Matoke. Posho. The best of Ugandan cuisine

I have heard people say: Urrrgh, just what do I eat in Uganda? Is there anything at all? I mean, just what do people eat? Are there any vegetarian options? or is it all “game meat”?

That really is an unfair question. Agreed, Ugandan cuisine is not as varied as Indian or Mexican and Thai cuisine, but heck, they have been eating something all these years now havent they? Agreed, the food is starch-rich (yet they do not have to worry about adding calories, its all the exercise they get of walking up and downhill in harsh conditions!!) and rather shy of fiery spices, but you cannot write their food off the “must try” list.

I particularly found these interesting.

Matoke: Boiled and mashed green banana (call it the national dish), eaten at all times of the day. Healthy but if you are not used to eating raw bananas in such large quantities, you could end up with some tummy disorder. Or, make sure you walk or run – just to work it all off.

Posho: Corn meal (called Ugali inTanzania and Kenya), eaten alone or accompanied with chicken stew or beans. It’s also the  ‘comfort’ food of all East African countries – wholesome, quite bland in taste but keeps you going for a long time!

Luwombo: Fish, chicken or beef cooked with G-nut (peanut) sauce in plantain leaves. Quite a delicacy in these parts – but quite difficult to keep it down especially if you don’t like the strong smell of salted (dried) fish in the gravy.

Luwombo

Chipathi: Chapathi to the rest of the world, its the ‘gift’ of the Indians living there. Served in many forms – torn into shreds, wrapped around an omelette (called Rolex in Uganda), or minced meat with veggies. Quite popular in the town areas – hard to find in the interiors.


Pumpkin, cassava, sweet potato, chips are the standard cuisine. In fact, when I ordered a meal at a street side restaurant, what I got what this. (See pic).

A portion of rice, a piece of boiled pumpkin, cassava, sweet potato and tiny brinjal (rather bitter). Pumpkin is not my favourite veggie for sure (and definitely not the boiled one), but combined with the bitter flavour of the brinjal, it tasted alright. That’s your veggie option for you.

Meal of rice, pumpkin, cassava, sweet potato and brinjal

Tomatoes are eaten in plenty and also greens. But beyond that, you will have to stick to beans. Chipathi with beans, rice with beans, posho and matooke with beans…

If you feel particularly adventurous, try the “chips and chaps.”

It is ground meat (no one tells you what meat and which part of the animal it comes from – but I can make an intelligent guess), mixed with flour and eggs and fried.

Okay, let me admit. I couldn’t eat all of it.

chaps


Warning
: go for a good long walk after every meal. the food is starch-heavy and sedentary lifestyle, even for a short duration adds to the ‘holiday weight.’

13 comments

  1. Hmm…..you must have a gut lined with fiberglass. Unfortunately, the fiberglass in my gut is worn off and is like a sieve in places. Get the drift?

  2. Oh! ..and just to make you feel good. I dislike pumpkins as well. 😉

    • Actually I dont dislike pumpkin that much…I mean I can eat it if I tried. But I would prefer it with some flavour! Not simply boiled….that way it get slushy and urrrrghhhh….no, the mention of it makes me sick!

  3. Thanks, good information and nice photos

  4. Anjaly your travel this time has truly taken you on a quest of very interesting “eatable delights” much to the liking of my buddy Andrew Zimmern with his Bizarre Food program. With all the years of my anthropological/archeological expeditions I have not had the honor of such cuisine. My hat comes off to you for being such a brave woman!

    http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/bizarre-foods
    http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/bizarre-foods/articles/meet-andrew-zimmern

    • Hey thanks….although I believe that there are still a lot more “wierd foods” I still have to try! I am hoping to go to China next….!!!!

  5. After I saw you tasting a fried insect on your Indonesian trip, I knew food would never be a problem for you anywhere..Without spices all the Ugandan stuff you have displayed must be bland and tasteless.Are there any tapiaco food?
    The pics are good

    • Oh yes, lots and lots of tapioca (they call it cassava). Ugandan food is heavy on starch 🙂

    • I am Ugandan. We put more spices in Ugandan food than I am 100% sure you put in your food. With the exception of staple foods liked mashed green bananas or corn meal, because they have to be eaten with “spiced up” soup. Perhaps you should travel to Uganda and taste for yourself. Nothing beats a personal experience 🙂

      • Hey Malou, you bet I have been in Uganda and pretty much tried all your foods!! In the spice department, no one beats an Indian – LOL. But Ugandan cuisine is just right and not violently spicy and I do like it more than Indian spice for sure!

  6. Most of Uganda’s local food is bland. Matooke is quite tasteless unless you cook it when the bananas are kinda ripe. Luwombo is worse but in my part of the country we don’t make our chicken or meat that way. It makes it tasteless. Rolex is nice though.

    • I guess it is a matter of taste! I love bland food and particularly ugali. Luwombo – not so – I find it too thick and buttery thanks to the peanuts. Rolex is our “Indian omlette roll” – but well, Ugandan food is kinda like “home food” and not gourmet.

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