Have a taste of Baganda foods:Uganda

Posted on 8 September 2018 by Makhosi Mahlangu

Authors: 1. Farouk Semwogerere

(PhD student University of Fort Hare, South Africa) 

2. Buule David

(MSc student Chonbuk National University, South Korea)

About the Baganda people

Baganda tribe is one of the prominent tribes in Uganda – East Africa. Baganda became well known to the world, as they were one of the few tribes that welcomed the British protectorate government with open hands during the colonization days in 1894. To date, the Buganda Kingdom remains very influential to the countries social and economic status as Luganda is the third spoken language in the country after English and Kiswahili.


Traditional Baganda dishes

Baganda have a variety of traditional dishes that are unique to their culture and these include: Katogo (pottage) – mixture of Matooke or cassava or sweet potato or yams with beans; Luwombo – meat steamed in banana leaves; Omugoyo – mixed of cooked berry red beans (Nambale) and steamed lumonde (sweet potato). Matooke is and has always been the chief food for Baganda. Traditionally matooke is steamed in banana leaves and served with meat (beef, chicken, goat and rarely mutton), Binyembwa (Groundnuts), fish (Ebyenyanja, tilapia-commonly). Preparing matooke requires great care since a fluctuation in heat results in hard and poorly cooked matooke, called Okukona in Luganda. The matooke also needs to be harvested at a specific stage when the sap in the fingers is low so as to give the best flavour. 

Typical Uganda food

The role of women in the Baganda culture

Cooking in Buganda is done by women and girls. Girls are groomed from a very young age on the specific and unique way of preparing the traditional dishes as this is considered one of the most important aspects of a bride when it comes to marriage. 

Women play an important role within the Baganda people

Preparing Luwombo and Omugoyo

In the next series articles we will be concentrating on Luwombo and Omugoyo. These two Baganda dishes are very unique to the extent that not every Muganda woman can prepare them. They require a lot of skills and patience, starting from the selection of ingredients and materials need to make just the right Luwombo and Omugoyo. Luwombo is ranked first when selecting a fancy and delicious dish and it is normally, if not only served on special traditional Baganda wedding “Okwanjula” where still it is only served to the groom and a few selected groom’s relatives and friends. 


Omugoyo is normally considered “E’mere ya jajja mukyala” translated “Food from grannies” since this dish requires a lot of hours to prepare. More so, it also requires being prepared on Firestone with firewood, then smoked with carefully selected firewood and baked “okuvumbika” under hot ash for hours.