Ugandan Kalo served on a plate
Ugandan Kalo served on a plate

Millet bread is a staple food of various regions and tribes in Uganda.  In the east, north and west. This staple food is not entirely made up of millet flour but a mixture of both millet and cassava. The ratios of cassava to millet has over the years increased due to scarcity of millet and sorghum harvests, which declined due to poor harvest and weather in the Millet growing areas  Millet is a highly nutritious crop with minimal levels of sugar compared to cassava. Diabetic patients are advised to avoid cassava in their millet bread recipe and maintain only whole millet bread which is low in sugar.

Millet bread is made from a mixture of millet flour and cassava flour. Cassava is a carbohydrate and sweet, this adds a sweet taste to your millet bread.  Millet bread made out of only millet tends to be rough, with a blunt taste.

several pieces of cassava fresh from the garden
freshly harvested cassava from the garden

Millet bread is known by different names in each tribe and district but the common ones are, Kalo in central, akaro/oburo in western and sub western Uganda, kwon kal in the north, atapa by the itestost in the east, wita by the bagwere in the east.

Traditionally communities made the millet flour by grinding it between two stones to produce fine millet flour for use. The dry cassava was often pounded to produce the fairy fine flour. These methods have been replaced by grinding mills for cassava and millet flour in recent times leading to the demise of the grinding stone in many communities in Uganda.

Millet is known to be one of the healthiest foods in the world and is used to make gluten-free foods.

Ingredients for Ugandan Millet Bread

1½ cups of cassava flour

1 cup of millet flour

3 cups of water

a serving of Ugandan kalo and matooke on a white plate
Ugandan Kalo and matooke served on a white plate


Step 1

 On a high level of heat place your saucepan or cooking pot and add 3 cups of water. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on top of the water as you bring it to a boil. The flour will remain still until the water starts to boil.

Step 2

Mix your cassava flour with the millet flour and get ready to mingle.  A wooden mingling stick that is long enough will be favourable for use.

Step 3

When the water is fully boiling, reduce the heat to moderate. Add the mixture of cassava and millet flour to the boing water bit by bit as you mix. The mixture gets harder as you keep adding flour to it, mix and mingle in all sides to remove any flour air bubbles that may have formed

Step 4

When your food Kalo changes colour from white to dark brown and no white flour is seen then it is almost ready. Make sure the Kalo is not too soft and not too hard either.

Step 5

Kalo tends to be sticky and it will attach itself all around the saucepan, and the mingling stick. Use a plastic plate to clean the edges and sides of both the saucepan. Dip your plate in clean cold water and collect the Kalo from all around the saucepan and mingling stick. Keep dipping the plate in water as you work until you form a neat round ball.

Step 6

Transfer it to a plate or dish or basket or foil paper for serving. People from the eastern love to eat their Kalo hot, so Kalo is transferred to a fresh banana leaf and wrapped up tightly and left by the fireplace to keep hot until it is served. Wrap your Kalo in foil paper to replace the banana leaf.

Ugandan Kalo served in a basket
Ugandan Kalo served in a black and white basket

The Ugandans from the West and South West serve their Kalo on a basket, and sprinkle it with flour and prefer to eat it cold.

Kalo is eaten with groundnut stews and curry stews too, it can be eaten with vegetables, cow trotters stew (molokoni),milk sauces and sour milk commonly known as bongo in the east eshabwe in the west and yoghurt in English. Serve your millet bread with your favourite stew.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *