Ugandan food is a mixture of traditional African cuisine and Indian, British, Egypt and Arab influences. The cuisine is noted for its use of groundnut sauce, which is made from ground peanuts, tomatoes, onions, and chilli peppers.
Ugandan food is typically serves with ugali, a cornmeal dish that cooks into a thick porridge-like consistency.
What is the Main Dish in Uganda?
In Uganda, matoke is the main food (cooking bananas). Some other food crops are cassava (manioc), sweet potatoes, white potatoes, yams and beans, peas, and groundnuts (peanuts).
Manioc’s other name is Cassava. It’s also possible to grow oranges, pawpaws (also called “papayas,” “lemons,” and “pineapples”), as well as other fruits.
Most people, except for a few who live in cities, grow their own food. Women and girls in the home are the only ones who have to make the family’s food.
Men and boys who are older than 12 aren’t even supposed to sit in the kitchen, which is separate from the rest of the house. An open fire is used to cook food. Wood is used as fuel.
Matoke is the national dish of Uganda, so it gets first place in this Uganda Food Guide because it is so good. Matoke is a term for plantain bananas that are native to southwest Uganda.
This is the most common way to make Matoke. You cook it and then mash it together. There are many ways to cook matoke. It serves with meat and steam in plantain leaves. In Uganda, plantains are a very common crop.
Matoke is very common and easy to find because of this. This dish is ideal for people who want to fully immerse themselves in Ugandan culture. Matoke can serves in many different ways, making it a great dish for even the pickiest eaters.
What do People in Uganda Eat for Breakfast?
Everyone needs food when they go somewhere, no matter how far away or close they are. It’s fun to have both the security of familiar foods and the excitement of trying new ones when we go somewhere new! You want to know what Ugandan food tastes like. Here, I’ll show you a typical Ugandan breakfast, so you can see what it looks like.
1. The Heavenly Ugandan Tea (Chayi)
You can drink the Ugandan “heavenly tea” with your breakfast snack. It’s made with water or milk boiled with ginger, holy basil leaves, cinnamon leaves, or bark, and lemongrass (Kisubi).
These can be made into powders, or you can pick the leaves and bark from a nearby bush. If you want to stay healthy, this tea is a good choice because it has a lot of medicinal value. It would be a big mistake to leave Uganda and not try this delicious tea.
2. The Famous Rolex (Rolled Eggs)
No, this is not a high-end watch. A Rolex is a treat that you can eat at any time of the day. Every Ugandan has a favourite Rolex guy, which means there’s some kind of loyalty to them.
A Rolex is made of fried eggs that are covered in a piece of chapati (flatbread). It is possible to add onions and tomatoes, green pepper, and cabbage to the eggs if you want.
A “Rolex pizza” can be made for you at any time. You can eat the vegetable mix cooked or raw. It looks like this: They cut up some vegetables like onions.
Then they mix them with eggs and fry them on a plate. For as little as UGX 1500, you can buy a Rolex almost anywhere in the country. Yes, only in Uganda can you get food that is so cheap that you can eat it all.
Fun Fact: There are a few Rolex festivals in Kampala every year. These are great weekend events for people who like to go to the city. See the official Facebook page for the Uganda Rolex Festival. The photos there say a lot about the event!
3. Katogo Dishes
If you want to start your day off on the right foot, you should eat Kagoto, which is a breakfast dish in Uganda. Katogo can be translated as “mixture” if it is said this way.
It is made up of a lot of different things that people eat in most parts of Uganda. Peeled green bananas and a sauce are the main parts of this dish (beef, groundnuts, offal, and beans or cow ghee).
Katogo used to be a mix of diced cassava and beans. People in Buganda and Western Uganda used to think of Katogo as a cheap meal for poor people.
Later, the trend changed when Baganda came up with a better version of katogo. It was made with offal and matooke. They used matooke instead of cassava to make katogo. Later, matooke and other fresh sauces were used in katogo variations.
They spread quickly across Uganda, and the dish has many different variations to this day. This is a popular breakfast dish for people who speak the Bantu language, most Ugandans living in the cities, restaurants, and hotels.
If you want to eat it, you can eat it with salad greens or avocado. The combination of these different foods tastes great and keeps you full until the end of the day.
4. Fried Chapati
People in Mexico eat corn tortillas all the time. There are a lot of tacos in the United States. Every place on the planet has one bread staple that they eat with everything.
People in Uganda like to serve chapati as a side dish and as bread in restaurants. There are many different ways to serve this bread. It is usually cut into triangular shapes and served as a side dish with the main dish.
In order to make chapatis, you mix wheat flour and baking powder with onion and green pepper. You also add salt to the mixture. Then you flatten the mixture, roll it out, and fry it in very little oil. When chapatis are fried, they can be used for many different things.
Eat them with beans or gravy. Also, you can use them to wrap minced beef, boiled eggs, and other foods in them, too. A chapati can also be eaten on its own as a snack with your morning or evening tea.
5. Ugandan Rice Balls/Rolls (Namungodi)
This is a popular breakfast snack in Uganda. Namungodi is a type of deep-fried rice ball that is popular with the poor and school-age children in the country.
Boiled rice mixed with mashed potatoes and flour that has been dipped in egg and other things to make it taste good. It is then deep-fried until golden brown to make it crispy.
6. Ugandan Egg Rolls
Ugandan egg rolls aren’t the same as Chinese egg rolls, and they’re not even close. It’s made with a hard-boiled egg inside a ball of mixed, mashed potatoes mixed with a few vegetables, dipped in whisked eggs, and then fried.
There are many ways you can enjoy this tasty snack. For breakfast, lunch, or as a side dish, you can eat it. It is sold in almost all hotels and restaurants across the country.
What do People in Uganda Eat for Lunch?
Matooke (Steamed Mashed Bananas)
People in most Bantu tribes eat matooke (matoke) as the main meal, and it is a popular dish in Uganda. While you’re in Uganda, you can find miles and miles of plantain fields in Western and Central Uganda that are full of green (Masaka).
It is growing on farms like this and sent to people in cities. Sometimes, plantains are peeled and steamed, then mashed and served with a sauce of your choice.
There are many ways to fry matooke. You can add tomatoes and onions. They like to steam the green, unripe ones (Empogola) and eat them in the evenings or for lunch with meats like bacon, mucho, or grilled beef or goat meat.
1. Chicken-Nut Sauce
Chicken-nut is a unique Ugandan dish that you must try if you want to have a heartfelt and pleasant meal at your next meal. There are many high-class restaurants that serve it, but it isn’t cheap enough for most people to enjoy.
A stewpot is using to make this recipe. It makes with frying onions, chicken stock, chicken pieces, spices, peanut buttercream, and more in the pot. After cooking, chicken-nut is usually consuming with rice, posho (Ugali), or matooke, which makes you feel good about your life.
The Luwombo Stew:
Cooking meats and vegetables will wrap in plantain leaves and steam up with peanut sauce. This stew is a popular dish in Uganda.
Smooth, warmed banana leaves are used to cover all Luwombo stews and then they’re cooked. Luwombo is a sweet, healthy food that tastes good and makes you feel good.
2. Royal Chicken Luwombo
In the late 1800s, this dish was making for the Buganda Kingdom’s Royal family. Chef Mwanga, who worked for Kabaka (King) Mwanga, came up with the Luwombo, one of Uganda’s best dishes. Thank you to the chef for coming up with such a great dish that has made people happy for generations to come.
It is now a part of Ugandan weddings, and without it, there is no wedding. Chicken Luwombo is usually paired with matooke, rice, cassava, sweet potatoes, or chapati, but you can also eat it on its own.
3. Beef Luwombo
When you make this dish, the banana leaves used to steam it are soft and warm. Onions, tomatoes, green peppers, carrots, garlic, beef, and Irish potatoes are some of the ingredients in this dish.
When it’s serving with matooke or chapati, you can add spices for flavour and taste. It can also serve with rice or cassava or sweet potatoes or matooke, or it can make with matooke.
G-nut Sauce Luwombo
It is called the g-nut sauce when you are in Uganda and there is a paste called that. This is what gives many Ugandan dishes their beautiful, lively, and slow-paced taste.
G-nut paste is a thick, creamy sauce made from sweet red peanuts. It goes well with dishes like a fish roast or steam sweet potatoes and matoke, or it can use to make other dishes, like a salad (boiled or steam mashed bananas).
4. The Beef G-nuts Luwombo
This is not peanut butter. To make the g-nut paste, you first grind the seeds with their red skin on to make a flour-like texture. Then, you grind the seeds until they have oil in them.
The beef is sometimes roast first and then fried with different vegetables before it adds to the g-nut paste to make it smell good. On banana leaves, this g-nut sauce is compound with fried beef and then steamed to make beef G-nut Luwombo.
5. The Mushroom G-nuts Luwombo
This creates the same way as the mushroom g-nut Luwombo. The only difference is that the g-nut paste is mixed with mushrooms and steamed in banana leaves to make the mushroom g-nut Luwombo.
6. The Fish G-nuts Luwombo
Many people love this stew and say it’s their favourite. The g-nut paste makes in the same way as all the other Luwombos, except for the fish preparation, which is a little different.
It is smoked before it is added to the g-nut mix. Remove the bones before you mix the fish with the g-nut paste and steam it in banana leaves with the g-nuts.
What do People in Uganda Eat for Dinner?
1. Muchomo (Roasted Meat)
This is what people who like meat would call “paradise” on this earth. People in Swahili call this type of meat “Nyama Chomo,” which means “grilled meat.” When you go to restaurants in Uganda, you’ll see a lot of Muchomo on the menu and on the roadside in every city.
It goes well with steamed, unpeeled bananas, fresh salads, or chips (fries). It is very crispy and tasty. Muchomo contains a wide range of meats, including chicken, pork, goat, and sometimes beef. This is a great dish to have as a treat on days when you’re not following your diet.
2. TV Chicken
Today, this is a tasty Ugandan dish among university students and young people. You can cook TV chicken in an oven that looks like a TV.
The tasty TV chicken is available at roadside food stalls. It serves with salads, smoked bananas, and French fries.
3. Kikalayi (Fried Pork)
There is no pork until you have had “Kikalayi.” They are made by people in the area and are very big and strong, so they are good for cooking.
Kikalayi is best when it’s shared with friends, so it’s shown off in a big way on a big round tray (with optional red chilli). Is Kikalayi something you might want to try?
4. Roasted Pork Ribs
A roadside bar or restaurant might serve the tasty pork ribs on a stick with Gonja, roasted sweet plantain (called “Gonja”), unpeeled matooke, kachumbari, with avocado and cassava.
Uganda has many cultures and food traditions. There are many types of foods that you will find in Uganda. Some foods may look strange but they are delicious. Try some of this Ugandan food and let me know.