By Ireen Sumbatala, cook in SALEM Uganda and at the moment volonteer with Salem International in Stadtsteinach.
In Uganda,before sunrise, most people would have woken up to go to their gardens. They carry along hoes, pangas, jerrycans, or pots for water. After digging, the pangas are used for cutting firewood and making bundles. The people, mainly women, fetch water for cooking in the jerrycans and this they carry on their heads at times with a small bundle of firewood on top of the jerrycan, back home. Afterwards the woman picks a container mostly a traditional basket, and goes to look for food from the garden. Food like sweet potatoes, matooke, cassava, maize, yams, rice, millet and vegetables, possibly with friuts. These foods can be steamed, smoked, boiled separately or together. An example is steamed matooke with rice and groundnut sauce.
You go to the plantations, cut the bunch from the stem of matooke, bring home with some banana leaves as well. Remove the clusters from the stalk. Get cold water in a big saucepan and peel the bananas with a knife while putting in water, wash afterwards. Meanwhile get the stalk and from it cut in small pieces and line in another saucepan for cooking. Add water and put one banana leaf. Get rice sorted, so that all stones are removed.Wash the rice and put it in quite a smaller saucepan, add salt and pour enough water for cooking the rice. Then put the saucepan with rice on top of the matooke in the big saucepan and cover with the rest of the banana leaves.
Make fire by putting three stones slightly apart to form a triangle shape, put firewood and light fire and cook.
While cooking, there will be steam coming out from the top of the banana leaves. The banana leaves are green when fresh and to know that the food is ready, they will turn to brown colour. Afterwards remove the saucepan from fire, uncover and surprinsingly the rice will be cooked as well. Mash the matooke or leave it as it is and serve with dried greens in groundnut sauce.
Next month you will be tought how to make a dry green groundnut sauce.