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+ servings
nyama chama served on a grilling rack

Mbuzi Nyama Choma

Goat meat is marinated in spices and then slowly grilled in this tender and delicious nyama choma recipe. Best served with kachumbari and ugali.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine African, Kenyan
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Marination 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 647kcal


  • charcoal, electric or gas grill
  • grilling rack or baking tray
  • aluminum foil


  • 5.5 lbs goat meat (approximately 2.5kgs)
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 bulb whole garlic cut across in the middle
  • 1 red or white onion large
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • piece ginger
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil or preferred cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoon ground paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 stock cubes
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bird-eye chillis de-seeded
  • ¾ tablespoon salt


  • In a bowl, combine garlic, ginger, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, paprika, salt, stock cubes, rosemary, and chili. Use a food processor or blender, to save on time but take care not to process it too much. It should still retain some texture.
  • Place the meat in a large bowl and toss it with half of the marinade. Set the other marinade aside, to be used in basting the nyama choma.
  • Use a knife to make slits 2 inches or 5 cm apart on the goat leg and massage the marinade into the meat, making sure to also cover the slits. Cover the meat with aluminum foil and allow to marinate overnight or for at least for 2 hours.
  • Remove the marinated goat meat from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature for at least an hour, before setting it on the barbecue. During this time, prepare your grill and set it to high. Cover your grill with ashes if using a charcoal grill, to prevent it from getting too hot.
  • Grill the meat on high for approximately 3 minutes on each side, or until it attains a proper color then transfer to a triple layer of foil paper.
  • Place two sprigs of rosemary and the bulb of garlic on top of the goat leg. Cover the meat loosely with foil so it resembles a tent.
  • Set it on a baking tray or grilling rack, transfer to the barbecue grill then cover the lid, trying to maintain the temperature at medium-low or between 180 and 200 degrees. Grill at medium-low for one and a half hours, turning from time to time.
  • Once the time is up, mix the honey with 2-3 tablespoons of hot water. Uncover the meat and baste it with the honey glaze. Continue to grill for a further 15-30 minutes or until the desired brownness has been achieved and the juices run clear, or it has an internal temperature of at least 150-160 degrees F.
  • Once cooked, transfer the meat to a tray and allow it to rest for 10-20 minutes before carving.
  • Serve nyama choma hot with ugali and kachumbari.


  • To make nyama choma in the oven, simply marinate the meat and cover it with aluminum foil in preparation for roasting, as per the instructions above. Next, preheat the oven to 170° C/ 365° F (standard) or 150° C fan then lay the meat on a baking tray. Place in the oven and slowly roast for 4.5 hours.
  • Once the cooking time is over, get the meat out of the oven and remove the aluminum foil. Mix the honey with 2-3 tablespoons of hot water. Uncover the meat and baste it with the honey glaze.
  • Return the basted meat to the oven and broil each side on high for 5-10 minutes, or until the desired level of browness has been obtained.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes, before carving to prevent the juices from running out.
  • Serve the nyama choma with mukimo, ugali, kachumbari or your favorite side dish.


  • The recipe card uses the minimum marination time of 30 minutes. For best results marinate overnight.

Useful Recipe Tips

  • Try injecting the marinade into the meat or simply make gashes on the surface, so the flavors properly penetrate the mbuzi (goat meat).
  • To tenderize the meat, grate a quarter of raw papaya combined with some pineapple into the meat.
  • Remove your marinated meat from the fridge at least one hour before grilling.
  • To reduce the cooking time if using a goat leg, cut the meat into three or four large chunks, so it cooks more evenly and quicker.
  • Allow the nyama choma to rest covered in foil for at least 10-20 minutes before cutting to prevent the juices from running over. This way, the meat stays juicy and tastier.


  • This nyama choma recipe uses goat meat, but feel free to substitute this with beef, mutton, or lamb.
  • Tenderize the meat by adding a quarter of a cup of papaya tenderizer made from blended papaya and pineapple.


Calories: 647kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 87g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 238mg | Sodium: 2702mg | Potassium: 1759mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1181IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 13mg