Do you want to try an authentic African dish? Ugali is arguably the most common food in Kenyan households and is one of the few dishes which can be found in various African countries. Since the Portuguese introduced maize in Kenya during the 18th century, Ugali has become a crucial component in the local cuisines of East Africa.
What is Ugali?
Ugali is one of the traditional African meals which require no cutlery – you eat it with your hands! You prepare it by simply adding flour to boiled water and then mixing it until it forms a white or yellow cake with a thick consistency. You can eat ugali with various meats, vegetables, or sauces.
Where does Ugali come from?
Initially introduced by the Portuguese, Ugali is a true African classic! Ugali is one of the many African dishes which have their origins in the traditional cuisines of various ethnic groups across the continent. Ugali is original from the Luhya people, who live in western Kenya. However, people from all over Africa eat it, and has even become popular in parts of Europe and America.
Water: For 4 servings, you need 4 cups of water.
Maize Flour: Ugali is made out of maize flour, so you’ll need to get your hands on some if you want to try this recipe. You can find maize flour at most African grocery stores or online.
Salt: If you want some extra taste, add a pinch of salt to the mixture for flavor.
Butter/Margarine: Optional – Adding butter or margarine will give your Ugali a richer flavor and make it a bit more indulgent!
Add the water to a pot and bring it to a boil.
Slowly add the maize flour to the boiling water and constantly stir until the mixture thickens and forms into a cake-like consistency. If it becomes too thick, add more water until you reach the consistency you desire.
Add salt to taste.
If desired, add butter or margarine.
You can eat ugali with various meats, vegetables, or sauces – get creative! If you’re feeling adventurous, give it a try with some of the delicious recipes in our African cuisine section. Enjoy! Happy eating!
- Serve it hot, for an amazing taste.
- For a softer Ugali, add more water.
- To avoid small lumps, stir the mixture constantly while adding the maize flour.
- If the mixture becomes too thick, add more water until you reach the consistency you desire.
- Add salt to taste for extra flavor.
- If you’re having trouble getting the mixture to form into a cake, cook it a few minutes longer to absorb the extra water until you reach the consistency you desire.
- Add butter or margarine to the mixture for a richer flavor before cooking.
You can use different types of flour to make a perfect Ugali, such as sorghum flour or millet flour.
You can add different flavors to your Ugali by using other herbs and spices, such as onions, garlic, ginger, or chili peppers.
Ugali is a versatile dish, so you can adapt it to your taste preferences. Experiment and have fun with it!
How to store Ugali
If you have any leftover Ugali, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Simply reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
You can enjoy ugali with meats, vegetables, or sauces – get creative!
Here are a few side dishes which pair well with Ugali:
- Sukuma Wiki: This is a traditional Kenyan side dish of collard greens, onions and tomatoes. It’s the perfect way to get your daily dose of vegetables!
- Kachumbari: A simple tomato and onion salad that goes great with any African meal.
- Stew: A delicious beef, chicken, or fish stew is the perfect side dish for a hearty Ugali meal. A vegetable stew is also a great option.
- Spicy Peanut Sauce: If you’re in the mood for something spicy, a peanut sauce is sure to hit the spot! Enjoy it over your cooked Ugali or as a dip.
- Soup: Try one of our delicious African soups with your Ugali for a hearty meal.
There are endless possibilities for pairing Ugali with a side dish. The combinations are endless – so get creative and enjoy!
Are fufu and ugali the same?
No, fufu and ugali are two different dishes. Fufu is an African dish made from boiled cassava flour, while Ugali is made from maize flour.
Is ugali eaten in America?
Yes, people from America eat ugali, as well as in other parts of the world. It’s a popular dish among the African diaspora and has gained popularity in recent years.
Is ugali gluten-free?
Yes, ugali is gluten-free. It contains maize flour which is a grain-free ingredient.
What is the difference between ugali and polenta?
Polenta is a type of cornmeal cooked into a thick porridge-like consistency. Ugali is made from maize flour and doesn’t have the same creamy texture as polenta.
What is the difference between maize flour and maize meal?
Maize flour is a finely ground flour made from maize. Maize meal is a coarser grind of maize used to make dishes such as porridge or pap.
Where to buy ugali flour?
You can find maize flour at most African grocery stores or online.
How many calories does the ugali have?
There are about 120 calories in a serving of ugali. Ugali is a healthy, low-calorie option for a filling meal.
How do you eat Ugali?
You eat ugali by scooping it up with your hands and eating it like a cake. It’s best to enjoy it hot, so make sure to cook it until it’s nice and soft.
So, what are you waiting for? Try this delicious and authentic African dish today! Make sure to check out my other African recipes for more ideas on what to serve with your Ugali. And don’t forget to let me know how you get on in the comments below. 🙂
More African Recipes That You’ll Love:
- East African Chapati with Beef Stew
- Tangia Marrakechia
- Botswana Oregano-Bean Salad
- Senegalese Thieboudienne Rouge
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups cornmeal flour or maize meal
- Bring the water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Stir in the cornmeal slowly, reduce heat to medium-low and continue stirring regularly, smashing any lumps with a spoon until it becomes thick and smooth about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. Turn the pan on a plate and leave it covered until you serve it.
- Slice it into pieces as if you would cut a cake. Or form round pieces with your hand and serve. You can enjoy ugali with vegetables like sukuma wiki or your favorite piece of meat or fish.