Blessed with over 50 ethnic tribe, Uganda is blessed with over 50 ethnic tribes with different type of local food cuisines which include the following;
Matooke (Bananas Plantain)
is one of the widely consumed food in Uganda and it is the stable food
for Uganda's largest tribe the Buganda. it is a yellowish looking delicious food, According to Buganda custom, Matooke food was the most treasured food by
the ancestors and this is the reason why it is hard to find a Muganda
homestead without a banana plantation.
Other tribes which take this as a stable food include the Ankole found in western Uganda.
Sweet Potatoes are consumed by almost all the
tribes in Uganda because of their delicacy. These Potatoes are sweeter than sugar, however its the Busoga ethnic group of Uganda which takes this food as a
stable food and a Musoga farmer cannot complete a year without growing
this cultural food. Other tribes that highly feed on this food include
the Itesotes, Baganda, Luos and Bagisu.
Millet Flour (Kalo)
is believed to be a brain booster according to many cultural members of
Uganda.This true African food is made from Millet and many parents in
Uganda feed their children on this special dish so as to make them more
brighter and intelligent.
Though its consumed by most ethnic tribes of Uganda, it is taken as a
stable food by the Itesotes, Acholi, Bakiga, Banyoro, Bagisu, the Luos, the
Japhadoras, Toro, Ankole and others.
In Uganda most modern homes
feed on this delicious food because its cheap and easy to
cook. However, it is taken as a stable food by the western tribes of
Uganda which include the Bakiga, Banyankore, Toro and Banyoro.
Posho (Maize floor)
is one of the widely consumed food in Uganda. It is made from maize a
food crop widely grown in this country. To many Ugandans, this food is
taken as an energy giving food and it is mainly consumed by people
involved in jobs requiring a lot of energy. There is no specific tribe in
Uganda which takes this food as a cultural food because it is consumed
by almost all the ethnic tribes.
Ugandan Traditional CuisinesUgandan traditional cuisines consists of traditional and modern cooking styles, practices, foods and dishes in Uganda, with local, 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 specialty 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), beef, goat 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 bush meat. Nyama is the Swahili word for "meat".
Main DishesMain dishes are usually centered on a sauce or stew of groundnuts, beans or meat. The starch traditionally comes from posho (maize meal) or Matooke (steamed and mashed green banana) in the South, or an ugali-like dish made from millet in the North. 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 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 and African Sweet Potatos 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 VegetablesVarious 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 are plentiful and commonly consumed, whether cooked in foods or eaten alone as snacks or as a dessert.
Some Traditional Food Names
- 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 - (green bananas but not plantain) boiled or steamed (mashed) cooked in or served with a sauce of peanuts, beans 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 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
- Nswaa - served similarly to nsenene, but made of termites
- Rolex - a chapati filled with eggs, onions, cabbage or kale, and tomatoes, though minced meat is sometimes added
DessertsFresh fruits are a common dessert, and Sim-sims are also very popular. They are sugar and sesame seeds.
Additional Ugandan foods
BeveragesTea (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 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.
Ugandan Alcoholic Beverages