circumference that is stuck. This is in preparation for the next step which is flipping over the omelette.

To do this use a flat plate or a lid hold the lid against the pan, and flip the pan. Your chips mayai, then now use the lid to slide the uncooked part facing the bottom of the pan.

Homemade Chips Mayai

Cook to your desired doneness and take off the heat, allow to rest and cool before serving as the insides are very hot and can cause burns.

Slice like you would a pizza and enjoy with a cold beverage or dip in your favorite sauces.

Homemade Chips Mayai

Chips Mayai (Zege)-Tanzania Street Food

Chips Mayai, a Tanzanian street food staple, combines crispy French fries(chips) with a savory omelet.
Fries are spread in a hot skillet and covered with seasoned beaten eggs, then cooked until solid bound and golden.
Served with ketchup or chili sauce, this simple, hearty dish offers a taste of Tanzania's streets.
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Snack
Servings 2 people
Calories 420 kcal


  • 1 Iron Skillet


  • 1 serving French fries (chips)
  • 3 medium Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 medium Red Onion
  • 1 medium Tomato
  • 1 pinch Salt & Pepper
  • colored bell peppers, spring onion leaves, preferred spices & seasonings OPTIONAL


  • Dice the red onion and tomato (and optional vegetables if using).
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl.
    Whisk the eggs with salt, pepper, and optional spices.
    Mix in the diced vegetables.
  • Add the French fries to the egg mixture, and soak for up to 2 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a pan over medium-low heat.
  • Pour the egg and fries mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly.
  • Cook until the bottom is set and the top is slightly dry.
    Flip the omelet using a flat plate or lid.
    Cook until done, then remove from heat.
  • Let it cool slightly, slice, and serve.


  • Leftover Fries: This dish is a great way to use up leftover French fries. Freshly made fries will give the best texture, but leftovers work just as well.
  • Pan Type: A stainless steel pan provides the best texture but requires careful heating to prevent sticking. Non-stick pans are easier to use and require less attention.
  • Vegetable Options: Feel free to add any vegetables or aromatics you like. Popular additions include bell peppers and spring onions.
  • Seasoning: Customize the seasoning to your taste. Common choices include salt, pepper, and your preferred spices.
  • Heat Management: Cook on medium-low or low heat to avoid burning the omelet.
  • Flipping the Omelette: Use a flat plate or lid to flip the omelet for even cooking. Ensure the top is slightly dry before flipping.
  • Serving Suggestions: Let the Chips Mayai cool slightly before slicing. Serve with your favorite sauces or dips and a cold beverage.


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