Ugandan cuisine consists of traditional dishes that vary according to tribe and the lines of habitation. Uganda is a home to 56 tribes which makes it a home to a variety of culture and cuisines.
Before colonialisms, these tribes had their well-defined norms and customs that nurtured the etiquette in these communities, like anywhere else on the globe cuisines are not limited to what is placed on the table before you to eat, rather the full experience ranging from why the meal is prepared in a certain way, how to sit when having the meal and a lot more dos and don’ts.
Unfortunately, it is not common to enjoy all meals because the Ugandan cuisine today has been partly influenced by the English, Arab, and Indian cuisines, this has partly created a distortion in the traditional Ugandan cuisines. On the other hand, game meat which was the backbone of some communities that survived by hunting is uncommon today because of the laws against pouching. This implies that you may never get the opportunity to ever taste some cuisines because the recipes are no longer accessible. However with the help of an expert in Ugandan cuisines, tracing places where you may enjoy some of the traditional cuisines is not a great trek.
The one common denominator among all Ugandan traditional cuisines is the fact that they are all not fried, dishes such as the Luwombo which is indigenous to the Buganda kingdom prepared by wrapping any kind of sauce ranging from meat, ground nuts, chicken, and a lot in bananas leaves to enrich the sauce with the banana leaves aroma. This tasty sauce is prepared by steaming.
There is a lot more to explore about Uganda’s cuisine in the Eastern tribes, west and northern tribes. The western tribes cuisine is mainly influenced by milk because of their day to day engagement is cattle keeping which yields a great deal of milk for them. The Northern tribes cuisines also have a lot to do with meat, blood and milk. Visiting these places in person will help you get more details concerning the cuisines.Meals that include but not limited to steamed or grilled cassava, steamed or grilled sweet potatoes, Matooke (bananas), Rice, millet, maize, posho and Katogo.
Katogo is a meal where the source and the foods such as cassava, matooke, or sweet potatoes are prepared together at once with in the same saucepan. Offals, beans, ground nuts and meat are the common sauces used when preparing a Katogo meal.
However restaurants in Uganda have developed their own recipes that are not necessarily traditional dishes, rather, a new touch to different to dishes such as grilled goat meat, ducks, turkeys, and a lot more dishes whose taste varies according to the restaurant. For instance the taste of Chicken at Chicken tonight will totally be different from that of cafe Javas or shaka zulu.
It was often uncommon for families to have a meal which is more than one course, but over the years, middle class families have adopted the custom of having meals that are more than one course. This implies that; even though families used to simply survive on the main course only, there was an evolution of African traditional deserts and side dishes as well as developing new recipes to fit the evolution cycle of society.
As earlier stated, most of the meals in Uganda were prepared without frying, however, when the Arabs came into Uganda, they introduced their fried cuisines from which Ugandans and East-African borrowed a leaf. Snacks/ side dishes such as Chapattis were introduced. A role of a Chapatti with eggs also known as a rolex is one of the most trending side dishes.
Ugandan Pancakes are some of the other snacks to enjoy in Uganda. They are made using sweet bananas and wheat baking flour or Cassava flour. After the baking, the dough is rolled and then circles are made out of the dough then deep-fried. Though uncommon in restaurants they are some of the sweetest snack you may ever taste while in Uganda.
Agriculture being the backbone of Uganda’s economy, fruits such pineapples, mangoes, oranges, jack fruits, watermelons and a lot more can be enjoyed as a desert in most of the restaurants.