CULINARY TOURISM IN UGANDA
Uganda is a country endowed with over 50 tribes, each of these tribes offer different foods and different way of preparing it. Some foods can be found in all the tribes while others are unique to a certain tribe. Some of the unique foods include the Eshabwe which is special to the Ankole people, luwombo to Baganda, karo special to the Banyankole and Banyoro, the Acholi, the Itesots who refer to it as Atap and others tribes. Each tribe you may choose to visit will give you a great culinary experience. However, many say that Baganda have the best traditional dishes followed by the westerners. Baganda people respect the process of preparing their food and won’t mind even if it takes them hours to prepare as long as it produces the best outcome. It’s surprising that in Uganda as a whole, one of the characteristics people consider when choosing a wife is her ability to cook good food. Any woman or girl who doesn’t know how to cook people always question their upbringing and where she grew up from.
The country is full of restaurants that prepare traditional meals. You can also engage in the process of preparing these traditional meals. Engagi safaris is here to help you get the best out of your culinary experience in Uganda.
Foods in Uganda include;
This is a millet bread prepared among the Ankole people, the Bahima, the Acholi and other tribes. This meal is not so common among the Baganda.
- Millet flour.
- Hot water.
How to prepare karo
The millet is harvested, dried and then pounded using a grinding stone locally known as Olubengo into flour and then mixed with cassava flour. The grinding traditionally was done by two or three ladies who would grind on a rhythm of a traditional song. The flour is mingled with boiling water to form a hard bread locally called Obwita. The dish is sweet when accompanied with dry fish as sauce, some say it’s good with chicken sauce or pork, you can opt to enjoy it with pasted beef.
This famous among the Baganda people who are found in the central region of Uganda.
How to prepare matooke
Matooke is prepared in many different ways however the most interesting way is preparing the mashed matooke in banana leaves. However not all bananas are good for this meal. There are specific types of matooke that are used. These include, Mpologoma, Nakitembe among others. The matooke are peeled while seated down in a proper way. The banana leaf is put in a basket locally called Ekibbo. After peeling, the matooke are wrapped in banana leaves and tied with banana fibers and then put in a source pan with water and banana leaves cut-offs to prevent water from entering the matooke, it is then covered well with a lot of banana leaves to make sure moisture doesn’t escape as the food cook. When the matooke is ready, it’s is put in the basket (Ekibbo) when it is still hot, and pressed with hands until it makes a uniform soft paste. It is gain put back on fire to cook for about three to four hours to make it more tasty, soft and with aroma. Then it is served, you may choose to enjoy it with fish, ground nuts, beans, chicken, meat, silver fish, cow peas, vegetables, luwombo and other sauces available. Each source has a unique way it is cooked and made sweet to your taste. If you want to engage in the process of preparing this famous and delicious meal, Engagi safari is here to help your get the best out of your culinary experience in Uganda.
A home stay in one of Ugandan homes will give you a great experience of how the food is prepared; Ugandans are one of the most hospitable people in the world. You home stay should depend on which tribe’s food you want to taste.
Luwombo is a form of cooking sauce practiced by the Baganda, the is sauce prepared in tender banana leaves that are warmed over fire to make it easy when folding it and to add a unique aroma to the sauce. Types of luwombo include; beef luwombo, chicken, ground nuts, ground nuts with smoked or dry fish as the most prepared ones. However other people prepare rice in luwombo.
Ingredients for luwombo
For ground nuts
- Pounded ground nuts
- Tomatoes, onions, carrots and other spices you may choose to use.
- Warmed tender banana leaf
For chicken and beef luwombo
- Chicken or beef
- Cooking oil if you want to first fry it
- Tomatoes, onions, curry powder, green paper, meat or chicken masala and other spices you may want
- Warmed tender banana leaf.
How to prepare luwombo.
The warmed leaf is carefully put in the basket locally called Ekibbo making sure there are no holes in it. Add your desired sauce you would like to eat. For pasted ground nuts, dissolve them in water to make a liquid content, put spices like onions, tomatoes, garlic, salt and other ingredients you want. You can add smoked fish if it’s what you want. Then wrap the luwombo carefully and tighten it with a banana fiber,cover it well with three or four banana leaves and put on fire for about three to four hours. For chicken and beef luwombo, roast the chicken or beef, cut it into pieces. You can also cook whole chicken in luwombo, get the meat or chicken place them in banana leaf, add your ingredients like onions, carrots, green paper, curry powder, water and others as you want. Wrap well making sure bones won’t tire the leave, tighten well then cook on fire for about 4 hours on high heat. You may also want to first fry the beef or chicken. After frying and adding your ingredients, put them in the warmed banana leave, fold and tighten well making sure the soup doesn’t escape.
This is famous with people from the Eastern region of Uganda, however the Baganda also adopted and prepare it. It is a mixture of beans and sweet potatoes pounded together to make a uniform bread.
Ingredients to Omugoyo
- Dry beans
- Sweet potatoes.
How Omugoyo is prepared.
The dish is better with dried beans. The beans are cooked till they are ready, put the sweet potatoes in the cooked beans and then cook again, when the potatoes are ready, water is drained out, the mixture is mingled or ponded. For an added aroma, get banana leaves, wrap the Omugoyo in them and put in hot fire wood ashes, keep hot for as long as you want. This creates a sweet taste and great aroma.
This is one of the most loved dishes by the Acholi people. Lakotokoto is got from ground unroasted simsim.
Ingredients for making Lakotokoto
- Tomatoes, onions and other spices as you may desire.
How to prepare Lakotokoto
You get fresh simsim and clean it to remove the bitter taste, however it can be pounded and threshed to remove the outer shells. After cleaning them, grind them with a grinding stone or you can get a grinding machine. While grinding make sure you don’t turn it into a paste.
Make sure you choose the best simsim to prevent the bitter taste.
Press the simsim using hot water to remove excess oil. Mix the simsim with soda ash or Magadi to make sure it retains its taste. Then add ingredients like onions, tomatoes, garlic and curry powder you can opt to fry the ingredients with the simsim oil, then add in the boiling water let it boil for about 20 minutes. Then serve with karo, cassava flour or sweet potatoes.
This a sauce made from ghee, it is one of the most cherished delicacies among the Ankole people. The dish was traditionally prepared for special occasions.
Ingredients for making Eshabwe
- Rock salt
How to prepare Eshabwe.
It is advised you wash the ghee in cold water to remove dirty and other impurities, add rock salt in water and make sure it dissolves well, add the ghee to the salted water and stir till the ghee becomes white as you add more water. Dissolve salt in cold water, boil it and then add it to the Eshabwe stir until you get your desire thickness, sieve to remove remaining particles then serve.
You can serve it with posho, sweet potatoes, millet bread, or matooke.
This is a Luganda word meaning mixture of food and sauce cooked together in the same pot or sauce pan. Katogo can be matooke with ground nuts, chopped cassava with ground nuts, matooke with beans, chopped cassava with beans, Irish potatoes with beans and matooke with ofos.
How to prepare Katogo.
Beans and matooke
Boil the beans till they are tender, put your pealed matooke in the beans and boil till ready. Get cooking oil and heat it from a different sauce pan, when the oil is ready add onions fry them until they become olden brown, add carrots after some time add tomatoes and other spices you want, make sure tomatoes soften well, then add your curry powder. Add little water and pour it into the mixture and stir well, let them cook for like 3-4 minutes and then pour into your Katogo, mix well and let boil for like 30 minutes or one hour and serve. You can accompany it with vegetables or salads. Some people add ghee when the Katogo is boiling, this adds an aroma to the food.
This is the same process you can use for cassava with beans Katogo and Irish potatoes with beans.
Matooke and ground nuts
Peel the matooke, put them in a sauce pan add water and boil till ready. Dissolve the pounded ground nuts in water in a separate bowl, at this point you can add your desired spices like onions, green paper, carrots, garden eggs and others. When the matooke is ready pour the dissolved ground nuts mixture in the matooke and cook for about two hours. However, some people first boil the ground nuts separately before adding it to the matooke, this is because ground nuts take a lot of time to boil and may burn if added to the already cooked matooke.
A Rolex is a chapati with eggs and other spices like onions, tomatoes and cabbages.
Its one of the most consumed street foods in Uganda, however high-end restaurant have adopted it also.
Ingredients for a making a Rolex.
- Wheat for making a chapati
- Onions, carrots, tomatoes and cabbages.
How to prepare a rolex.
Make a chapati and fry it with little oil, don’t deep fry it.
Beat your eggs with onions, tomatoes or other spices you want.
Some people prefer raw tomatoes compared to those fried together with the eggs.
Fry the eggs, when ready put the chapati on top and fry again as you turn it.
You can opt to put onions or tomatoes on top, then fold it, make sure it’s the egg that is inside when you are folding it. Then serve. You can accompany it with a juice, coffee, tea or milk.