How to make Ugali
If you’ve ever been to Africa, you’d have noticed a weird type of food not as common elsewhere in the world…a white, stiff porridge, often eaten with one’s hands. Accompanied by beans, soup, spinach, meat or other similar foods, it’s considered a staple for many across Africa.
In Tanzania, we call it ugali.
By the way, if you’re a man who doesn’t eat ugali…your reputation will tank. Quickly.
But I digress. Let’s get to the point, shall we?
- half a small pot of water
- maize-meal flour
- that’s it.
If you’re a first-timer, you don’t want to attempt this on a large scale yet. Having said that, let’s get to the cooking!
- Place the pot of water on the stove, and allow it to boil
- After the water boils, pour some maize flour into the pot — enough for the thickness to change slightly
- Stir the mixture with a large, wooden spoon, making sure no hard lumps form
- After 5–7 minutes of this, cover up the pot and allow the water/flour mixture to boil together
- Remove the cover after 3–4 minutes. Stir once again — but watch out! Some of the mixture may leap onto your skin
- Add more maize flour. Again, be wary of the bubbling mixture; it’ll become even worse now
- Keep adding and stirring carefully, gradually changing your grip to deal with the increasing hardness
- Switch to an overhand grip; then using your weaker hand to stabilize the pot, use the other to pull the ugali towards you.
- Repeat no.8 for 5 minutes, wiping off the ugali on the edges to put back in, much as you would in a cake mixture
- Cover up again, at low heat for 2–3 minutes
- Repeat no.9 for the final few strokes. The ugali should be hardened by now
- Grab a plate, grab the pot, and toss the ugali onto the plate!
Don’t screw it up, my people.
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