It’s usually made from white maize or corn. There’s a brown Ugali made from millet. This is mostly consumed by a particular Kenya tribe and the health conscious.
Some maize flour in Kenya is currently fortified with life-improving vitamins and minerals.
This is in line with the Kenya government's legislation on food fortification.
Some Kenya people
regard it highly and serving them anything else in a main meal is frowned
As some believe it’s not possible to satisfy their hunger with anything else.
This is especially common
among men who labor using a lot of energy. In such cases, it’s possible for a
woman to lose her man if she keeps on serving him foods like rice.
It is also a common believe among the tribes who have grown with maize meal since childhood.
Others, especially in the urban areas consume it because it’s easy to make.
Bring water to boil in a
sufuria (cooking pot). Add maize or corn meal and stir until it thickens into
porridge. Keep on stirring until it forms into a cake.
Turn it a few times in a span of 5-10 minutes. This should make it cook thoroughly and not burn.
The time depends on how fine the corn meal you are using is. The amount of your meal and the fire, are factors too.
It finally forms into a hard cake and is ready to be served.
It is served in most local hotels and restaurants. In these places it is possible to get a bit more, if on consuming the first serving you
All you need do is ask for Ugali saucer. Just a bit more, normally served in a saucer or side plate.
It is mainly consumed in the middle and lower classes of the
Though this is true to many, it’s also dependent on one's tribe and their cultural background.
It is mainly served with different meat and vegetable stews. This goes back to the cultural background and the economic status of the consumers.
Milk is also used in consuming maize meal. Either in its fresh or sour state (Maziwa mala in Swahili).
For the Luo people, it’s mainly served with fish. For the Luhya it’s a common practice to serve it with chicken. For pastoral communities, goat meat is served most of the time.
For the other Kenyans,
beef is commonly served and is also readily available from butcheries in many
A common feature in all
this is vegetables. These range from the popular sukuma wiki (kale), cabbages,
spinach, and all manner of traditional vegetables.
Beef is frequently
consumed in many households. This is due to the fact that one can buy as little
as a quarter of a kilo.
This is still too
expensive for most Kenyans and they make do with sukuma wiki (kale), or other
types of vegetables.
It is regularly served with Nyama Choma (roast beef or goat meat), Kuku choma (roast chicken) and Samaki (fish) in clubs and Nyama choma joints.
Ugali is named differently by the local Kenya tribes. It’s called Ngima in Kikuyu, Kuon in Luo and other numerous local names. It's also called sembe in Sheng.
It’s cheaper to buy maize
and process it in the small Posho mills. It’s coarser and takes more time when
cooking than the refined maize flour.
You will find people who prefer this meal in some rural and urban areas. It has been said that the unrefined maize meal has more nutritional value than the refined one.