Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ugali (Kenya)

I meet Paul Rottich in the Student Union at UAA. He is hunched over one of the several monstrous textbooks lying open on his table, studying for his Statistics class. A native of Kenya, Paul was one of the first in the slew of the Kenyans recruited by the Seawolves' coach Michael Friess to run for the University. He has just returned from Yakima, WA, where he helped the Seawolves to their conference victory with his eighteenth-place finish in the 5 mile race. After four years on the XC Running Team, Paul is now in his final semester of studies, finishing his degree in Finance.

Despite being hard at work, Paul is happy to take the time to chat with me about life in Kenya and to record a recipe for their staple dish: ugali.

"We eat it every day," he tells me.

In elemental terms, ugali is cornmeal and water. But Paul notes that it is often served with vegetables, such as kale, cabbage, spinach, or beets, and milk.

"We used to have a goat, but now my family owns a cow, so we get more milk," Paul tells me.

To make ugali, follow this simple recipe:

(1) Cornmeal
(2) Water

(1) Cooking stick
(2) Cooking pot

(1) Pour water into pot and boil
(2) Add cornmeal
(3) Reduce heat
(4) Stir with cooking stick until it thickens
(5) Turn off heat, cover with a plate, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes
(6) Serve it
(7) No spices

"Ugali is an African meal made by mixing cornmeal and water only." "Mix it until you can smell it. It usually has a smell that indicates it's almost ready."

1 comment:

  1. Sounds a lot like grits. Thanks for sharing this.