My husband stays quite connected to his friends, family and people from Uganda. He has lived in Canada now for almost 11 years, but Facebook, Whats app, Instagram and other social media has given him the chance to stay way more connected that he was able to in the past. Not only are there more opportunities, but it is much cheaper for us not having to purchase phone cards to use to call his friends and family. Youtube has also kept him connected with the music and news from Uganda, but the one thing that we have to work at to keep his culture in our home and in his life is the food.
The food in Uganda is something that brings many memories and great moments back for both of us. Whether it was the popcorn Mama used to make with our morning tea in Mawanga, the rolex that Julius would make me at Namuwongo market, the many Fanta oranges that I enjoyed under the shade of a tree or down at the market while teaching my husband to play the guitar, or the roasted maize I would snack on while walking home from town. Food is something that I associate with many wonderful people and amazing memories from my time in Uganda.
Over the 12 years of being married to Busiisi and the many months that I have spent in Uganda, I was able to pick up on how to make a few of the dishes that are staples in Uganda. With my husband’s help, we can make a mean chapatti, thanks to the lessons that Jane gave me and the recipe that Hakim wrote in my journal. My husband has taught me how to make “soup” using beef, chicken, pork or beans for him to enjoy with his rice. I have yet to learn how to mingle posho, but Busiisi does a great job of making that.
One of Busiisi’s favourite snacks that he used to get down at Namuwongo market was Mandazi. It’s similar to a plain donut here in Canada, but a little heavier. I find that when he is busy with life and is missing home, a batch or two of mandazi will cheer him up. My boys enjoy baking with me, so this past weekend, we surprised Busiisi with a double batch of mandazi. We probably made about 75 of them when all was cut and fried. As I sit and write this, there is not one piece left. He told me they tasted like home.
I cannot tell you my mandazi is better than Mama’s is, but for a mzungu, I think it tastes pretty good! Feel free to give it a try!
1 egg 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup milk 2 tbsp butter, softened
2 cups and a bit of white flour 2 tsp baking powder
-mix all ingredients together
-the dough should be soft, but not sticky
-roll it out to about a 1/4 inch thick
-cut into triangles or squares (or hearts if you are my boys)
-fry it in hot oil and place it on a paper towel
adapted from http://allthingskenyan.com/food-mandazi.html