Food is a huge part of travel because wherever you go, you must eat. It’s not negotiable. What is a trip to a foreign land if you do not sample the local cuisine? Most hotels on Jovago.com offer local cuisine in their restaurants, so once you’re here, you are halfway through your food journey. Uganda has a lot of interesting dishes unique to the region and very diverse, but the following are the must haves!
Oluwombo or luwombo is a traditional dish of Uganda. It is both a royal dish and a fairly common dish cooked especially during the holidays. It is said to have been created in 1887 by the personal chef of Kabaka Mwanga, a king who ruled the kingdom of Buganda at the end of the 19th century. The dish consists of beef or chicken with vegetables like potatoes and carrots, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to perfection with just the right amount of salt, oil and spices. It is considered a special dish for many reasons including the way it is presented; wrapped in leaves like a gift. In some variations, smoked fish is added to the beef/chicken.
The first question you may have is, “Why is it called TV Chicken?” The name comes about because of the way it is cooked. The chicken is roasted in a make-shift rotisserie oven that to the locals, resembles a television. This is a very popular meal and is available almost everywhere in Uganda from street-side vendors.
The chicken is roasted beautifully and served with home fries and salad. A very popular meal amongst the campus students because the portions are huge and it is ready to eat. The best places for TV chicken are Wandegeya Market and Ntinda shopping centre. The vendors get cracking from about 5pm every day.
An adaptation from the Swahili word “choma” which means roasted, Muchomo can be anything from chicken gizzards to pork chunks and everything in between. Muchomo is the most accessible meal and can be found everywhere; rugby pitches, roadside and even in fancy restaurants. The meat is usually served with Gonja which is roasted sweet plantains which on its own is enjoyed as a snack.
There is no Ugandan meal that is served without Gnut sauce, and with good reason. Gnut sauce is a creamy paste made from sweet red peanuts and serves with meals as a condiment. In other parts of East Africa, like Western Kenya, Gnut sauce is eaten on its own as soup. In Uganda, it is served with sweet potatoes, cassava, matoke (boiled mashed plantain) and even with roasted fish. When you’re in Uganda, there is no buffet that doesn’t include this delicious sauce and with good reason!
Katogo is traditionally a breakfast dish though it can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The dish is fried plantains with soup and either beef, beans or offals served with traditional vegetables. If you walk into a café at 9am wondering what the irresistible aroma is, they’re most probably serving katogo. Though considered unconventional to the rest of the world, a heavy breakfast is like this is most popular in Uganda is a great hangover remedy just in case you’ve been exploring the nightlife.
If you happen to be in Kampala and want to sample some authentic Ugandan cuisine but don’t know where to start, Hellofood.ug has you covered with numerous restaurants at the touch of a button and deliveries until late at night.
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