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Ugandan Cuisine



Ugali is a dish that is very popular not just in Uganda but in the whole of Africa.

However, in Uganda, ugali is always made fresh because of the abundance of ingredients that can be harvested here.

Usually created from maize, ugali can also use other starches as ingredients. Expatriates create ugali from cornmeal and grits.

Another variation for ugali is kwon. Kwon is made from millet, and in some regions such as in eastern Uganda, cassava flavors are utilized.

Ugali is served in most meals, and it is considered a true Ugandan food staple.



Matooke is a sweet and savory dish that is considered a main dish in Uganda.

Because of its ease of preparation and easy-to-gather ingredients, this dish is an Ugandan favorite.

The main ingredient of matooke is the banana. Bananas or plantains are first mashed completely, and then steamed to softness. The bananas are then usually cooked in sauce that is composed of fish, peanuts, and meat, trapping the flavor within the mashed bananas.

Once the matooke is soft, similar to the consistency of mashed potatoes, it is served with meat and rice.

Ugandan families usually have matooke during the weekends.



Waragi is a unique Ugandan drink that the adventurous really have to try.

Waragi is a strong liquor that is prepared from bananas. While bananas might not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of hard liquor, Ugandans have been able to use it to create the strong waragi – literally, banana gin.

The taste is comparable to the hard liquors that can be found at home.

However, if you visit villages and the people offer you crude waragi, think long and hard before taking them up on the offer – a shot of this kind of waragi isn’t for everyone, especially if you still have to travel back to your hotel a few kilometers away.



You might have already seen a variation of Nsenene on the television or have read about it in magazines.

You might have cringed at the thought of it, but in fact, it’s actually very tasty and healthy to boot.

Nsenene is a favorite snack in Uganda – fried grasshoppers.

Nsenene is not always available though, as grasshoppers are only abundant in number in the field at certain seasons.

If you see it, you might as well try it. Don’t worry, it’s clean and tasty, and it’s packed to the brim with nutrients that would make your body healthier and stronger.



Ugandans are a festive people, and this spirit is transmitted in the hearty concoction known as the luwombo.

Luwombo is a traditional Ugandan dish that is basically a stew based on either beef, chicken, fish, or mushrooms.

The stew is then steamed in banana leaves, which locks in the heat and moisture of the ingredients.

Because of the multitude of colors of luwombo, it is often served during festivities, when it is prepared in large amounts.

However, it is also a favorite Ugandan family dish. It is often served as a main dish for either lunch or dinner.