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Uganda - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Ugandan Cuisine History Edit

The basic history of Uganda is a rather sad one. Indigenous kingdoms flooded in Uganda in the 12th century. Among them were the Buganda, Bunyoro, Toro, Ankole and Busoga. As the centuries passed, the Buganda people dominated the kingdom. The tribes in Uganda has plenty of time to chalk out their hierarchies as there was little incursion of Uganda from the outside until the 19th century. In spite of the fertility of the land and its capacity to grow surplus crops there were no trading links with the East African coast. Then finally contacts were made with the Arab traders and European explorers in the mid-19th century. As these traders stormed Uganda, they brought along with them their own customs and traditions which influenced Uganda’s own customs and traditions, relating to everything, from food, shelter to even clothes. After the Treaty of Berlin that took place in 1980, that treated resulted in defining the various European countries’ spheres of influence in Uganda as it became one of the British protectorates. The colonial administrators brought in coffee and cotton as cash crops. The Ugandan cuisine is traditional, yet with Uganda’s historical background, we are not too surprised to see the influence it has had on its traditional cuisine.

Cuisines of Uganda Edit

Map of Uganda

Map of Uganda- Click to enlarge

There are various cuisines in the Cuisine of Uganda. Most of them being extremely traditional, however some out influenced due to its history of invasions. Nevertheless, you are most likely to find yummy banana dishes, stews, pastes and juicy fruits and drinks in the Ugandan Cuisine. Uganda’s culture weaves a thread of diversity not only through the manner of dress, language and various other features but also in its variety of dishes. Most of the tribes in Uganda have their own delicacy or speciality. Most of the dishes in the Ugandan cuisine are prepared from numerous vegetables, yams, potatoes, bananas and other tropical fruits.

Cooking traditional and authentic Ugandan cuisine requires some tact. One extremely popular dish in the Ugandan cuisine is matooke which is made from bananas of the plantain type and is cooked or boiled in a sauce of peanuts, fresh fish, meat or entrails. Matooke goes really well with any relish. Most of the tribes in Uganda eat their fish either smoked or fresh where as the others dry it after washing it in a salt solution and drying it in the sun for days. Sun-dried fish is a scrumptious dish in the Ugandan cuisine. There are great tasting authentic and traditional cuisines in the cuisines of Uganda, which need special skill and delicacy to prepare for complete enjoyment of the cuisine.

Preparation Methods for Ugandan Cooking Edit

The most prominent utensils that you might need for cooking your Ugandan cuisine are perhaps, a skillet or a hot outdoor as well as in indoor grill to grill your Ugandan meat dishes, a non-stick saucepan, a large Dutch oven or even a similar cooking pot would be useful. Using wooden stirrers rather than the metal ones are always preferred in most cuisines as they do not allow any residue to stick onto the stirrer. Sharp metal skewers are very handy for threading meat as well as some fruits and vegetables in the cuisine of Uganda. Make sure that you use the right amount of desired ingredients especially spices and salts in while preparing your Ugandan cuisine. Most of the dishes in the Ugandan cuisine require steaming, so pressure pots and steamers are very handy. If you intend to serve your Ugandan meal in the true Ugandan traditional manner, then wooden bowls are a great choice. Most of the Ugandan cuisines are not time-consuming, therefore preparing for them and enjoying cooking them is a joyful experience. As a last note, make sure that you use fresh fruits and fresh vegetables while cooking and preparing your Ugandan cuisine as it adds the true authentic flavour to your meals.

Special Equipment for Ugandan Cooking Edit

There is no need of buying special equipment for a Ugandan cuisine. Nevertheless, a hot outdoor and if need be hot in door grills are needed to grill your scrumptious Ugandan meat and a few vegetable dishes as well. It is always useful to have non-sticky pots and pans in your kitchen for most of the cuisines, and even for the Ugandan cuisine as they are hassle free. Some recipes in the Ugandan cuisine require large saucepans too. Ovens are needed for baking and other purposes as well. It would be beneficial if you used a large Dutch oven or even a similar cooking pot would prove to be quite handy. These days wooden stirrers are widely available, and they make the best utensils for stirring rather than the stain-less steel ones, so grab hold of some wooden stirrers if you do not have them. Sharp knives and metal skewers are practical when you would require to thread meat and even some vegetables. Other than that, no other special equipment is needed to make your delicious Ugandan cuisine.

Ugandan Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

Uganda’s population is made up of a complex and highly diverse range of tribes. Each tribe has its musical history; songs are passed down from generation to generation. The contrasts between the various people of Uganda reflect not only a variety of surrounding that are demonstrated in the multiplicity of cultures, traditions and lifestyles but also in the food traditions and festivals of the country. The heritage of Ugandans food traditions and festivals lives on in the hearts of the people through traditional activities and especially their food traditions and festivals which have been passed down through history. Many of the famous food traditions and festivals take place during their customs of traditional activities, such as dances, songs, weddings etc. Oluwombo or Luwombo is a traditional dish from Uganda commonly seen in their food traditions and other festivals. This dish is both a classic dish of Royal dinners and a dish popular throughout Uganda, especially at holiday time. It is often said that oluwombo dates to 1887. The basic banana-leaf cooking method for this dish has been common across tropical Africa for centuries and is also much used wherever bananas or plantains are grown. Certainly the food tradtions and festivals of Uganda are highly unique.

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