Life at Sseko, The Ugandan Cookbook, Uganda

Morning Tea at Sseko

The moment the door to the Sseko workshop opens each morning, there is a flurry of activity as everyone rises from their seats on the front stoop and rushes into the break room to set the water boiling for tea. While the kettles bubble away, Matilda fills the mugs with a sprinkle of loose leaf tea- and a heaping spoonful of sugar.

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Container lids pop and plastic bags rustle, and the air is filled with scent of baked, fried and steaming foods, nearly a different dish for every woman in the room.

This is tea time, a morning ritual throughout Uganda, and the perfect way to start off a Sseko day. It’s also a perfect way to introduce some of Uganda’s staple foods and get a glimpse into what fuels our ladies up for a full morning of beading or sandal making.

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Banana & boiled egg:
Bananas in Uganda are an experience in and of themselves, so much tastier than the supermarket standard. These and hardboiled eggs are readily available from roadside vendors.

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Cassava:
Plain or batter-coated like these, deep fried cassava is a delicious starchy treat. Cassava is the root part of a small, tree-like plant, and tastes a bit like french fries.

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Cassava and Odii:
Boiled cassava also makes a nice accompaniment to odii, a paste made from roasted peanuts and sesame seeds.

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Mandazi:
Sometimes called donuts, these bits of fried dough come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are not nearly as sweet as their western counterparts.

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Buns:
These bread rolls have just a little extra sugar for a touch of sweetness.

Porridge:
Made from millet, rice, soya or maize flour, warm water or milk, and a touch of sugar, this is an easy morning staple, similar to cream of wheat. Sharon’s is made from millet and milk.

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Chapati:
This soft, savory flatbread is fried on a plate of hot oil. It can be eaten alone or used to scoop up other foods, but either way, it’s delicious!

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