It is currently snowing outside and I am freezing cold. So I chose a country this month which for me, evokes a feeling of being warm in the winter - Uganda. I was lucky enough to go to Uganda in December 2016 on a kayaking trip. The focus was definitely not on the food but I have very fond memories of visiting the Rolex stands and of eating the best samosas I’ve ever had from a woman on the side of the road.
The national dish of Uganda is Matoke - a variety of green banana which is usually steamed and then mashed. I was keen to give this a go but unsurprisingly was unable to source any of the green bananas from Lossiemouth. Instead, I made the dishes below:
No, it’s not a watch. A Rolex is essentially an omelette wrapped up in a chapatti - the eggs are rolled up - rolled eggs - rolex .. See, it all makes sense now. A Rolex is a very popular street food in Uganda as it is filling and can easily be eaten on the go, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The nature of Rolex being street food meant that it was easy to make and uses very little equipment. First you break your eggs into a cup and then add whatever vegetables you want - I used tomatoes, red onion and cabbage. Place your frying pan on the heat and add a small amount of oil. When the oil is hot you simply spoon in your egg mixture into the pan and cook as you would an omelette. When you have flipped your omelette over, place the chapatti on top of the eggs to heat up as well. Once the eggs have cooked through, you just roll the whole thing up into a wrap! Meera Sodha recommends adding some sriracha mayonnaise before rolling up, which I gladly did and thoroughly enjoyed.
Did you like it?
Simple and satisfying - yes I did.
Marks out of 10: 8/10
A Mandazi is a triangular sweet bread that is fried - much like a doughnut. They are less sweet than a typical doughnut and are flavoured with ground cardamom which gives it a lovely warmth. They can then be sweetened with icing sugar and honey. Mandazi are commonly eaten as breakfast or as a snack, served with coffee or chai tea. I followed this recipe.
II could not believe how easy these were to make. No yeast or proving necessary - just mix all the ingredients, knead, shape, fry.
Did you like it?
Yes. They were much lighter than a typical doughnut and were fluffy inside and nice and chewy on the outside. I was delighted and would definitely make these for breakfast again - they would be a perfect thing to make for when you have guests round to stay.
Marks out of 10: 9/10
A groundnut is a peanut so this is literally a peanut butter stew. Peanuts are plentiful in West Africa and so this stew is popular across many West African countries. I followed this recipe.
There are a few things here I would have done differently if I were to make this again. The stew is simmered for an hour and a half to allow the peanut sauce to thicken up - I added the sweet potato right at the start and so by the time I was serving it had basically turned to mush. It also lacked heat in the dish and so I would add quite a bit more chilli if I were to make it again.
Did you like it?
Despite mistakes made, the peanut sauce was moreish and so I would make it again with the above amendments.
Marks out of 10: 6/10