Here are the 10 Ugandan foods that you should be on the lookout for.
Royalty in a dish. One of Uganda’s best dishes that is estimated to have originated from the Buganda Kingdom in the late 19th century by Kabaka Mwanga’s personal chef. Kudos to that chef for creating a masterpiece that has brought joy to so many people and generations from everywhere.
Luwombo can be served with matoke, rice, cassava or chapati.
Kagoto is one of those breakfast delicacies that will start your day off in great spirits. Directly translated, katogo means mixture.
It is basically assorted foods cooked together. Katogo can be served with fresh salad or avocado. The blend of these varying foods mixed together creates a beautifully tasty outcome that keeps you satisfied until the late afternoon.
3. Muchomo (Roasted meat)
Meat lovers would call this ‘heaven’. Roasted meat has become a norm in Uganda and can be found in high-end restaurants as well as the roadsides in every town. Muchomo has a great delicious and crunchy taste and it is normally served with fresh salad or chips (fries).
Muchomo is a great way to indulge for your diet cheat day.
Matoke is traditionally enjoyed across Uganda and is a staple food to most of the Bantu tribes. In Western Uganda, you will see miles and miles of fields with this green plantain. It is from such farms that matooke is then harvested and sent to towns for urban dwellers.
Matoke can be served with any kind of sauce. Sometimes, matoke will be prepared with the peelings on (Empogola), this is normally served with pork, muchomo or any other grilled meats.
5. Kikalayi (Fried pork)
You have not tasted pork until you have tried ‘kikalaya’. The title emanates from the sturdy and huge locally made frying pans used in the preparation.
Kikalayi is better when shared with friends, and that is why it is served dramatically on a big round tray (with optional red chilli). If you eat pork, kikalayi is something you will definitely enjoy.
Posho is probably one of Uganda’s most common and cheapest dishes. It is made from maize flour which is mingled in boiling hot water until it becomes hard.
You can eat posho with every sauce, but our ultimate recommendation would be with fresh beans.
7. Rolex (Rolled Eggs)
No, not the luxury watch. Basically, a rolex is fried eggs wrapped [rolled] in a chapati.
A rolex a delicacy that can be eaten at any time of day. The rolex is deliciously unique that almost every Ugandan has their own favourite ‘rolex guy’ – and that comes with some sort of loyalty.
A rolex can be found on almost every roadside in the small towns across the country as cheap as 1500/= Ugandan shillings (0.4 USD). Yes, only in Uganda can you find a cheap rolex. Check out the Wikipedia page about the rolex.
Fun Fact; there are occasional rolex festivals which are great weekend activities to enjoy in Kampala. Take a look at the official Facebook page of Uganda Rolex Festival (here) where the pictures will speak volumes about the event.
Chapati is a complimentary dish, especially in restaurants. This is normally cut in triangle shapes and served as a complimentary item with your dish.
A chapati can also be eaten as a separate item from the main meal, as an accompaniment for your breakfast or evening tea.
9. Roasted Maize
A snack for any time of day. Fresh maize is slowly roasted over a medium fire until all sides turn to a brownish colour.
Since fresh maize is used, roasted maize is seasonal and you might not be able to find it at some times of the year.
10. Groundnut sauce (Binyebwa)
No, this not like peanut butter in any way. Made from the red skin ground nuts that have been ground to form some flour texture.
As mentioned above, the g-nut sauce can be served with very many dishes.
In conclusion, we have to point out how this list is merely scratching the surface. Uganda has more than 50 subcultures that are closely related, but with significant norms – which include food. Covering all that is something worth of several books.
What this article intends to do, it to serve as an introduction to some revered local dishes that people from all over the world have tried and enjoyed. The dishes we think you should give a try while you are visiting Uganda.
With this list, we also realize that we are not mentioning anything to do with dietary/religious restrictions. Going against your religious, dietary or lifestyle decisions isn’t going to make you happy. So we ask that first, you respect those restrictions.
Besides your personal restrictions, we say that “when in Uganda, do as Ugandan’s do!” Take a chance, and you will not be disappointed.