Sales from the road in Ouagadougou

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Typical street food, lots of fried delicious made by a large Moree woman.

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Anything can be bought from the street, normally sold by an 8 year old boy who will sprint chasing your car as you throw money out the window and they launch the item into your open lap.

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Lunch time sales, soccer balls and toys

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No better way to sell gasoline then out of old alcohol bottles next to the city’s water source.

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Ugandan Rolex, not its not a watch

Uganda does not have quite the street food scene that flourishes in Senegal and Mali where every corner has someone selling fried dough balls, bananas,  or bad bread. But here, there is chapati and with chapati there is ‘Rolex’. Took me a minute to realize but ‘rolex’ aka ‘rolled eggs’, is essentially an omelette rolled in a chapati to be eaten like a burrito. Stands withIMG_1508.jpg a man preparing and selling this 30 cent, very filling meal.

First, what is chapati? Probably derived from the Indian influence, chapati is flour dough they make and leave over night in small piles to be rolled out with a small wooden rolling pin and then lightly fried on the stove/pan featured below. Chapati alone is also sold everywhere, cheap, filling and efficient. Also bland when eaten alone but I cant complain.

The following is an explanation of the rolex making process. First they make the dough, flour, water, salt the typical that they leave in these little piles over night and until they need to make more chapati.

IMG_3889Next, they roll out the dough with a pin as shown by this gentlemen who is a typical, rolex stand guy.

He then puts oil on the pan to his right, flattens it with his hands and fries it up. Voila!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the omlette is made right there too. Cut tomoto, onion and if you are lucky some cabbage into a cup.

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Pour it on the same pan as the chapati is made on…

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Fry it up real good and flip it with your hands or a proper tool…IMG_3147

Next, and the most important. you add the chapati on top of the omlette so it also heats up and gets some extra oily juices. IMG_3149

Roll it all up nice and tight- aka rolled eggs- and back it in a plastic bag to go!!! The cheapest and most filling brunch you can imagine. I will miss it dearly! IMG_1302IMG_3915

Ugandan Lunch

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.

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Monday.

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.

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Tuesday

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”.

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Wednesday

Beans, rice, meat, pumpkin and greens. There was matoke of course but I said no…

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Thursday-

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…