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Kenyan Ugali

Otherwise known as Corn Fufu, this cornflour recipe is commonly used throughout Africa as a side dish, accompanying soups, stews and rich sauces. With only 2 ingredients this recipe is pretty easy to prepare, you just need a little elbow grease as there is quite a bit of stirring involved.


  • 4 cups cornflour
  • 6 cups water


Place a medium size pot over medium-high heat with 4 cups of water; bring to a boil. While the water is heating, pour 1 cup of water into a medium size mixing bowl and slowly stir in 1 cup of cornflour. Be careful to continue stirring as the flour will settle and form lumps.

When the water has boiled, reduce to heat to low and transfer 90% of the water to a large container that will enable you to eventually pour it back into the pot. With a spoon in one hand and the bowl of cornflour base in the other, slowly pour the cornflour base into the pot and stir. The mixture will expand rapidly, so be prepared to stir quickly to prevent any lumps from forming. Continue pouring portions of the reserved water into the pot along with small portions of the remaining cornflour, and continue stirring.

Once you have poured all but 1 cup of water into the pot, as well as all of the cornflour, place a lid on the pot and allow to sit for 5 minutes while it continues cooking. Then add a little water, and continue stirring for several minutes. Repeat this process 2 more times for a total cook and stir time of around 20 minutes.

When the cornflour appears to be well-saturated with no lumps, remove the pot from the heat. Line a small bowl with a 12 inch length of plastic wrap and scoop about 3/4 cup of the mixture into the bowl, gather the plastic wrap and form a ball of Ugali inside, twist and set aside. Continue this process until you have wrapped all of the Ugali. This side dish is best served with heavy sauces, soups and stews; break off portions of the Ugali with your hand to sop up the accompanying dishes. Use ugali much in the way you would use a flatbread like naan.

Portrait of a Maasai warrior in Kenya


Kenya recognizes over fifty tribes of native people. The Maasai were the most abundant tribe at beginning of 20th century, and now they are one of the very few tribes who have retained most of their traditional ways of life. The Maasai are semi-nomadic, like the wildlife they hunt, and they cover a large area. They herd cattle and goats, and live entirely off the land.