Being born and raised in Kenya my mother took it upon her to teach me some of our traditional dishes with ugali being part of the lessons. On a scale of 1 to 10,9 out of 10 families prefer ugali as a basic meal compared to rice and other carbohydrates. This is due to the fact that Ugali contains many health benefits.Some of the health benefits are it contains roughages that help in digestion, it contains a lot of carbohydrates that generate energy within the body thus makes the stomach full for up to six hours,maize meal is also rich in iron which is essential in building blood tissues, it also contains proteins that are needed in body building. As you can see Ugali contains all the necessary elements to make a balanced diet. No wonder it is loved by many people.
I remember the first time i cooked ugali. Typically you would expect someone to guide you through it step by step and help you wherever it was needed, my experience was different. My mom called me into the kitchen and told me once the water had boiled i was to cook ugali. Knowing my mother, a typical African parent she would never take no for an answer. Well the outcome was not quite good, i remember being mocked about it for days but oh well! it was a learning step.
Ugali can be served with various vegetables like kales/collards, spinach, meat dishes and even milk(for the milk lovers)
Different people have different ways of preparing ugali,i will just highlight a recipe that always works for me.I hope you enjoy or better yet i hope you try it out.
- 4 CUPS OF WATER
- 2 CUPS OF MAIZE FLOUR
- Pour the water into a heavy bottomed saucepan/sufuria and bring it to boil. The water should be very hot to enhance easy mixing of the flour and water.
- Add a handful of maize flour to the boiling water then using a flat wooden ladle (commonly refereed to as mwiko).Stir the mixture to a porridge like consistency.
- Continue adding the maize flour a little at a time while pressing to the sides of the sauce pan to remove lumps. Once the flour has mixed well stop stirring and under low heat allow it to cook for roughly ten minutes.
- At this point the mixture has become firm so using your ladle stir it and let it cook for roughly five minutes or less. Then form the mixture into a round shape by bringing together the dough from all the sides of the sauce pan using your ladle.
- On a flat plate turn over the sauce pan and place the ugali on to the plate. Sprinkle some water on your ladle and shape the ugali to a circular shape.(The water helps in smoothing the surface of the ugali)
photos courtesy of the internet.
Have fun making your very own ugali.