How to cook ugali

Ugali is among the most consumed meal in Kenya. Being rich in carbohydrates and a great source of energy, it becomes the preference. Besides being easy to prepare, this great meal is filling, and it makes a great family meal.

Ugali served with beef and veggies

How Long Should You Cook Ugali?

The cooking duration depends on the type of flour you use. Sifted maize takes a shorter time to cook compared to whole grain maize meals.

On average, ugali will take about 15 minutes to be on the table.

Can you cook ugali with milk?

Milk would not be a better option to cook ugali. Ugali needs to be firm, and milk will not yield a firm mixture. However, you can use the milk to eat your ugali.

What do you eat ugali with?

You can serve your ugali with beef stew, traditional vegetables, sukuma wiki, cabbages, fresh or sour milk, among others. For those who would love to take ugali as part of the breakfast, you can serve it with milk or tea.

Can I use the blue band for cooking ugali?

Blue band yields a tasty ugali when moderately used.

It is a way of enriching ugali. However, if on a weight loss program, you should avoid too much fat.

Here is a simple procedure to prepare ugali

Preparation time: 15 minutes Number of servings 2

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of water

Preparation method

  • Boil the water in a heavy saucepan
  • Add 1 cup of flour and allow the water to boil for few seconds
  • Use a cooking stick to stir
  • Add some more flour and stir until it is firm enough to mold with the cooking stick by pressing the sides
  • Minimize the heat and allow the ugali to cook for few minutes
  • Flip it over
  • Let the other side cook for few minutes
  • Place the ugali on a plate and enjoy

And All Africa

Ugali Recipe

An average Kenyan household generally eats ugali na sukuma wiki for dinner. Ugali is a stiff porridge made out of maize meal (white corn meal). Ugali is eaten with sukuma wiki and does not require any silverware. You simply use the ugali to pick up the sukuma wiki and then put it in your mouth to eat it.

Ugali Recipe

This is a very stiff maize meal porridge. Actually, it’s about the consistency of play dough.

4 cups water
3 to 4 cups maize meal

1. Bring water to a boil in a pot.
2. Add the maize meal and stir to prevent lumps.
3. Add more maize meal to make a thick porridge.
4. Keep stirring until the maize meal is well cooked.
5. Tip out onto a plate – the ugali should hold its shape.

Best served hot with sukuma wiki, meat, soup, stew, or sauce. 4 servings.

Ugali is a gluten free, sugar free, and fat free food.

Substitutions and Additions:

*Traditionally white corn meal is used for ugali, but you can also use yellow corn meal.
*You can add a little bit of butter or margarine to the porridge before it thickens for more flavor.

There are recipes similar to ugali all over Africa. Fufu is the most well known of these recipes and is eaten in Central and Western Africa. Fufu is made with white or yellow yams (not the sweet potatoes that we have in the U.S.)

Banku and Kenkey are two more Western African foods similar to ugali and both are made with maize meal although banku is sometimes made with a combination of maize meal and ground cassava. Unlike ugali, the maize meal is allowed to ferment before banku or kenkey is cooked. Banku is cooked in a pot like ugali. Kenkey is partially cooked, then wrapped in banana or corn husks and then steamed.

Similar to Kenkey is Bâton de Manioc which is made entirely of cassava and steamed.

Nshima (also known as Nsima, Shima, Sima) is Zambia’s version of ugali and can be made with maize meal, ground millet, ground sorghum, or ground cassava.

Sadza of Zimbabwe, made with maize meal, is essentially the same recipe as ugali.

In Burkina Faso and Mali, Tô (also called Toh rhyming with ‘dough’) is traditionally made with sorghum flour, but can be made with maize meal or rice flour.

Other names and similar recipes include posho (Uganda), nsima (Malawi and Zambia), pap (South Africa), luku, moteke, bugari and ghaat.

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3 thoughts on “ Ugali Recipe ”

  1. Jeanne Post author December 29, 2015 at 10:21 am

Previous Comments From Old ATK Site:

Anonymous said: I would like to serve galiy for cards party and am wondering if I half cook the mixture and finish it for lunch time. Mary jetha

swayzz said: ugali with sucuma or fried fish is bomb

dirtpoop said: #this recipe rocks.

Anonymous said: im from kenya so ireally like it. om nom nom.

komoolou said: I love ugali it tastes amazing

Zany Z said: I used to not like Ugali that much, but, I tried it again last year and I love it! It is almost like a sticky lump of bread. But, it tastes REALLY GOOD! 😀

Unknown said: Is this their most famous meal?

Brenda said: Try aunt Jemima’s white corn meal

Bill W said: I’ve tried every brand of white corn meal I can find in the States, and nothing comes close to what I had in Kenya (I used Unga wa Taifa brand there). Anyone got a lead on where I can get some decent corn meal for ugali in the States?

All Things Kenyan said: Ugali and polenta are a bit different. Ugali is generally just cornmeal and water whereas polenta has other ingredients. Ugali is eaten with your hand and used to pick up other foods like sukuma wiki and various soups. From what I know about polenta, it is more of a stand alone food item. You never eat ugali by itself. It is Kenya’s answer to West Africa’s Fufu.

beutiful said: I love ugali! try it!

Anonymous said: Isn’t ugali another word for polenta?

rikey said: doing a kenyan project and sounds important to their diet! have to try! 🙂

Anonymous said: No salt. I have had ugali in Kenya when I was there in 2002. Cannot say I was in love with it. Probably because my first portion was way too large.

Anonymous said: ugali is my faviroute with a nice plate of stew!

Anonymous said: yummmmh lol ugli is my favourite we

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Simple and satisfying, this cornmeal porridge from Kenya, called Ugali, is the perfect accompaniment to soups, stews, and savory curries.

How to cook ugali

I’m amazed at how many versions of cornmeal porridge exist in the world! Once upon a time, I thought Italian polenta was it – but, noooo – there are delicious and unique versions throughout Europe, the Americas, and even Africa. Who knew that humble corn would make such a mark across the globe!

This version, called ugali, comes from my friend, fellow Food Revolution ambassador, and cookbook contributor, Sandra Mukidza, of Nairobi, Kenya. And it happens to pair perfectly with her rich and hearty Kenyan Beef Curry (grab the Kenyan Beef Curry recipe HERE). Yumm!

How to cook ugali

Get a FREE chapter from the new Taste Of The Place cookbook + a coupon for 20% off!

A bit of ugali history

Before the 19th century, sorghum and millet were the primary grains produced and consumed in Kenya. Corn, or maize, the main ingredient in ugali, was introduced to the area by Portuguese traders. It was initially produced for export, but was eventually adopted by locals, who transformed it into the simple and nourishing porridge called ugali.

Today, ugali is a staple of the Kenyan diet, eaten by many on a daily basis. It is generally served as a side – the perfect accompaniment for stews, curries, or veggie dishes.

If you visit Kenya, don’t be surprised to see locals eating ugali with their hands, using it almost like a utensil. The proper way is to pinch a small bit off with your fingers, roll into a ball, and use your thumb to make a small depression for scooping up a bite of stew.

Notes on the recipe

Ugali doesn’t generally call for salt. This recipe follows that tradition. If your tastebuds require a bit of saltiness, simply add a big pinch of salt to the water at the beginning of cooking, or top with salted butter at the table.

You will want to use a sturdy wooden spoon for cooking the ugali. Expect to get a workout in the process, as the dough becomes quite stiff.

You’ll know the ugali is cooked when it starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, and begins to take on the aroma of roasted corn.

How long should you cook ugali?

Unlike other fufu,corn meal needs to be cooked for about 15 minutes or more to get rid of the raw taste. Be prepared to do some stirring to get a smooth paste.

How is ugali made?

Nsima is a dish made from maize flour (white cornmeal) and water and is a staple food in Zambia (nshima/ nsima) and Malawi (nsima). The maize flour is first boiled with water into a porridge. It is then ‘paddled,’ to create a thick paste with the addition of more flour.

Is ugali the same as fufu?

Fufu, ugali, posho, mealie-meal, nsima; the name changes with region and language, but is usually translated as ‘porridge’. Which isn’t very accurate – proper ugali or fufu is more stodge than soup, something with a texture close to window putty. It’s very hard to describe without sounding rude.

What is ugali served with?

In Kenya, ugali is one of the most common dishes you can find. Served with meat or mashed vegetables, it’s practically the national dish. It’s found throughout Africa, in fact; in South Africa it may be called pap, and in Zimbabwe you can find it by the name of sadza.

Who invented ugali?

History of Ugali in Kenya Portuguese traders introduced maize to the Kenyan coastal region in the 19 th Century.

Is ugali good for diabetics?

While many people will opt for a water melon, for example, instead of a plateful of ugali, research has shown that the latter is healthier as far as the Glycemic Index is concerned, hence recommended if you want to keep your blood sugar levels low.

Is ugali in English word?

Definition of ugali in the English dictionary The definition of ugali in the dictionary is a type of stiff porridge made by mixing corn meal with boiling water: the basic starch constituent of a meal.

What does fufu taste like?

What does fufu taste like? The taste of fufu varies, depending on the ingredients used to prepare it, but its taste can best be described as sour, bland, or tart. Fufu is not eaten alone and is usually eaten with an African soup, which is usually very rich and flavorful, and sometimes spicy.

Is Fufu a pap?

SADZA is the Shona (in Zimbabwe) word for it, it is called UGALI in Kenya and Tanzania, NSHIMA in Zambia and Malawi, and POSHO in Uganda. In West, East and areas of Central Africa the generic staple is FUFU — a close relation to PAP. FUFU is called GHAAT in Eritrea and Ethiopia.

What is fufu called in English?

Fufu (variants of the name include foofoo, fufuo, foufou) is a staple food with deep roots in Ghana’s history and common in many countries of West Africa and the Caribbean. It is often made with cassava flour. Other flours, such as semolina, maize flour or mashed plantains may take the place of Cassava flour.

Why is fufu not chewed?

Fufu is a soft doughy and swallow staple food which is eaten with soup (Liquid or draw) like Groundnut soup, Ogbono, Palm Nut Soup, Egusi Soup, Light soups etc. Due to the the nature of the soup eaten with it, you cannot chew it even some people do it but mostly you have to swallow.

What is Ghana fufu?

Fufu (or fufuo, foofoo, foufou) is a Twi word meaning “mash or mix” for a soft and doughy staple food of the Akan ethnic groups in Ghana, and made out of boiled cassava mixed with plantains or cocoyams and pounded together in a mortar (waduro) with a pestle (woma) unique to the Akans and only eaten with liquid soups (

What is Kenya’s national dish?

The national dish of Kenya is Ugali nyama choma na kachumbari (maize meal, grilled meat and salsa).

What do they eat for breakfast in Kenya?

Must Have Kenyan Breakfasts for Tourists Mukimo. Mukimo is a traditional Kenyan meal originated from communities living around the Mount Kenya region and is made by mashing potatoes and green vegetables. Chapati. Ugali. Nduma. Uji. Mahamri.

What are traditional snacks?

Traditionally, snacks are prepared from ingredients commonly available at home without a great deal of preparation. Often cold cuts, fruits, leftovers, nuts, sandwiches, and sweets are used as snacks. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became a significant business.

Among the many dietary trends that have infiltrated the American running scene recently, the most puzzling to me is the vilification of carbohydrates. Paleo, gluten-free, ketogenic: these are all buzzwords that, while appropriate for some segments of society, are not necessarily in the best interest of endurance athletes looking to recover quickly, stay healthy and increase their performance over the long haul.

If you look at the most dominant distance runners in the world—who by and large hail from East Africa—you’ll find a very different attitude towards carbs and food in general. According to one article , between 64-76% of the calories consumed by elite Kenyan and Ethiopian runners are in carbohydrate form. In the minds of American runners, “This is comparable to ‘carbohydrate loading’ every single day of training.”

Although I certainly wasn’t counting their calories (and I guarantee that neither were they), I can attest that, for the Kenyans I lived with in London and the Ethiopians I spent two months with just outside of Addis Ababa, carbs are indeed king.

Ugali and injera, specifically, are staples of the Kenyan and Ethiopian diets, respectively. Both are especially celebrated among energy-blasting athletes.

In honor of Food Week here at Citius Mag, I’m going to dish out a step-by-step recipe for Kenyan ugali and stew, recorded during my year-long romp around the world. This recipe was taught to me by four-time Olympian Vivian Cheruiyot, fresh off her 5,0000-meter silver and 10,000-meter bronze medal performances in the 2012 London Olympics. Since then, she’s given birth to a baby boy and added two more Olympic medals—including a 5,000 meter gold in a new Olympic record at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

I’m not saying that Vivian’s accomplishments have anything to do with ugali. But I’m also not saying they don’t.

How to cook ugali

Stew

  • 4-5 small chicken thighs
  • Large head of cabbage, washed, cored and finely chopped (confetti-style)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of spicy beef mchuzi mix (available at ethnic grocery stores or on Amazon)

Ugali

  • 8 cups water
  • 4 cups maize meal (or flour)

How to cook ugali

Stew

  1. Cut off ends of chicken thighs, peel and remove skin, and chop thighs into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Heat a large ungreased pot over high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Cover in vegetable oil and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring with wooden spoon.
  4. Add chicken to pot and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Add tomatoes and salt to pot. Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes.
  6. Add cabbage to pot and flatten without mixing with chicken. Close lid and continue simmering, stirring regularly.
  7. In a separate bowl, stir mchuzi mix into a cup of cold water. Pour into stew and continue cooking on low while you prepare ugali.

How to cook ugali

Ugali

  1. Pour water into a large pot on the stove and turn heat to high.
  2. When water starts to boil, add maize meal to the pot. Lower heat to medium, and mix water and maize with a flat wooden utensil until smooth, about 15 minutes.
  3. When fully incorporated and cooked, mold the ugali into a smooth mound with the flat utensil, and dump upside down onto a plate.
  4. To serve, ladle stew into bowls and top with a big triangular hunk of ugali (sliced like pie). Using your right hand, tear off a small piece of ugali, roll into a ball, make an indentation with your thumb, and use it to scoop up the stew.
  5. Optional: Finish the meal with whole milk and ugali. Put a chunk of ugali in your cheek, take a gulp of milk, and chew.

How to cook ugali

For more recipes like this one, grab yourself a copy of Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe and take a stab at other runner-endorsed dishes included at the end of each chapter.

What is Ugali?

Ugali is like a porridge but much more dense made from white maize meal or maize flour. It is the staple diet of the indigenous people of East Africa. Also known as Nsima it is generally enjoyed with a vegetable and/or meat stew. People at the coast and around Lake Victoria enjoy it with fish. Ugali is also served with nyama choma which is grilled meat and kachumbari, a tomato onion salad. One of the most easiest dish to prepare, it is not only rich in fiber but also is a good source of carbohydrates, minerals and Vitamin B. And it is gluten free and vegan friendly.

This post was first published on 25/10/2012 , renewed on 02/06/2021

Ugali Eating Etiquette

Generally the cooked ugali is placed on a platter in the middle and everyone takes a bit from it and enjoys it. Ugali is best enjoyed with your hand rather than a spoon or fork. A small lump of the mixture is rolled into a ball using one hand. A depression is made in the middle with the thumb and it is used to scoop the stew.

Nowadays in restaurants people rather use spoon and fork. However, on the roadside kibandas (small eateries), ugali is eaten with the fingers.

History

Not much is known about the food culture on the Eastern part of Africa. I say eastern and not only Kenya as back then East Africa was one huge land and not divided as it is today. Millet and sorghum ugali was prepared before the Portuguese introduced maize or corn. During the British Rule, the white landowners began to cultivate maize in abundance. The workers were sometimes paid in form of maize kernels.

Most people enjoy ugali made from maize meal but nowadays the more health conscious ones have gone back to using millet and sorghum.

Over time mills were set up to grind the maize or corn and ready made maize meal or corn meal flour was available to all. In the villages, ready made flours are available but the more traditional families still prefer to grind it at home using stones.

Ugali like preparation is common in many other African countries. It sometimes varies in consistency, may contain a mixture of flours and usually known by different names.

Important Facts

  • I remember when growing up there was a severe drought in Kenya and US decided to send ship load of maize meal but the yellow variety. No one was interested in using the yellow maize meal or cornflour as then ugali does not taste the same. So it paramount that the flour is made from white maize or corn. Also it should not be fine but should have the texture of coarse semolina.
  • Maize meal, corn meal or maize flour is NOT the same as cornflour or cornstarch.
  • While salt is not added when preparing Ugali, you can enjoy it with some salted butter.
  • The consistency of ugali is that which can be molded. When it is served on a platter it maintains its shape. However, for toddlers and the elderly, ugali is made in milk and cooked to a softer consistency.
  • Maize meal or corn flour is also used to prepare a drinkable porridge which is called Uji.
  • Left over ugali is enjoyed with stew. However, modern families like to cut leftover ugali into chips or French fries style and deep fry them. It is enjoyed as a snack with some ketchup.

Today’s Scenario

As more people both men and women take up jobs, most don’t have time to cook and the food scene is fast changing to fast food like burgers, pizza and chips (French Fries). If meals are cooked at home then ugali till features on the menu at least 2-3 times a week.

Memories

Growing up my grandmother frowned if we ever asked for Ugali. But my brother and I would sneak out to the room where our house help stayed to enjoy ugali with him. Can’t believe we use have it even after we’d had our normal Gujarati meal!

Now no more sneaking out to enjoy this healthy dish, I make it at least once a week. We love to have it with Maharage which is a kidney bean stew, with sukuma wiki (stir fried collard/ collard green). When fresh amaranth leaves (chicha) is available them I make a stew with that. I also love nsima or sima with Gujarati style Tuvar Dal . Sometimes I mix both amaranth leaves and kidney beans to make a stew which hubby loves to have with Ugali.

Ingredients Required To Prepare Ugali:

Maize meal or corn meal – white variety

Water – normal tap water

NB: The amount that I prepare is enough for two. However, for the common man that would be enough for one. Normally, they have one heavy meal only and ugali tends to keep away hunger pangs for a long period of time. Either lunch or dinner is a light meal.

How to cook ugali

Ugali is the most common staple starch featured in the local cuisines of the African Great Lakes region and Southern Africa. The process of preparing it is easy and can be served with varieties of other dishes. These include braai, meat, soup, vegetables, ugali samaki, among other accompaniments that go well with it.

Image: instagram.com, @kuonanatz
Source: UGC

When ugali is prepared from another form of starch, it is usually given a different name more so from that community. For instance, the Kenyan ugali from the Luhya community is known as Obhusuma. The dish is usually eaten three or four times a week in most of the African homes. It goes well with different soups and stews such as ugali nyama. Therefore, every day you can eat it with something different.

Ugali recipe Kenya

To make the perfect ugali Kenya recipe, you need to learn a few tips. To start with, you need to be patient and know when to stop adding flour to ensure the dish is not crumbly or has flour lumps once you are through with cooking. The recipe in Kenya is the same as the ugali recipe Tanzania and ugali recipe Uganda.

Here is how to make tasty samp

Ugali ingredients

Below is the ugali recipe ingredients for two people:

  • 2 cups of maize flour
  • A spoonful of blue band/margarine
  • 2 large cups of water

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Preparation

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot, and then pour in some of the maize flour.

Image: youtube.com, giphy.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

2. Allow the water to keep boiling for a few minutes, and then begin to turn the mixture with a long wooden spoon.

3. Sprinkle in more flour and continue mixing. The mixture should start to thicken as you keep stirring and adding more flour.

Image: youtube.com, giphy.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

4. Hold the pot with mittens or a cloth to prevent burning your hands, and continue to fold the flour into itself. It will become firmer and more difficult to turn.

5. Press it against the wall of the pot with the spoon, then mix it back into the middle of the pot.

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6. Repeat this process several times. Let it stay in the middle of the pot, and turn down the heat to low.

7. After a few minutes, press out and return it to the middle of the pot again.

Image: youtube.com, giphy.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

8. Remove it from the heat.

9. Scoop the ngima onto a plate, and cover the plate with the pot for a few minutes as you dip the spoon into some water.

10. When taken out of the pot, the ngima will be shapeless. Use the wet spoon to press it until it is rounded.

11. Serve with meat, chicken, fish, or vegetables on the side.

Image: youtube.com, giphy.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

How to eat ugali food

The dish is usually served as an accompaniment to meat or vegetable stews, greens such as ugali Sukuma, or soured milk. To eat it, pull off a small ball of mush with your fingers. Form an indentation with your thumb, and use it to scoop up accompanying stews and other dishes. Or you can form larger balls with your hands or an ice cream scoop, place them in individual serving bowls, and spoon stew around them.

Easy steps to make Cornish pie using the South African way

Ugali variations

White cornmeal is the most commonly used grain for ngima. But you can substitute sorghum, millet, or coarse cassava flours (ugali wa muhogo). More or less water can be added to achieve the consistency you prefer. Most Africans would not salt the water, so you can leave the salt out if you wish.

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Frequently asked questions

Below are the most common questions. They contain thoroughly researched answers. Enjoy reading.

What is ugali made out of?

It is made from white cornmeal or red millet. It is one of the most common dishes you can find in many African countries. Served with meat or mashed vegetables, it is the national dish.

Is ugali and fufu the same thing?

Fufu, ugali, posho, mealie-meal, nsima are the names of the same dish. However, it is usually translated as porridge. This is not very accurate.

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How is ugali called in English?

Also known as ugali pap, nsima, and nshima, it is a type of maize flour porridge made in Africa. It is also known as ngima, obusuma,obuchima, kimnyet, nshima, mieliepap, phutu, sadza, kwon, isitshwala, and other names. Different names depend on the community and region.

What can you eat with ugali?

There is a wide range of accompaniments to take with nshima. They range from saucy beef, mushroom or fish stew, Sukuma wiki, or green vegetable soup, among others. The choice depends on your preference.

What does ugali taste like?

It tastes a bit more like popcorn than grilled corn. It is a very simple dish of milled white maize, cooked with water until it is very stiff. It is served in big floppy slabs together with meat and vegetables.

Is ugali a carbohydrate?

Yes, it is carbohydrate. It is enjoyed with many meals and is one of the primary forms of starch. It is similar to maize porridge, with added millet flour or sorghum, which is cooked in milk or water until it forms a dough-like consistency.

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With the above instructions, you can comfortably cook ugali and treat your friends and family. The process takes between 10-45 minutes. Try it today and enjoy the delicious meal.

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Ugali is a staple food of many African countries including Kenya.

Ugali is cooked by mixing either maize, sorghum or millet flour with water and cooking until it forms homogeneous mass.

Ugali pepared from maize flour is white in colour while Ugali prepared from millet or sorghum is brown.

The main nutrient in Ugali is carbohydrate i.e. starch.

There is a big problem encountered during cooking of ugali. The flour used (either maize, sorghum or millet) sticks on the inside surfaces of a cooking pot. This requires a lot of difficult work to clean the cooking pot.

In this article, I will outline steps to make ugali that doesnot stick on the cooking pot

Process of making Ugali which does not stick to the sauce pan

Ingredients
1/2 kg of maize flour
1/2 litre of water
olive oil
Teflon coated cooking pan

Cooking wooden stick

Steps
1.Put the water into the cooking pan and heat till it boils.
2. Add olive oil (approx 50 ml). Normally Ugali is cooked without adding oil
2. Add maize flour while stirring to ensure that it is heated and mixed homogeneously.
3. Continue adding flour until it forms a cake.
5. You can control the hardness of the cake by the amount of flour you add into the boiling water.
6. The whole process of coking could take between 8-15 minutes.
7. After attaining the desirable hardness, transfer the ugali to a serving plate.
8. The cooking pot will be left smooth and clean without remnants of ugali sticking.

Serving options
Ugali can be served with vegetables like kales (sukuma wiki), cabbages, fish or meat.

Advantage of Ugali that does not stick on the pot
Save enormous time which could otherwise be spent doing tedious work of cleaning cooking pot.

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Joshua, quite an interesting piece. Are you frying Ugali or you mean to cook it? I think the end result isn’t Ugali but somethin else…..(may be porridge)! the idea is good…..may be will try someday

Hi Henry,
Actually, what I have written here is something that I have tried and succeeded doing. It was nightmare to have cooking-pot with sticking ugali left in the sink after every Ugali cooking session (especially at night). I had to look for a way to sort the mess. Thats how I came up with this idea. I tried it, and it succeeded. I actually have a video for it. I will post it in near future.

Try it, and you will be surprised how clean the cooking pot is left.

By the way, if ugali does not stick on cooking pot you save a lot of flour. Remember that all the ugali sticking on the pot is a waste which translates to a waste of flour.

Joshua,
I think Teflon coated cooking ware is an investment one should make .
if cooking will be easier, From frying pans, shallow frying and deep frying and baking tins.
the non stick pans are very good especialy for frying eggs and pan cakes since one will use very little oil.
Now have known another use of the non stick pan -cooking ugali!
thanks!

Bang on Norah. Teflon coated cooking ware is a sure necessary accessory in every kitchen nowadays. It eases work and helps in saving oil and money. Thanks for bringing in more uses of teflon coated cooking ware.

Joshua, traditionally ugali that sticks on the pot/sufuria develops a desirable flavor. This is what makes ugali, ugali. I prefer ugali that has attained slight overcooked flavor with sukuma and some nyake!

This is wonderful. But i think only a few can afford this!

Hi Janny, I dont think it is that expensive!

I’ve had maize-based and also millet-based ugali. I’m yet to sample the sorghum-based variety (I understand though millet and sorghum can be similar, they’re actually different). At the East African coast, I’ve also had ugali ‘mhogo’, i.e. cassava-based ugali, and am surprised you didn’t mention it above (since you’re the food scientist)! It has an interesting sticky texture!

I laughed at your description of the ‘nightmare’ – cleaning a cooking pot used to cook ugali can indeed be much labour! My mother would always soak the pot first. I now do the same – after emptying the ugali on to a plate, I allow the pot to cool before filling it completely with water and placing it’s lid on it. (I don’t fill the pot before it cools to avoid the cool water possibly warping the hot pot.) I allow it to soak for a full day, after which cleaning it’s easy. Of course, if the pot’s needed immediately after the ugali’s cooked, one has no choice but to labour!

As for the ugali crust that’s left sticking to the lower sides and bottom of the pot, it’s usually quite crisp, and if scraped off, it can be a good biscuit-like ‘appetizer’ for a hungry mouth!

Lastly, I’m never sure what ‘Western’ dish comes closest to ugali, especially when trying to describe it to Westerners. I wouldn’t say ugali’s a kind of ‘cake’ as many E. Africans suggest. It isn’t ‘grits’, which is much softer and almost like firm porridge. It doesn’t fit the description of a ‘dumpling’, and it certainly isn’t ‘cornbread’. An accurate suggestion would be appreciated.

Update: it seems Western varieties are usually more elaborate and include ‘polenta’ (Italy), and ‘cornmeal pudding’ or ‘mush’ or ‘coosh’ (USA). Apart from Sub-Sahara, seems equivalent dishes may be found in S. and S.E. Europe; The Americas; and the Caribbean.

Re: ‘ugali mhogo’, I now think it wasn’t entirely cassava-based, but comprised a mixture of either maize or millet flour and ground cassava.

I like your articles. they are very educative. Is this true:

Teflon coated cooking pan Health concerns Health concerns
Concerns have been raised over the possible negative effects of using PTFE-coated cooking pans. When pans are overheated beyond approximately 349 °C (660 °F) the PTFE coating begins to dissociate, releasing byproducts which can cause polymer fume fever in humans and can be lethal to birds.Compounds in non-stick cookware may be associated with elevated cholesterol levels in children and teens.

if you compare price of 50ml olive oil to washing a sufuria, osha tu sufuria!