Are you guys ready for September? I know I am! A new month means we are eating from a new country for Tastetrotting Across The Globe. This month we are eating from Uganda!
Uganda is an East African country with a rich history ranging from the ancient migration of the bantu and nilotic African people to the arrival of the Indians to work on Uganda’s railway network.
If you would like to swim in one of the world’s largest lakes, then you could travel to Uganda. At the southernmost edge of this beautiful country you will find Lake Victoria. This lake is so large, the last time it dried up was 17,300 years ago. Fish reigns supreme in this part of Uganda.
If you pass through the center of Uganda, then you have landed in the middle of the marshland! Go further north, and Uganda is drier.
Most Ugandans lead a rural lifestyle; about 87% of the population still live in the countryside.
Traditional homes are usually made of mud, with either a thatch or corrugated iron roofs. Around their houses, Ugandans grow their own foods, such as plantains, as well as keeping some livestock. Some also have small coffee plantations for earning cash.
Ugandan cuisine is not as popularized from other regions such as the Horn, West and Southern Africa, but this does not mean that it is not celebrated as a truly traditional type of cuisine.
The cuisine of Uganda is quite the melting pot, taking culinary influences from the Arabs & British, and especially from India. The food is not typically spicy, but seasoned with tomatoes and onions to create flavorful, pleasing dishes. The diet is based on a combination of a starch and a sauce at each meal. The starch may consist of Ugali (a type of cornmeal paste) or Matooke (mashed plantain), and is always topped with a sauce or stew made of groundnuts (peanuts), vegetables, or meat.
Most things are boiled since oil is very expensive and also because people cook over an open fire. The people of Uganda eat what is in season and what they can afford.
When I was researching and learning about the food of Uganda, it was clear that they use a lot of peanuts in their dishes. Peanut oil is used in kebab marinades. Peanut sauce is poured over rice, potatoes, and matooke
My Original Plan + About Groundnut Stew
My original plan was to make Rolex (a Ugandan street food), but for some reason it just didn’t turn out as well as I was hoping.
Rolex is considered a breakfast luxury that can be purchased on any street corner. The basic idea of this dish is eggs cooked with cabbage, onion, and other goodies, which is then wrapped in chapati.
Here is a great video showing how they make Rolex in Uganda if you wish to give this a try for yourself.
My struggle was trying to make the Chapati. There was a video from Chef Lola’s Kitchen that I followed for each of the steps for making Chapati. Honestly I don’t know what happened or where I went wrong, but in the end my Chapati would crack and fall apart both before and after cooking on the stove. But if you would like to learn how to make Chapati so you can give Rolex a try, then the video below gives very clear and easy instructions on how to do this. Don’t let my experience stop you from trying this.
So, since I won’t be sharing my Rolex recipe with you, I will be sharing my recipe for Groundnut Stew with you instead!
In Uganda, and also many African countries, peanuts are known as Groundnuts. Groundnuts were originally brought to West Africa in the mid-16th century. This stew was born there, but then also started popping up in Nigeria, Gambia, and Senegal. Spanish traders and enslaved Africans first brought groundnuts to the States. Both George Washington & Thomas Jefferson mention these legumes as early as the late 1790’s.
As I was cooking this stew I had mixed feelings. I felt both excited but also nervous because I just wasn’t sure about the whole idea of adding peanut butter to a stew. But I did love the that there is garlic and ginger in it (my two favorite flavor combos) plus other healthy ingredients like sweet potatoes, kale, turmeric, and of course we can’t forget the peanuts! This stew is just a rainbow of nutrients in a bowl and you can feel the goodness when your eating it. To make it even more healthier you can use my homemade bone broth recipeEnjoy a nice bowl of Groundnut Stew from the country of Uganda for #tastetrottingacrosstheglobe Click To Tweet
As I was researching and learning about Groundnut Stew, I learned that there are many different versions, so I just pulled my favorite aspects from the many versions I have seen. But the one ingredient that is common in any Groundnut Stew is tomatoes, but you won’t find that ingredient in my Groundnut Stew because I do not consume nightshades. I wanted to go a little light on the peanut butter because I didn’t want the peanut butter to be too over powering, but if you prefer a thicker peanutty flavor, you can always stir in more in the end. If you want it spicy, then you can always add in something like red pepper flakes or siracha as a garnish. If kale isn’t your favorite green, then you can use spinach, collard greens, or your favorite green of choice.
You can eat this stew on its own, or add a scoop of rice.