World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ugandan cuisine

Article Id: WHEBN0003080687
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ugandan cuisine  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Rwandan cuisine, Cuisine of Lesotho, Cuisine of Swaziland, Malawian cuisine, Mauritanian cuisine
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ugandan cuisine

Ugali (top) and cabbage. It is more typically eaten with kale (Sukuma wiki).
Roast chicken
Location of Uganda

Ugandan cuisine consists of traditional and modern cooking styles, practices, foods and dishes in Uganda, with English, Arab, and Asian (especially Indian) influences. Like the cuisines of most countries, it varies in complexity, from the most basic, a starchy filler with a sauce of beans or meat, to several-course meals served in upper-class homes and high-end restaurants.

Most tribes in Uganda have their own speciality dish or delicacy. Many dishes include various vegetables, potatoes, yams, bananas and other tropical fruits. Chicken, pork, fish (usually fresh, but there is also a dried variety, reconstituted for stewing),[1] beef, goat[1] and mutton are all commonly eaten, although among the rural poor, meats are consumed less than in other areas, and mostly eaten in the form of bushmeat. Nyama is the Swahili word for "meat".[2]

Main dishes

Main dishes are usually centered on a sauce or stew of groundnuts, beans or meat. The starch traditionally comes from ugali (maize meal) or matooke (steamed and mashed green banana) in the South, or an ugali-like dish[1] made from millet in the North. Ugali/posho is cooked up into a thick porridge for breakfast.

For main meals, white maize flour is added to the saucepan and stirred into the ugali/posho until the consistency is firm. It is then turned out onto a serving plate and cut into individual slices (or served onto individual plates in the kitchen). Cassava, yam,[1] and African sweet potato are also eaten; the more affluent include white (often called "Irish") potato and rice in their diets. Soybeans were promoted as a healthy food staple in the 1970s and this is also used, especially for breakfast. Chapati, an Asian flatbread, is also part of Ugandan cuisine.

Fruits and vegetables

Various leafy greens are grown in Uganda. These may be boiled in the stews, or served as side dishes in fancier homes. Amaranth (dodo), nakati, and borr are examples of regional greens. Fruits such as bananas and pineapples[1] are plentiful and commonly consumed; cooked in foods, eaten as snacks or as a dessert.

Some traditional food names

Posho or Ugali consists of maize flour (cornmeal) cooked with water to a porridge- or dough-like consistency. Pictured on the bottom-right of the plate, its served with beef and sauce.

Some traditional and historic Ugandan foods include:

  • Posho or Kawunga - called Ugali in Kenya, it is usually made from maize but also other starches, regional names include kwon. Ugandan expatriates make posho from cornmeal, masa harina or grits. Kwon is a type of ugali made from millet (called kalo in western Uganda) but in other regions like eastern Uganda they include cassava flour.
  • Groundnuts (peanuts) - groundnuts are a vital staple and groundnut sauce is probably the most commonly eaten one. They are eaten plain or mixed with smoked fish, smoked meat or mushrooms, and can also be mixed with greens such as borr.
  • Sim-sim (sesame) - A staple particularly in the north, roasted sesame paste is mixed into a stew of beans or greens and served as a side dish, though sesame paste may also be served as a condiment; a candy is made from roasted sesame seeds with sugar or honey.
  • Matooke - Mashed plantain boiled or cooked in a sauce of peanuts, fresh fish or meat
  • Luwombo - A traditional dish from Uganda, in which a stew of either chicken, beef, mushrooms or fish is steamed in banana leaves
  • Malewa - A traditional dish from eastern Uganda (Bugisu), made from bamboo shoots
  • Kikomando - A Chapati that is cut into pieces and served with fried beans


Roasted peanuts
  • Roasted groundnuts (peanuts) - served in a spill of paper
  • Samusa (samousa, samosa) - Indian samosas are highly assimilated into the local cuisine, as are chapati and curry
  • Mugati naamaggi (bread and eggs) - Originally an Arab dish, it consists of wheat dough spread into a thin pancake, filled with minced meat and raw egg, and then folded into a neat parcel, which is fried on a skillet or hotplate.
  • Nsenene - an unusual food item, which is a seasonal delicacy of a type of grasshopper[1]
  • Nswaa - served similarly to nsenene, but made of white ant, which is a termite[1]
  • Rolex - a chapati filled with eggs, onions, cabbage or kale, and tomatoes, though minced meat is sometimes added


Fresh fruits are a common dessert, and sesame-honey candies are also eaten.[1] Europeans introduced cake, which is popular.

Additional Ugandan foods


Tea (chai) and coffee (kawa) are popular beverages and important cash crops. These can be served English-style or spiced (chai masala). Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Fanta all made inroads in the Ugandan market and soft drinks became very popular. Both traditional and Western beers are probably the most widely available alcoholic beverages across Uganda.

Pombe and lubisi are generic words for locally made fermented beer, usually from banana or millet. Fermented banana wine[1] is also prepared and consumed. Tonto is a traditional fermented drink made from bananas. Waragi is the generic term for distilled spirits and these also vary, see for example Uganda Waragi, a brand name for clear or yellow gin.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Uganda." Accessed June 2011.
  2. ^

Further reading

  • Otiso, Kefa M. (2006.) "Culture and customs of Uganda." Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-33148-0

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.