This dish is the ultimate street food in Uganda. Rolex is a popular food item in Uganda, combining an egg omelette and veggies wrapped in a chapatti. This single-portion dish is quick to prepare, and can be eaten at any time of the day, from breakfast to a lunch or supper meal or snack. The name “rolex” comes from its method of preparation, with the chapatti and the omelette rolled together (“rolled eggs”)
This idea originated from a chapatti seller’s creativity in the Busoga region called Sula “the Basoga” then the idea spread to Wandegeya a town next to Makerere University in Uganda, where it was fueled by students who needed a quick meal because of time and budget limitations. The delicacy soon spread throughout Uganda. It became a popular food choice for its combination of convenience, low cost, and taste. Other terms and variations related to rolex include:
· “Titanic”: two or more chapattis used together in rolling the portion.
· “Kikomando”: the chapatti is sliced and mixed with beans. This name is inspired by the commando soldier or unit eating quickly in the field. It can also refer to someone unafraid of getting messy by eating street food with the hands.
This is probably one of the most versatile street foods in Uganda as this rolex can also be stuffed with beef, chicken, liver and vegetables to suit the taste of the buyer. Designed for people on the go, it’s definitely one Uganda`s defining meals.
Ask any Ugandan what one of their favorite thing to eat is and you’ll usually hear the word chapati at some point on their list! Chapatis are a delicious African flatbread that is prepared most weeks in many Ugandan homes. Cheap and relatively easy to make. This street food can be found in every town, city, restaurant and trading centre in Uganda.
The whole TV whole chicken is a great tasting slowly grilled street food. This chicken is called the ‘TV’ whole chicken because it is cooked in closed grill with a glass casing and the whole grill set up looks like a Television (TV). You can also literally watch chicken as it is being grilled. The chicken is prepared with marinades of local and modern spices to give it a unique taste, and its crispy skin has a unique taste that leaves your taste buds enchanted.
This chicken is special as it is usually prepared in the evenings for the ‘big boys’ that have had a successful day at work and for party people hanging out at night. This chicken is common in urban areas with loads of bars. It`s the common man`s ‘celebratory’ or good times delicacy. If you do not try this chicken while you are in Uganda, your visit will surely not be complete
Katogo is probably Uganda`s most versatile street dishes. Katogo is a Luganda word that means ‘Mixture’. So essentially this dish is a delicate mixture of heartwarming, much loved traditional foods. The dish is very filling, and because of this, it is normally eaten in morning hours or at lunch time mostly by people that do not expect to have any other meal that day or that expect have their next meal late in the night.
The dish is an expert mixture of 1 carbohydrate food, one protein food plus 1 usually leafy vegetable. The most popular mixtures are: Matooke (Starchy Plantain) with Beef, Matooke with cow offals, Matooke with peas/ beans, Matooke with ground nut paste, cassava with beans, cassava with peas, Irish potatoes with groundnut paste, Irish potatoes with beef and Irish potatoes with beans/ peas. Traditional leafy vegetables that usually go with its are: cabbage, avocado, Nakatti, Doodo.
This dish is prepared in all local restaurants and street food joints throughout all major towns and cities in Uganda.
This tasty snack is one of the Asian influences on Uganda. A samosa is a fried or baked pastry and in Uganda this pastry is stuffed with a savory filling, such as ground beef, chicken, peas or fried rice. In Uganda it takes the shape of a triangle and can be found in markets, busy streets, all restaurants across the country
This is a truly Ugandan snack loved by workers that provide a lot of physical labour. It’s basically made by taking cassava and peeling it. After it’s been peeled the middle fibers are removed and the cassava is sliced into long strips. Its then steamed until its soft and deep fried in vegetable oil for flavour. This is a snack found mainly in middle and lower class restaurants, busy streets or towns and at labour intensive establishments like factories, shippers and market places.
Roasted Chicken has taken over all trading centres and markets in the country. It’s made simply by cutting chicken, marinating it in local herbs and vegetables and then roasting it over a charcoal grill or stove till its crisp and golden brown. The chicken is delicious. Previously, this chicken used to only be found in restaurants, but now it’s almost impossible to find a trading centre that does not have roasted chicken vendors on their streets. Famous road joints in Uganda Namawojjolo and Mbizzinya on Jinja and Gulu Road Highway as well as Kyengera on Masaka-Mbarara highway. When not on the highway, this tasty chicken usually on skewers can be found in markets and street chicken vendors outside any bar in a trading center
Roasted meat is another street food whose roots have grown deeper in Uganda. It’s usually made with beef or goats meat cut into small pieces, marinated with local herbs and spices and grilled over a charcoal grill or stove until its ready. Anywhere you find street chicken, you will also find this roasted meat and the taste is unforgettable. It’s usually sold in markets, and street sides especially those that have a high concentration of bars. This roast is usually enjoyed by party goers in the evenings or long distance travelers
Gonja is commonly sold all year round mostly in market areas and busy streets. Because it’s fairly expensive, it’s not easily found at every street corner but it’s there at some point on every major street. The most common form is the charcoal broiled gonja which is easy to make by the roadside in the suburbs
This snack is special because it’s a snack that many Ugandans are at home with. Maize is grown by many families and subsistence farmers and is usually sold by people that have grown this maize from their own little gardens. It’s basically corn, roasted on a charcoal stove until its brownish. Many maize street vendors sell this corn right off the stove to passersby in markets and along busy streets. It’s usually eaten for breakfast or as a snack in the evening as people go home from work.
This snack is over 100 years old in Buganda. It’s made with ripe bananas and flour almost like banana bread only that this one the ready dough is fried in vegetable oil to finish it off. This snack is a childhood favorite for many children and can be found in every market, busy street and canteen throughout the country. Most people usually have it on the go for breakfast or break tea.
Roasted grains are a staple in Uganda. They usually are groundnut seeds, corn, soya beans and simsim. Most people have roasted grains in their homes and have them as snacks or with evening tea. These snacks are however also sold on busy streets and in high traffic areas especially those that are affected by traffic jam and people on the move usually buy and snack on them as they work their way through traffic
Nsenene is the Luganda word for grasshoppers and they originally used to be eaten by Baganda people, however they are now also enjoyed by people from across Uganda. This grasshopper street snack is one of the most loved snacks in the central region of Uganda. To prepare the grasshoppers, the wings and legs are pulled off using charcoal dust so that the fingers do not become oily. The grasshoppers are then cooked in a frying pan or pot with a very little vegetable oil while they are still alive as they contain quite a bit of oil themselves and as they being cooked, this oil will be produced in the pan. Vegetables like onions and peppers are sometimes to add some different flavour to the dish. It is almost impossible for this delicacy to be found in finer restaurants but when the grasshopper season is on, you will find them around every market and busy street throughout the central region. In the past women were not allowed to eat grasshoppers, they were strictly prepared for men but recently women eat these grasshoppers with the hunger of a thousand centuries. This street food must be tried by anyone that wants to experience the age old taste of Uganda