Food Guide

Uganda is composed of various tribes and each tribe sports their own specialty dishes. Uganda food consists overall of starchy staples like potatoes, beans, and cornmeal mixtures. Greens, bananas, sweet potatoes, cassava, and peanuts are also a major part of the Ugandan diet. These dishes can be found on the roadside, markets and restaurants.

Other cultures, such as Indian, Arabic, and Asian have influenced the country’s cuisine over the years, adding different twists and spices to the mix. If you are planning to travel to Uganda, you may want to try some of the following Uganda dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner –sauces, desserts, and beverages from around the country.

Luwombo (or Oluwombo), Posho, Muchomo, Chapati, Matoke, Katogo, TV Chicken, Groundnut Sauce, Mandazi, Rolex, Ugandan Egg Roll, Sim, Sim Cookies, Chickennat, Nsenene, Ugandan Curried, Cabbage, Uganda Beverages

Matooke

This is uganda’s national dish. Matoke is a banana variety that is considered more of a plantain. Ugandans love to take the green, unripe ones and steam them while peeled or still unpeeled. The plantains are then mashed and eaten. Occasionally, matooke is fried with tomatoes and onions and adding spices to it and preferably peanut sauce.

Luwombo (or Oluwombo)

This is a true classic Uganda food dish believed to have been created by the personal chef of King Kabaka Mwanga of the Buganda Kingdom in the late 19th century and is a favorite among both royalty and common folk. This traditional Ugandan stew consists of chicken, beef or fish that is steamed with vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms along with peanut (g-nut) sauce in wrapped plantains. Luwombo is one of those nice, hearty dishes that hit the spot and makes you feel all warm and full inside.

Posho

Sometimes called ugali, posho is simply fine, white corn flour that is thoroughly mixed with boiling water until it stiffens into a smooth, doughy consistency. It is usually served with soups and beans, it enriches the overall meal and leaves you feeling satisfied.

Muchomo

Muchomo is derived from a Swahili word that means “roasted meat.” Muchomo is a tasty Uganda food that includes various meats ranging from chicken to pork, goat, and sometimes beef.

These meat portions are barbecued on a stick and served at roadside stalls, markets, and restaurants, often accompanied by roasted sweet plantains (known as gonja).

Chapati

Made with wheat flour, baking powder, salt and water, chapatis are then rolled out into a pastry crust and often fried in a small amount of oil to thicken them. Once cooked, you can do all sorts of things with chapatis. You can eat them alone or with beans or soup, or even with tea. You can also use them as a wrap to hold minced meat and vegetables inside. In other words, Chapati is Uganda’s staple food.

Katogo

It usually served in the morning and starts the day off with a hearty portion of various foods mainly fried plantains served with soup, beans, beef and vegetables. Some people may prepare this Uganda food with variations that include Irish potatoes, greens, cassava, sweet potatoes, or viscera from goats, chicken or cows. Most of the ingredients of katogo are cooked together in the same pot.

TV Chicken

This is popular among college students and the younger generation because it is roasted in a rotisserie oven that resembles a television. The succulent TV chicken offerings are for sale at various roadside stalls and restaurants alike, often served with salads, smoked bananas, and French fries.

Groundnut Sauce

This is popular among college students and the younger generation because it is roasted in a rotisserie oven that resembles a television. The succulent TV chicken offerings are for sale at various roadside stalls and restaurants alike, often served with salads, smoked bananas, and French fries.

Mandazi

Similar to a donut minus the hole, mandazi is fried bread that is sweetened with coconut milk and shaped into circles or triangles. Sometimes, sugar and cinnamon are added as well. You can eat mandazi by itself or by dipping it in tea, juice or fruit dip.

If you are in the mood for something sweet, mandazi should hit the spot for you.

Rolex

Rolex day is one of the celebrated days in Uganda. It is one of the Uganda’s popular foods in the country. Found cheap and readily available at most roadside stalls, Rolex is served in variations but often consists of eggs cooked into an omelette along with tomato, green pepper, onion and cabbage. The omelette is then topped or wrapped (rolled up) with a chapati. Some vendors may even add in minced meat to the rolex.

Ugandan Egg Roll

In Uganda, an egg roll consists of a hard-boiled egg that is hidden inside a ball of mashed potatoes and then golden-fried in cooking oil. This delicious food can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or as a side dish.

Sim Sim Cookies

Sim-sim cookies are a dessert that may remind many Westerners of peanut brittle, only this treat is cooked with sesame seeds instead of peanuts.

They are made by heating a mixture of sesame seeds and sugar (or honey) until a paste is formed. Afterward, the mixture is poured out onto a flat surface to cool and then sliced into individual squares.

Chickennat

If you want a hearty, satisfying meal, chickennat is a Uganda food you must definitely sample. This dish is made by cooking cut chicken pieces in a stew pot with onions, chicken stock, seasonings, and a peanut butter paste.

Once chickennat is finished cooking, it is usually served with rice or posho, which will leave you feeling full for a good while.

Nsenene

This is a popular dish of fried grasshoppers that are often sold in pubs and roadside eateries.

You can only get this popular snack particularly in November during the rainy season. The insects’ wings and legs are removed before being fried in the grasshoppers’ natural oils. They are usually sold on roadside in plastic tubs that you can buy and fry yourself or buy already fried.

Ugandan Curried Cabbage

The dish involves shredded cabbage steamed in a pot of cooked onions, carrots, green peppers, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and curry powder (or turmeric powder). It can be enjoyed by itself or as a side dish. 

 

Uganda Beverages

In addition to soft drinks and various fruit juices, tea (chai) and coffee are popular drinks. Tea is made with part water and part milk with ginger and other spices sometimes added.

As for alcoholic beverages, Western beers are usually available across the country as well as locally fermented drinks such as banana beers and wines that include pombe, mubisi, and tonto. Uganda Waragi is a local brand name for distilled, clear or yellow gin.

 

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