Uganda is a unique haven of vibrant cultures, fascinating people, and flavourful dishes. And what is a trip to a foreign land if you do not sample the street food? Ugandan street foods mainly has African, Asian and Swahili/coastal influences. Here are a few of our favourites.
1. Uganda Rolex
Ugandan Rolex has nothing to do with the famous watch brand Rolex. On the contrary it is a popular street food in Uganda which has a vegetable loaded omelette rolled up in a chapati or flatbread. The word rolex comes from rolled eggs. Enjoy Ugandan Rolex for breakfast, dinner, lunch or even as a snack.
It is easy to make, cheap, filling, nourishing and best part is that it is a handheld food item. Roll up the Rolex in an old newspaper and serve it. Some may offer it in a brown paper bag. Best enjoyed while it is hot.
Generally, the eggs are whisked with the chopped vegetables and seasoning in a plastic mug. Then, the omelette is prepared on a huge tawa or frying pan over coal fire. While the top of the omelette is still wet, a chapati is placed over it. This actually ‘sticks’ the chapati to the omelette. Roll it up and serve.
2. East African Chapati
East African Chapati is a beautiful unleavened flat Bread.It is a flaky, soft, slightly chewy flatbread made from all purpose flour. It has a delicious but subtle flavor that is why it can be easily paired with almost any dish whether sweet or savory making it an extremely versatile side dish staple.The East African Chapati is very similar to the Indian Paratha (one of the most popular unleavened flatbreads in India). However, culture might have played its role in the slight difference in its mode of preparation compared to the Indian variety.
3. Muchomo ( Roasted meat /Nyama Choma )
Muchomo refers to different types of roasted meats such as chicken, beef, goat, liver, or pork. The meat is chopped, marinated, and roasted on skewers over open fires. This can be served with roasted plantain (Gonja), roasted matooke (banana) fingers, and kachumbari (tomato salsa and chilli peppers). While it can also be found in food outlets and bars, muchomo is best experienced by street vendors, where the traditional cooking method and flavors are showcased at their finest
4. Oven Baked Chicken (TV Chicken)
A stroll through most streets in Kampala and other major towns in the evening will take you past one chicken street vendor after another. The chicken is specially roasted in a “TV-lookalike oven” (rotisserie). Its normally served with chips (fries) and a salad.
5. Roasted Corn (Maize)
Roasted maize is a popular African street food that can be found in many countries, including Uganda. It can be found at any time of the day at street food stalls /vendors. However, this snack is seasonal and is scarce at certain times of the year.
This simple yet delicious snack is made by roasting maize over hot coals/charcoal stoves until they are tender and slightly charred. The result is a sweet and smoky snack that is both satisfying and filling. Roasted maize is often eaten on its own
6. Ugandan Pancakes (Kabalagala )
Cassava (tapioca) flour is mixed with mashed sweet bananas and kneaded into a soft dough. The batter is then rolled out into a thick circle, cut out with a glass to make round shapes, and deep-fried to a golden brown.
These sweet and savory pancakes offer a delicious snack for those who want something quick and easy to eat. Whether you’re in the mood for a sweet treat or simply looking for a new food to try, Kabalagala is a must-try for anyone exploring the Ugandan street food scene.
7. Fried Cassava
Cassava tubers are chopped into slices and deep-fried to a crispy golden brown and eaten alone or served besides fried meats with kachumbari (tomato salsa) and greens.
Gonja, also known as roasted plantain, is a popular street food in Uganda.Although they look like bananas, plantains (also called Boli in Nigeria) have a banana’s sweetness when ripe but are starchy, like potatoes Plantains are pealed and then roasted over hot coals, fried or grilled until they are a golden color. The result is a sweet and savory snack that is both filling and flavorful.
It is a popular choice for both locals and visitors alike and can be found on street vendors throughout Uganda. In grocery stores, it is packaged as thin slices, deep-fried to crunchy perfection.Whether you’re looking for a quick and satisfying snack or a sweet and healthy option, gonja is a must-try for anyone exploring the street food scene in Uganda.
Samosas are one of the most popular Ugandan street foods. These triangular pastries are filled with a variety of ingredients, including spiced vegetables, beef, and cheese, and are deep-fried until they are crispy and golden. The crispy exterior and savory filling make samosas a delicious and satisfying treat for locals and tourists alike.
They are usually served hot and are a perfect grab-and-go option for a quick and delicious snack on the go. Whether you’re looking for something savory or sweet, samosas are a must-try for anyone exploring the street food scene in Uganda.
10. Grasshoppers (Nsenene)
Nsenene are a crispy grasshopper snack. During the wet season, around May and November, grasshoppers are captured, their wings and legs plucked off. They are then washed and fried with onions, chilli, salt, and other species. Grasshoppers secrete oil, which is used to fry them into crisp crunchy snacks. Many people say that Nsenene taste like crispy fried chicken skin. Yummy!