Ugandan cuisine is heavily influenced by East Indian and Asian cultures. Other strong influences come from Arabia and England.
The combination of modern and traditional foods, dishes, cooking methods and styles is what makes Ugandan
cuisine what it is today
As is the case with the cuisines of most countries, Ugandan foods and meals vary in richness and variety. Peasants may subsist on a simple, basic daily fare of some sauce with beans and a form of starchy filler. Meat is not always on the table for the poor. However, in the upscale restaurants and upper-class residences, you will find multi-course meals served, with rich tastes and ingredients.
Like almost all African countries, Uganda’s native population is composed of a multitude of different tribes. Each of these tribes has its own preferred and special delicacies and dishes.
Typical ingredients in traditional, native Ugandan cuisine will include a variety of vegetables, as well as tubers. Common people eat mostly indigenous tubers, such as yams, cassava, and African sweet potatoes. The more affluent people can afford white (“Irish”) potatoes and rice in their diets. Tropical fruits are abundant. Meats, including pork, chicken, goat, mutton and beef are all popular and included in the cuisine, although not so much among the poorer rural peoples. There, the most common meat consumed is “Nyamais” – a Swahili word that in the broader sense means “meat”, but is more specifically bushmeat.
Seafood, mostly fish, is also an important part of the cuisine. Fish is most often eaten fresh, but also commonly used (especially for stewing recipes) is dried fish.
Similar to many African cuisines, in Uganda the main course for the meal is usually a stew or sauce. This stew will often have a sauce that is tomato based, and also popular is a sauce with “grounduts” (the African’s common word for “peanuts”) being the central ingredient.
In the South, the starch traditionally comes from ugali, which is made with a white maize (corn) meal, or matooke, which is steamed and mashed green banana. More popular in Southern Uganda is a dish made with ugali, but it is called “Posho”, and is basically ugali meal cooked into a thick porridge. Posho is a very popular breakfast meal in the South. In both the North and the South, Chapati, a flatbread originating in Asia and adopted by Ugandans, is at the table at most meals. Chapati is a sort of “edible utensil” – you tear off chunks of the bread, use it to scoop up bite-sized portions of the main course stew, and pop the whole delightful morsel into your mouth.
Below is a list of Ugandan dishes. Click on the one(s) of your choice, and you will be taken to a print-friendly page with that recipe on it. So off you go now, deep into the heart of Africa, for an ethnic taste adventure of delicious …
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