KArafu Kitchen


“Karafu” – Cloves in Swahili. Cloves are one of the main spices farmed in Zanzibar, and used widely in Omani foods.

My name is Arafa Nasser, a Omani woman with a mixed Zanzibari family heritage. My journey to Karafu Kitchen has been a long, but inevitable one. What started as a way to track my PCOS health journey through food turned into the something that is closer and dearer to my heart. The realisation that the purest joy in life is food, and the fact that cooking clean, healthy, guilt-free food should be simple.

While navigating different diets, food preferences and restrictions, I’ve found that there were so many foods I used to love that I would miss, or that all the food fads and diet plans that I tried had their good points, and their frustrating ones. At the center of my frustrations I found that there were so many things that I used to enjoy eating that I couldn’t anymore. So I would find recipes for all my favourite dishes and modify them to suit a healthier lifestyle. The more I did it, the easier it became – and it also helped make great strides with healing with my PCOS. I realised that healthy food didn’t have to be boring or difficult. To quote a friend – “it doesn’t have to be a punishment”. And whenever I would talk to friends or colleagues, I would always get asked how I found the time to cook, or how I kept within healthy lines.

The answer to this is why I brought Karafu Kitchen to life. To show that eating well can be easy, fun, creative, and enjoyable – and that you can still enjoy all your healthy (and sometimes indulgent!) foods within moderation. Also that you can learn the flexibility with your meals to make them how you want them, whether finding a way to eat fried chicken and feel good about it, or enjoy a slice of cake and not think twice. Food should always be joyful, no matter what your dietary needs, and I hope I can share that joy with you.