Ugandan Food: 25 Local Dishes to Sample in Uganda!

by Fay

Ugandan food is rich in history and culture. Ugandan local food has been influenced by the Indian, Arabic, English, Asian, and African cultures that have settled there over the centuries.

There are many different dishes to try in Uganda from vegetarian options to meat dishes. Ugandan traditional food is very diverse and can be found all over the country.

There are many different types of dishes that come from various regions in Uganda, but they all share a few things in common: they’re delicious, filling, and made with fresh ingredients.

In this blog post, we’ll explore Ugandan cuisine by describing 25 foods from local eateries you should try while visiting Uganda!

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25 Suprisenly Delicious Foods to Try in Uganda

Why should you try Ugandan food? Simply because you will never experience flavors like this in your home country. Here are our top 25 Ugandan food picks for you to try when visiting Uganda.

Ugandan Matoke

Ugandan-food-Matoke
Matoke

Matoke is a type of plantain banana that is steamed and mashed into a thick paste and some local spices. It is the national dish of Uganda and can be served with beef, chicken, or fish.

Matoke is a nutritious meal that is enjoyed by Ugandans of all ages. Having Matoke is a great way to immerse yourself in the Ugandan culture and food.

This hearty dish is very common in Uganda and it is usually served with peanut sauce. Ugandan Matoke is very easy to make (if you can find some plantain bananas).

Ugandan Masala Tea

Ugandan Masala tea is a spiced black tea that is popular in Uganda. It is made with ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and other spices.

It is very similar to masala chai, which originates in India and other neighboring countries.

Mpunga Fritters

Ugandan-food-Mpunga-Fritters
Mpunga Fritters

Mpunga fritters are a type of Ugandan savory fritter that is made from sweet potatoes or cassava.

The fritters are made by mixing the starchy vegetables with spices and then deep-frying them in oil. They are a popular dish in Uganda and can be eaten as a snack or as part of a meal.

Some variations of Mpunga fritters include adding cornmeal to the mixture, while others add green onions or tomatoes.

Luwombo

The classic Ugandan Luwombo is beef, lamb or fish cooked/steamed in banana or plantain leaves. It is a traditional Ugandan dish where vegetables and peanut sauce are also cooked with beef or lamb.

The food is wrapped in banana or plantain leaves, tied up securely to ensure nothing leaks out of it when cooking, then steamed for an hour to cook all ingredients together.

It can be served alone as a meal but is usually eaten with rice, matoke, or ugali.

Ugandan Chapati

Ugandan-food-Ugandan-Chapati
Ugandan Chapati

Chapati is a staple food in Uganda. It’s a soft, unleavened flatbread made from wheat flour. It can be eaten alone or with various Ugandan dishes such as meat stews, beans, vegetables, and sauces.

Chapati is originally an Indian food but it is also popular in other countries in Africa and the Middle East. In Uganda, it’s often served at breakfast with tea or coffee.

Ugandan Chapati is a simple dish to make and only requires a few ingredients. If you’re looking for an authentic Ugandan experience, be sure to try Chapati.

Posho (Kawunga, Ugali)

Ugandan-food-Pocho
Pocho, fish & green stew

Posho (sometimes called Ugali or Kawunga) is a Ugandan maize meal made of cornmeal cooked in boiling water until thickened.

Posho has a bland taste so it’s usually served with beans or meat stews. It can be also eaten as a snack. Ugandans consider posho to be their favorite staple food.

Posho has a thick consistency and can be served with different sauces or stews. The most common type of sauce that goes with Ugandan Posho is made with beans, ground beef, onions, tomatoes, and green peppers.

Ugandan Sambusas

Sambusas (Samosas)

Ugandan Sambusas are triangular pastries filled with either beef or vegetables. The beef version is usually the more popular one.

Since they contain meat, Ugandan Sambusas typically only appear at dinner or lunchtime meals.

Similar to Indian samosas, these pastries originated in India but have since taken on a life of their own as staple food items in Uganda.

You can find them being sold on the streets as well as at restaurants throughout the country.

Matoke fries

Ugandan-food-Matoke-fries
Matoke fries

Matoke fries are deep-fried green bananas that are popular as a snack food in Uganda. They are prepared by cutting green bananas into thin slices, then deep-frying them in oil until they are golden brown.

The fries are usually served with a side of Ugandan stew, such as fish and matoke or groundnut sauce. Matooke fries can also be served with a variety of dipping sauces, such as chili sauce, ketchup, or mayonnaise.

They are a tasty and healthy snack that is perfect for satisfying hunger pangs. Be sure to give matoke fries a try.

Matoke balls

Ugandan-food-Matoke-balls
Matoke balls

Ugandan cuisine is rich in dishes made of bananas or plantain. One of these dishes is the Matoke balls.

Matoke balls are mashed green bananas mixed with spices and then deep-fried. These make a great appetizer or side dish to any meal.

The process of making Matoke balls is very simple and can be done in your own home. They are usually served with a spicy sauce made of tomatoes, onions, and peppers.

Ugandan Grillers

Grillers are popular Ugandan street food which is maize pancakes filled with beef and served with a side of chips and fresh salad. These are best enjoyed when they are hot and fresh off the grill.

Rolex

Ugandan-food-rolex
Rolex

Rolex is a popular Ugandan street food that all travelers must try when visiting Uganda.

Rolex is basically a burrito of Chapati bread filled with omelet eggs and vegetable mix. Rolex can be served on a plate with Chapati bread on the side.

It is a very filling meal. It’s usually served for breakfasts but it can be eaten at any time of the day.

TV Chicken

Ugandan-food-TV-Chicken
TV Chicken

A go-to bite food in Uganda that is sold everywhere in the country.

TV Chicken is a roast chicken dish and its name comes from the way it’s cooked. Whole chickens are roasted in a rotisserie oven with a glass window that allows you to watch the cooking process.

The chicken is served with fries, fresh vegetable salad, and fried bananas.

Groundnut Sauce

Groundnut Sauce or simply g-nut sauce is a popular Ugandan dish. It is made with groundnuts, onions, tomatoes, and other spices.

G-nut sauce goes well with any type of Ugandan food, including matooke, posho, rice, or vegetables like sweet potatoes. Some people also like to eat it with chapati or bread.

Ugandan Peanut butter soup

This creamy, nutty soup is made from peanuts, meat stock, and spices – delicious!

Peanut butter soup is loved by Ugandans for its hearty and comforting flavor. It’s the perfect warming meal on a cold day!

Mandazi

Ugandan-food-Mandazi
Mandazi

If somehow you feel for a sweet kick, try these flavorsome Ugandan donuts, Mandazis.

Mandazi is a sweet Ugandan pastry that is made from flour, sugar, yeast, and water. It is usually triangular in shape and it can come in circular shapes as well.

After Mandazis are fried they are then sprinkled with sugar or cinnamon. It goes so well with Ugandan Masala tea.

Muchomo

In Swahili, Muchomo means roasted meat. It’s a type of food that is popular in Uganda. Muchomo is made up of roasted chicken or beef but it can be pork and goat as well.

To prepare Muchomo, the meat is seasoned with spices and then roasted on a spit or sticks like Kebab. It is often served with Ugandan staples like matoke (mashed green bananas) or rice.

Muchomo is popular street food in Uganda and it’s one of the best Ugandan dishes you can try.

Ugandan Egg Roll

Ugandan-food-Ugandan-Egg-Roll
Ugandan Egg Rolls

Ugandan Egg Roll is a common food for breakfast in restaurants but it is served at any time of the day at snack bars. The Egg Roll is also made in other African countries but differently.

In Uganda, the Egg Roll is prepared by boiling eggs, wrapping them with spiced mashed potatoes, and rolling it in eggs and bread crumbs then deep-frying it until golden brown.

The Ugandan Egg Rolls are usually served with a spicy tomato sauce and veggies.

Katogo

Don’t leave Uganda without trying the traditional Ugandan breakfast Katogo.

Katogo consists of a rich combination of Matoke dish (Mashed green bananas), and various sauces or stews. The sauces or stews can vary but often includes beef, ghee, offal, or beans.

Chaloko

Chaloko is a traditional Ugandan dish made of dried or fresh pinto beans. There are many variations of this dish that include adding different vegetables (onions, tomatoes, green peppers), meats, or fish to the recipe.

In Uganda, Chaloko is considered a staple food and is usually eaten with “sadza”, which is a thick cornmeal paste but can also be served with other Ugandan dishes.

Chaloko is a great source of protein and it’s usually eaten for breakfast or lunch, but can also be made as a snack at any time of the day.

Sim Sim Cookies

Ugandan-food-Sim-Sim-Cookies
Sim Sim Cookies

Sim sim cookies are one of Uganda’s sweet treats. They are often served as an appetizer before the main meal.

Sim sim cookies dough is made by mixing sesame seeds with sugar (sometimes honey) and butter and heating them until a paste is made.

Once the dough is made, it’s rolled out into thin disks and baked or fried. Cardamom or vanilla are then added for additional sweetness and flavor.

Sim sim cookies are not only tasty but also good for you! They’re full of healthy Omega- fatty acids, protein, and minerals. So enjoy a few of these cookies as a snack or appetizer the next time you’re in Uganda.

Nsenene

Ugandan-food-gasshopper-Nsenene
Ugandan Grasshopper

If you are the adventurous type when it comes to food, Ugandan Nsenene is for you. Nsenene is a type of grasshopper, is considered a Ugandan delicacy food.

The insects are being ripped off their legs and wings then fried and served with salt and chili pepper sauce. However, some people also eat the wings as a snack.

Grasshoppers can be only found at a certain time of the year which is winter. If you visit Uganda in November you may get a chance to taste this special Ugandan food.

Kalo (Ugandan Millet Bread)

Kalo is a staple food of Uganda. It is also known as Ugandan Millet Bread

Kalo is made of Millet flour and a little bit of Cassava flour and flour. Once it’s done Kalo looks like stiff dark brown dough and is usually eaten with sauces and stews.

Ugandans eat Kalo for lunch or dinner but not breakfast because it’s a bit heavy for a morning meal.

Some of the common sauces that are eaten with Kalo are groundnut stew, cowpea stew, and vegetable sauce.

If you happen to be visiting Uganda, just ask for Kalo with your stews. You will enjoy it.

Ugandan Curried Cabbage

Ugandan-food-Ugandan-Curried-Cabbage
Ugandan Curried Cabbage

Ugandan Curried Cabbage is a portion of delicious and healthy food that is enjoyed by many in Uganda. This Ugandan dish with an Indian flavor twist is a great option for those looking for something new and exciting to try.

The cabbage is cooked with local Ugandan spices to give it a flavorful and spicy taste. These spices include turmeric or curry powder, garlic powder, and onion. This dish is often served with rice and beans or plantains to complete the meal.

Ugandan Curried Cabbage is sure to please the taste buds of individuals who love spicy food.

Malewa

Malewa is a traditional Ugandan dish made from smoked bamboo sprouts.

Before Malewa was eaten on its own as a light meal, but now it’s often made into a sauce by boiling Bamboo shoots and then simmering them with peanut sauce and salt.

It is a popular dish in Uganda and it’s usually served at celebrations such as weddings and circumcisions.

The Malewa is served with many Ugandan dishes, especially matoke, cassava, sweet potatoes, rice, or Posho.

Kikomando

Kikomando is a traditional Ugandan dish made of pieces of chapati and fried beans. It is popular in Uganda and it can be found at Ugandan street food stalls and even higher-end restaurants.

The dish is also known as Kikomando Kapenta, which means “chapati and beans with fish.”

In addition to the beans, there are other variations of kikomando that include avocado, meat stew, gravy, chicken, or liver.

Ugandan National Food

What is the national food in Uganda? Uganda’s national dish is called Matoke. Locals love Matoke and it is considered a delicacy food in Uganda.

Ugandan Popular Foods

Ugandan-food-famous-foods

What are the most popular foods in Uganda? Ugandan food is a blend of different cultures, with influences from the native Bantu people who are found throughout Africa.

They have intermingled with the Indian, Arab, and European traders who have passed through the region over the centuries. This has resulted in a unique cuisine that is enjoyed by people all over the country.

Some of the popular dishes in Uganda are Matoke, Posho, and Chapati. Other Ugandan dishes like Nsenene, Ugandan Egg Roll, TV Chicken, and Mandazi are very special to the Ugandan people.  

All in all Ugandan food is a delicious and unique experience that is not to be missed. Be sure to try out some of the dishes mentioned above when you are in Uganda!

Ugandan Cookware

People in Uganda use some special local cooking pots to prepare their national food. These pots are usually made out of clay and have very long handles, which allows the cook to keep a safe distance from the fire.

Food Tours In Uganda

Over to you!

After reading this blog post, you should have a good understanding of what kind of food to expect when in Uganda. And just in case you find the urge to visit this beautiful country there are so many outdoor adventures to try in Uganda.

Don’t forget – if there’s one Ugandan dish that really stands out as your favorite, let us know in the comments below!

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