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Ugali with beef stew and jackfruit stir-fry recipe

Ugali is a Kenyan delicacy. But what is it, and how do you cook with it?

8w ago

Ugali, also known as bogobe pap or nshima, is a type of maize or cassava flour porridge made in Africa. It is soft in taste, and has a corny aroma. I've made this simple and satisfying dish with a beef stew and jackfruit stir-fry.

Ugali (Nshima) with Beef Stew and Jackfruit Stir-fry

Simple and satisfying, this cornmeal dish from Kenya, called Ugali, is the perfect accompaniment to soups, stews, and curries.

Prep time5min
Cook time35min


  • 4 Cups water (2 for ugali and 2 for beef stew)
  • 4-5tbsp Corn Meal or Semolina
  • 250gms Beef Cubes
  • 200gms Jackfruit (I got mine ready to eat from a store)
  • 2 medium Onion
  • 1 Tomato
  • 3-4 Curry Leaves
  • 1teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 3 Green or Red chilies
  • 3 Garlic cloves and a small piece of Ginger (or you can use ginger-garlic paste)
  • 2tbsp Grated Coconut (optional)
  • Seasoning (salt, black pepper, red chili flakes, cumin powder, turmeric powder, curry powder and lemon juice)


It is made by cooking corn meal, or you can use semolina in boiling water.

  1. Ugali: Boil 2 cups of water. Once the water comes to a boil, gradually in batches from one hand pour 5tbsp of corn meal or semolina and from the other hand continuously keep stirring the mixture to avoid lumps. Sprinkle salt and 1teaspoon oil, keep stirring until you get a gooey dough like texture. Now with a help of a ladle or a hollow bowl, scoop out small amount of the gooey dough and shape the dough by moving the ladle or a bowl in a circular motion, to form a ball shape. Allow it cool, as cooling helps to form a firm texture.
  2. Beef Stew: In a sauce pan, heat 3tbsp oil, add 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped chili, 2 chopped garlic cloves and a small piece of ginger (or 1tbsp ginger-garlic paste). Cook until soft, add beef cubes, chopped tomato, pinch of salt,1tbsp lemon juice, 1tbsp black pepper, 1tbsp red chili flakes, 1teaspoon turmeric powder, 1teaspoon cumin powder and 1tbsp curry powder.
  3. Jackfruit Stir-fry: I got a ready to cook jackfruit so it was really easy for me to make this. Heat 2tbsp oil in pan, splutter 1teaspoon mustard seeds, add 1chopped onion, 1chopped garlic clove, small piece of chopped ginger, 2chopped chilies, curry leaves and grated coconut, sauté until the onions are soft. Add Jackfruit pieces from the packet, mix well and cook for 2 minutes. Garnish with a handful of cilantro/coriander and black sesame.

Recipe Notes

You can enjoy Ugali anytime in 5 minutes with your favorite curries and sides. It adds variety to your meals and always cook to impress :)

Recipe by

Aliya Zanfer

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Comments (17)

  • Thanks for sharing!

      1 month ago
    • I am happy to share on FoodTribe as always John and thank you for all your support too.

        1 month ago
  • I would love to try and hear more about food from Africa

      1 month ago
    • I am learning too .I Heard about this dish from a Kenyan bar tender the other day. So thought Ill try it out and share it with you all

        1 month ago
    • Cool, I only know a little about African food because I use it for a story

        1 month ago
  • Well, I just learned something new! Totally agree with what Gordon Ramsey said once, "I'm still learning. I am only aware of 97% of ingredients!"

      1 month ago
    • Melbourne is home to large Sudanese population. I think, I have to explore their shops and restaurants! Ah, always something new. What a wonderful world we live in!!!

        1 month ago
    • Absolutely. Glad you liked it.

      So much to learn always

        1 month ago
  • I was surprised they also used jackfruit in their dish. We in the Phil usually used it in desserts and the unripe one with coconut milk and shrimp for meal

      1 month ago
  • This looks good and sounds very flavorful!

      1 month ago