Ugali is a staple dish in every Kenyan home. Many Kenyans feel that a dinner table without ugali is incomplete; one might feel hungry at night. The believe is so deep that many Kenyans (athletes and non-athletes) eat ugali for dinner 365 times a year.
Before you start making ugali, the most important thing to remember is that the consistency of ugali is important: it should neither be too hard nor too liquid. You must know when to stop adding flour and be patient, so don’t get frustrated if the first times you try it, the result is not great. Being simple doesn’t mean that it’s completely easy.
Although maize flour is the most commonly used, there are other varieties that you can try to change a bit the taste and the consistency. Those other types are millet, sorghum and cassava.
What do you need;
- A deep cooking pan (sufuria)
- A flat faced wooden stick (mwiko)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup flour
How to cook;
- Pour water into the sufuria and let it boil over a medium fire (no salt is added).
- Add the flour into the boiling water slowly as you stir into a thick consistency.
- Continue stirring and mixing with your wooden stick until it feels like you are folding the flour into itself and there are no lumps nor water anymore.
- When it is cooked, it should be firm but soft to cut through.
Ugali should not be eaten by itself. It is accompanied by stews (vegetables, fish or meat). And in the Rift Valley, it is almost always accompanied by sour milk locally known as mursik.
This is the one dish you do not need cutlery to enjoy. The traditional way to eat ugali is by pinching a small piece of it, rolling it into a ball with your hand and then using your fingers to dip the ball into the stew and enjoy.
The ratio of water to flour should be 2:1 and the quantities shown above are suggested for 2 people. Increase the quantity if you need to feed more guests.