Kenyan Ugali

Embark on a culinary journey to East Africa with this traditional Kenyan Ugali recipe.

As a staple dish in Kenyan cuisine, Ugali holds a special place in the hearts and homes of many Kenyans.

Made from simple ingredients such as maize flour and water, Ugali is not only economical but also hearty and satisfying.

Whether enjoyed with a savory stew or as an accompaniment to grilled meats, Ugali is a versatile and comforting dish that embodies the rich cultural heritage of Kenya.

Let’s explore the recipe and learn how to prepare this beloved East African delicacy.

Kenyan Ugali
Photo by bonchan from Getty Images via canva pro


  • 2 cups maize flour (also known as cornmeal or semolina)
  • 4 cups water


  1. Prepare the Cooking Pot:
    • Place a large cooking pot on the stovetop and pour in the water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add Maize Flour:
    • Once the water is boiling, gradually add the maize flour to the pot, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or whisk to prevent lumps from forming.
  3. Stir and Cook:
    • Continue stirring the mixture vigorously until it thickens and begins to pull away from the sides of the pot. This process usually takes about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Reduce Heat and Simmer:
    • Once the Ugali has reached a thick, porridge-like consistency, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the Ugali to simmer gently for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Shape and Serve:
    • Once the Ugali is cooked to perfection, remove the pot from the heat.
    • To serve, wet your hands with cold water and scoop a portion of the hot Ugali onto your palm. Shape it into a smooth, round mound or form it into a flat disc, depending on your preference.
  6. Enjoy:
    • Ugali is traditionally served as a starchy accompaniment to a variety of dishes such as sukuma wiki (braised collard greens), nyama choma (grilled meat), or fish stew. Serve it hot and enjoy the comforting flavors of this classic East African dish.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe:

  • Simple and Affordable: Made from just maize flour and water, Ugali is an economical and budget-friendly dish that’s accessible to everyone.
  • Versatile: Ugali can be paired with a wide range of dishes, making it a versatile and adaptable staple in Kenyan cuisine.
  • Comforting and Satisfying: With its hearty texture and mild flavor, Ugali is a comforting and satisfying dish that’s perfect for any meal of the day.
  • Cultural Experience: By preparing Ugali at home, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the rich culinary traditions of Kenya and connect with its vibrant cultural heritage.

Kenyan Ugali is more than just a simple dish—it’s a symbol of Kenyan identity and tradition.

Whether enjoyed with family and friends or savored on its own, Ugali embodies the spirit of

East African cuisine and offers a taste of the warm hospitality and vibrant flavors of Kenya.

So why not bring a taste of Africa to your table and enjoy the comforting simplicity of Ugali tonight?