Ugali is an East African dish (also sometimes
called sima, sembe, or posho) which is a cornmeal product
and a staple starch component of many African meals, especially in
Eastern and Southern Africa.
Left: Ugali with
beef and sauce.
is commonly made from maize flour and water, and varies in consistency from
porridge to a dough-like substance. When ugali is made from another starch, it
is usually given a specific regional name.
The traditional method of eating ugali (and the most common
in the rural areas) is to roll a lump into a ball, and then dip it into a sauce
or stew of vegetables and/or meat. Making a depression with the thumb allows the
ugali to be used to scoop, and to wrap around pieces of meat to pick them up in
the same way that flat bread is used in other cultures. Ugali should be eaten by
hand, with some sort of meat and soup.
Ugali is relatively inexpensive and is thus easily
accessible to the poor who usually combine it with a vegetable stew or meat stews and makes a filling meal. Ugali is easy to make and
the flour can last for considerable time in average conditions. Maize from which
the flour is obtained is hardy and will grow reliably in dry seasons. For these
reasons, ugali is an important part of the diet of millions of people of Sub
Ugali is similar to
fufu from West Africa,
polenta from Italy and
grits from the southern United States.