All Things Kenyan

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.


3 thoughts on “Ugali Recipe

  1. Jeanne Post author

    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 <3 ugali

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