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Mandazi – It Tastes Like Home

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!

-Kris

Mandazi 

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

 

Post Author: Kris Mbabazi

The Best Chicken in the World

I really didn’t believe my friend when she told me that the best chicken in the world can be bought on the side of the highway between Kampala and Jinja.  She claimed that it not only tasted the best, but it was a fun experience as well.  If you have ever travelled the highway I am talking about through Mabira Forest, you know exactly what I am talking about. 

All you need to do is pull your vehicle over to the side of the road and you will very quickly be surrounded by people dressed in blue aprons with numbers on them.  They will be carrying a variety of items from water, fanta, soda, ngonga (roasted banana wrapped in newspaper), meat on a stick, bananas and the famous chicken on a stick.

The best part about this experience is watching the vendors.  They will surround a matatu or vehicle but if they don’t make a sale in the first few minutes, they will leave.  But if another vehicle pulls up, they will dash to that one hoping to be at the window of a person hoping to buy their product.  The best is when a bus pulls up.  I don’t think I have ever seen people drop what they are doing to chase down customers on a bus as fast as “the blue apron” people.  They can barely reach the windows to sell their product, but they manage as best as they can.  

Now as I said, the chicken on a stick is the best in the world.  Why? you ask.  Well, it’s salty, perfectly roasted and a little crispy.  But eating it in the back of a matatu when you are sweaty and squished is the best part.  The windows are down, as you barrel down the highway, and every single bite makes the dangerous drive on this highway way more worth it.  For me, I know that if I end up in a head on collision with another vehicle because my taxi driver was passing a sugar cane truck and another matatu side by side, I will have had the best meal ever as my last.  

Post Author: Kris Mbabazi

Rolex Uganda Style

When we say rolex, most of the world thinks of an expensive timepiece. In Uganda, however, it makes people’s mouth water & has absolutely nothing to do with time (unless, of course you have to wait for them to cook). In Uganda a rolex is a savory snack which consists of an omlet with onion & veggies rolled in a chapati, yum! Today we will teach you how to make your very own rolex. (more…)

Post Author: Kelsey

Jackfruit – The Fruit That Brings People Together

You can’t really visit Mawanga and Pastor Paul’s home without experiencing the fruit that the village produces. Whether it is mangos, passionfruit, pineapple or watermelon, you will experience the best tasting fruit you’ve ever had.  But no other fruit takes the time and energy than that of a jackfruit or known as ffene in Uganda. A jackfruit is a social affair that isn’t as simple as just cutting it up and eating it. 

(more…)

Post Author: Kris Mbabazi

Lake Bunyonyi – Crawfish in Uganda?

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Post Author: Kelsey

Nsenene – Uganda’s Favorite Snack

As ROWAN is in Uganda, we have begun to share more about the country with our readers. This is an amazingly diverse land with a huge variety of animal & plant life to learn about. But today we will be talking about something a little different, a favored snack food during the rainy season, nsenene. (more…)

Post Author: Kelsey

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