Chipsi Mayai

Chipsi Mayai is a Tanzanian street food also referred to as Chipsi Mayaya or Zege. Chipsi is the Swahili word for French fries or chips and Mayai means eggs in Swahili. Chipsi Mayai is therefore a delicious, savoury and indulgent French fry omelette. The fries are cut fresh, then fried or baked, and added to a mixture of beaten eggs and sautéed veggies. For added freshness, the omelette is served with Kachumbari, a mixture of chopped tomatoes and herbs.

Prep Time:
15 min
Cook Time:
15 min



  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green or red chilli pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ( 15 mL ) chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp ( 30 mL ) lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp ( 0.5 mL ) paprika
  • 1/8 tsp ( 0.5 mL ) salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp ( 0.5 mL ) black pepper, or to taste

Potato Chips (fries)

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • Oil for deep-frying
  • Salt, to taste

Sautéed Veggies

  • 1 tbsp ( 15 mL ) vegetable oil
  • ¼ large onion, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 green or red chilli peppers, diced (optional)
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • Salt, to taste


  • 6 eggs
  • Reserved sautéed veggies
  • 1 tbsp ( 15 mL ) chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp ( 15 mL ) vegetable oil
  • Cooked potato chips (fries)



  1. In a bowl, combine tomato, onion, chilli pepper (if using), cilantro, lemon juice, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Set aside until the omelette is ready.

Fried Potato Chips (Fries)

  1. Wash and cut the potatoes into thin or slightly thicker French fries. Soak in water until ready to fry.

  2. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat cooking oil to about 350°F (180°C).

  3. In batches, carefully fry the potatoes in the hot oil until golden, crispy, and cooked throughout. This will take about 5 to 7 minutes depending on the thickness of the fries.

  4. Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Season the hot fries with salt to taste and set aside until ready to use.

Sautéed Veggies

  1. In a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add the oil and diced onions. Cook until onions are translucent and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Add the bell pepper, and chilli pepper, if using; sauté for a minute. Add the diced tomatoes and salt; cook for an additional 2 minutes.

  3. Place the sautéed veggies in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.


  1. In a bowl, whisk eggs with a fork. Stir in the sautéed veggies, cilantro, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

  2. In the same pan used to cook the veggies, over medium heat, add the oil.

  3. Pour the eggs and veggies into the pan and reduce the heat. Tilt the pan around to make sure the egg mixture spreads evenly.

  4. While the eggs are still runny, carefully place the cooked potato chips on top, spreading out evenly.

  5. Cook until the top is just set, another minute or two. Place a plate on top of the pan. Flip the pan over to turn out the omelette onto the plate, then slide the omelette back into the frying pan so the cooked side is now on top and the side with the chips is on the bottom. Cook for another minute.

  6. Place the chipsi mayai on a plate and top with Kachumbari. Serve hot on its own or with a side salad, if desired.


Created for by Nadia Boachie. Nadia is the creative mind behind Travelandmunchies, a media platform where she explores the world through global recipes she makes in her kitchen. You can find her on Instagram, TikTok or her site, Travelandmunchies.

This omelette was invented in Dar es Salaam, the largest city and financial hub in Tanzania with a population of about 6 million people and many street food vendors. Chipsi Mayai has become a popular dish throughout the country, even available in the remote parts, and it is also made around the world.