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Check out Uganda’s Most Popular Foods

Ugandan cuisine is a melting point of traditional and modern cooking styles and practices. From the local matooke to Indian cuisines and American pizzas and burgers, Ugandan eating consists of African dishes with major influences from Indian, Arab, and Western cuisines.

Check out this brief review of Uganda’s most popular foods.  If you plan on traveling to the Pearl of Africa, be sure to have a bite from any of these popular foods.

Main Dishes

Like most African dishes, main dishes in Uganda are mostly starchy carbohydrate staples.

Matooke

‘Matooke’ means green unripe bananas and is a staple food in the Ankole region. Green bananas are peeled, cooked, then pounded into a meal.

‘Matooke’ is commonly eaten with popular side dishes like peanuts, beans, beef, peas, chicken, and special local sauces.

Posho

‘Posho’ is one of Uganda’s most popular foods. Posho is made from cornmeal and grits. Another variant, ‘kwon’, is made from millet. Kwon is known as ‘kalo’ in western Uganda

Posho is eaten as a thick porridge for breakfast. On other occasions, it is used as a main dish for sauces and soups. In Eastern Uganda, cassava flour is added to make the meal softer and tastier. Posho is called ‘ugali’ in Kenya.

Potatoes

Potatoes are small starchy tubers. Potatoes are staple dishes in Western Uganda eaten with most side dishes.

African sweet potatoes are eaten by people in lower and middle class, while Irish/white potatoes are eaten by people of higher socio-economic class.

Chapati

Chapati is an Indian dish eaten in Uganda. Chapati is a flat unleavened bread made from whole wheat flour. Chapati and beans is a local dish in East Africa called ‘kikomando’.

Kikomando is eaten for either lunch or dinner. Unlike Indian chapati, Ugandan chapati is made with all-purpose flour.

Side Dishes

Binyebwa

Binyebwa is groundnut sauce eaten as a side dish with matooke. Binyebwa originated from the Buganda tribe and is the second most common sauce, next to bean-based sauces.

Binyebwa is made with crushed groundnuts, tomatoes, onions, and pieces of meat, dried fish, mushrooms, and vegetables.

Sim Sim Stew

Sim sim stew is a side dish made from sesame seeds. Sim sim sauce is commonly eaten in Northern Uganda where sesame seeds are roasted and crushed into a paste.

This paste is mixed with a stew made from beans and vegetables, and eaten with staple dishes like matooke, potatoes, and cassava. Sesame seeds are rich in carbohydrates, protein, and fiber.

Luwombo

Luwombo is a side dish local to the Buganda kingdom made from either beef, chicken, or mushrooms, stewed with groundnuts, fish, and paired with a sauce. This dish is steamed with any other staple dish, like matooke, and served in banana leaves.

Luwombo is served in traditional parties like Kwanjura and Kuhingira in Bugandan culture.

Malewa

Malewa is a side dish local to most of Eastern Uganda.  Malewa is made from boiled bamboo shoots. The joints of the bamboo shoots are cut off, leaving the middle part.

This part is cut into smaller pieces and seasoned with rock salt and groundnut sauce to make it tasty.  Malewa is eaten with most starchy staples like matooke, cassava, potatoes, or posho. Malewa is a local cuisine from the Bugishu tribe.

Snacks

Samosa

Samosas are Asian staple that have been assimilated into Ugandan cuisine. Samosas are crunchy flour snacks with tasty meat and vegetable fillings. Samosas are eaten as snacks and as appetizers. Check out this alternative version!

Mugati Naamaggi

Also known as ‘bread and egg’, mugati is an Arab dish that has been absorbed into Ugandan cuisine.

This dish is made from wheat dough that is filled with minced meat and raw egg. This dough is folded and fried on a skillet.

Nsenene

Nsenene is Uganda’s crispy grasshopper snack. During the wet season, around May and November, grasshoppers are captured, their wings plucked off, and fired with onion, chili, salt, and other species.

Grasshoppers secrete their oil, which is used to fry them into crisp crunchy snacks. Nsenene is said to taste like crispy fried chicken skin. Yummy!

Nswaa

Just like Nsenene, nswaa is a local snack made from fried termites. These termites are gathered during the rainy season and fried with chili, tomatoes, onion and spices. Nswaa is sold by street vendors and is very rich in protein.

Muchomo

Muchomo is a local cuisine of spicy roasted goat meat, beef, chicken, and sausages. Pieces of meat are cut, rubbed with spices, and roasted on skewers over open fires. Muchomo is a street food sold by road-side sellers.

This list of Uganda’s most popular foods is just what you need for the perfect culinary guide in Uganda.