Ugali: Kenyan-style Polenta

Ugali, a corn-based polenta-like mush is one of the most commonly eaten foods in Kenya. In fact, it is eaten in other countries in Africa. Zimbambweans call is Sadza, Zambians call it Nsima and in South Africa it is called pap. Ugali is traditionally eaten with hands. You can use flatware as well. However, if you prefer hand-scooping, to enjoy it best, scoop up a piece of ugali, roll it in to a ball, form a hole into the ball and then scoop your veggie or stew. It is quite simple to make.


4 cups water

2 cups *white cornmeal


Boil the water in a solid pot

Add flour little by little into the boiling water (lower the heat)

Stir with the wooden spoon and turn over and over for about 10 minutes till the flour is properly mixed in.

Add water to soften to your taste**

Mold ugali into cake-like form, lower the heat and let cook for another 10 minutes.

Place on a serving bowl and use a wet wooden spoon to mold to cake-like form.


*White cornmeal is the most commonly used but you can use yellow cornmeal or millet.

**For a little flavor you can add a little butter and a pinch of salt.


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