Common Ugandan Foods

Traditional Ugandan food consisting of goat meat, cassava, potato, beans, maize meal, sweet potato, Uganda, Africa

By Samantha McGreen

Travelling to Uganda can be an extremely interesting and rewarding experience. The people are extremely friendly, and the culture is distinct from all others. A big part of the culture is its food, which in Uganda includes a diverse array. Here are some of the foods enjoyed most in Uganda:

Chapati: Chapati is a doughy pancake, like the tortillas originating from Hispanic countries. It’s a flat piece of bread fried on a stovetop or grill and is often served with other foods like meat or starchy vegetables.

selective focus of Indian bread Roti or Chapati with a handmade bamboo basket.

Samosas: Samosas are a delicacy that can be commonly found in Ugandan restaurants. Known for their rich fillings, which include beef and vegetables, they can be easily enjoyed on the go, as the insides are wrapped in a crunchy baked dough exterior.

Matoke: Matoke is a paste made from savoury green bananas that can be found everywhere in the country. The bananas are peeled, boiled, and mashed, whereupon they have a consistency like mashed potatoes. Matoke is commonly served spiced with ginger or turmeric or boiled with flavorful vegetables such as onions.

A plate of matoke which is a traditional food of east Africa made from bananas

Posho: Posho is a paste created from cornflour and water. Though it doesn’t have a distinct taste on its own, it is often served as a side to a more substantive dish to round it out.

Sweet potatoes: Unlike the yams found in North America, sweet potatoes in Uganda are white or purple and have a distinct flavour. Often served as a side for bean or meat dishes, the potatoes are a Ugandan staple.

Chicken and beef dishes: chickens and cows are extremely common in Uganda and can often be seen roaming the streets and scurrying between people. Thus, they are often also commonly found in Ugandan meals. Ugandans enjoy roasting whole chickens or their wings and dicing beef up into small cubes and serving it with sauce.

Though it has many similarities to meals served in North America and Europe, some foods in Uganda are unique to the region. Visitors to the region should not be afraid to try these new foods; in many cases, they may be pleasantly surprised to find a new favourite.

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