Everyone always asks about the food so here goes. These are from my lunches at Oxfam, where a woman makes lunch everyday for the staff to come and purchase for 5,000 Uganda Shillings a plate, approximately $1.30. The lunch time lasts about 45 minutes and most of the staff sit and talk politics, football, relationships, etc… A few workers get a plate and bring it back to their desk to eat and keep working. I have teased them about being ‘American’ but am truly amazed by their hard work- very different from Mali where we had a 2 hour lunch, tea and nap break.
The standard matoke (steamed and mashed green bananas is a staple for all meals here. It is slightly sour but not too flavorful). Accompanied by peas, steamed pumpkin (delicious), rice and goat meat.
Starting from the top right going clockwise- posho/ugali (maize that is flavorless and pretty unappetizing), sweet potato and ground nut sauce (delicious and thicker than the West African equivalent), more matoke, and chicken. The avocado was separately cut by a coworker who shared it to add flavor to the meal and wanted it pictured as she said “Now it looks healthier”.
Beans, rice, meat, pumpkin and greens. There was matoke of course but I said no…
More Posho and matoke with sweet potato, groundnut sauce and chicken. I had to add some spice this time as it was getting pretty old.
There are many differences with West African cuisine, one of the largest being that there is no spicy food here. I was told that it is because when food is spicy it is fried and Ugandans are very health conscious so they dont like fried food. While people here are incredibly health conscious (there are gyms, saunas, health clubs all over) I dont think that is necessarily the reason although the food here not typically fried- more often it is boiled or steamed. Overall, there are more elements to the dishes here, even in villages, and there are far more options for foreign restaurants and food styles. A topic for another blog…