Uganda has a lot of food and is known as the food basket in East Africa. Uganda exports her food products to countries like Rwanda, Kenya and other East African countries. Uganda also has people who come from different regions and have different cultures and staple foods. A lot of food is shared by most people but there are those types of food that are enjoyed by a specific region tribe in Uganda.
A food trip to Uganda will have taste the different staple foods in the country and you will also get to know how to prepare the different local food in the country. Today we are going to look at the different staple food that is in Uganda and how it is prepared and remember to prepare your taste buds and stomach as you prepare your food trip to the Pearl of Africa.
The central region
The central region in Uganda is filled with a number of people from the different regions of Uganda but the most common food that is prepared by the central people commonly known as the Baganda is Matooke.
Matooke is commonly prepared by steaming. First the green part is removed by peeling, covered in fresh banana leaves and then steamed for some time until they are ready. They are pressed or mashed to make them soft and then put back on fire to increase on the softening and then served when ready with any stew that is available. Matooke can be found in the different markets and stalls all over the country as it can be grown anywhere in the country and the prices also depend on where you are buying the Matooke from.
Grasshoppers also known as Nsenene by the local people are a delicacy in Uganda. These are harvested at night using sharp light and iron sheets the grasshoppers normally fly out during the rainy season and they are majorly found in Busy, Masaka. Large iron sheets are erected and sharp light is placed on them, this blinds the Nsenene for a short time causing them to get the iron sheets and they fall down in the basins or buckets that are place on them. They are then placed in sacks and delivered to the different parts of Uganda where they are fried after removing the legs and wings and then sold to the different people.
Ants are also common in the central part of the country and these are collected as they fly out of the any hills. Some people eat then straight from the any hills whereas others fry them before eating them and these are delicacies that you cannot miss.
The Eastern region
The people from Jinja and Iganga have sweet potatoes as their staple food and this can be prepared in many ways although the common way is through steaming. The sweet potatoes are peeled and then wrapped in banana leaves, placed in a source pan with water and then place on fire till they are ready and served with any stew available.
Sometimes the sweet potatoes are fried to make sweet potato chips which are eaten mostly for breakfast.
The remaining districts in the Eastern region besides Mbale which has Matooke as the staple food have millet bread locally known as kalo as their staple food. Kalo is a mixture of millet and cassava flour after grinding and it is prepared by boiling water and then placing the quantity of the mixed flour that you want and then mingle. You have to mingle until it is soft and then serve when it is served when still hot in a small food basket.
The staple stew of the Bagisu located in the Eastern part of Uganda is known as Malewa loosely translated as bamboo leaves. These can be served with any type of food and they are prepared I a way that they are boiled the first time until they are soft and then the top part of the shoots is removed and cut into small pieces. They are then washed again and soda ash is added, then ground nuts paste and any other ingredients like tomatoes, onions are added to add flavor to the stew and then served with food. They are tasty when served with Matooke.
The western region
Just like the Eastern region some districts in western Uganda have kalo as their staple food while others have Irish potatoes as their staple food. Irish is prepared the normal way either by boiling it or frying it and is served with other dishes of food since most people believe it to be a side food and not always on the main course.
They are also known for Ishabwe which is made from ghee and this is a delicacy to many in the western region. The Ishabwe is made after keeping milk until it ferments and then the top part is removed and still kept till Ishabwe is made. The Ishabwe can be served with other types of food like millet bread, Matooke, cassava and other types of food.
The Northern part of Uganda
The Northern part of Uganda has Millet bread as their staple food plus malakwang mixed with ground nuts. Malakwang is a green vegetable which is prepared in a way that it is first boiled in water and then the water is sieved out. More water is added to it before adding groundnut paste
The street foods in Uganda
Roasted maize is one of the top street foods that is prepared in Uganda. This is mostly done in the evening or very early in the morning and you find different people buying it and eating at with tea, porridge and sometimes water. The roasted maize is prepared on a charcoal stove that has a small netted grill on top of it. The maize is placed on the netted net and turned so that all the sides of the corn get ready. The maize is got from the different parts of Uganda and the roasted maize can be eaten by any one irrelevant of the age.
Breakfast in Uganda is incomplete without katogo for most people. So as you are coming to the country for the food tour, make sure you do not miss out on the katogo. This is a mixture of Matooke with beans, ground nuts, meat or fried alone and cassava mixed with beans. It is a good delicacy and some people add ghee to give the food a good scent and taste. The beans, ground nuts and meat are all put into the Matooke separately and not at the same time.
Rolex is a very popular street food in Uganda and tasty. It can be found in the different parts of the country being made on the Rolex stands on the streets. The Rolex is made up of a chapatti which is made of flour and is a flat round in shape. It s fried and after frying the chapatti, a fried egg is added on top of it and then rolled up together to make a Rolex. The number of eggs and the ingredients to be used to be used is decided by the customer. These ingredients include tomatoes, meat, onions, green paper and many more others.
The general food
Uganda is a food country and fish is one of the most common foods used in the country. Fishing in Uganda is mostly done on Lake Victoria it being the largest lake in the country. The most common fish that is caught in uganda include the Nile perch and the Tilapia although there are other fish species that are caught from the different water bodies in the country like silver fish locally known as Mukene, mud fish to mention but a few.
The Nile perch is larger than the Tilapia and it can be prepared either by boiling it or deep frying. In order to prepare the Nile perch properly, it needs to be cut into smaller pieces so because of its size for easy cooking and it is not as common in the market and restaurants as the Tilapia.
The tilapia is the most caught fish in Uganda and it is liked by many because it does not have the fishy taste that is with other fish. It has a white flesh and can also be either dried or prepared into a stew. This can be prepared as a whole or cut into smaller pieces. Both the Tilapia and Nile perch can be found in restaurants, markets and street vendors and the prices vary according to the amount of fish that has been caught.
More food to enjoy as you come for the food trip to Uganda include Cassava, Bbo from the North and East, meat, fresh green papers, the different types of fruits in the country like pineapples, jackfruits, citrus fruits and many more. You should pack those bags to get an experience you won’t get anywhere else.