how to cook Ugandan Steamed Matooke


Matooke and groundnut sauce are exceptionally delicious and popular dishes in Uganda.  It can be served as a heavy breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  In this write up we, therefore, have a look at the Ugandan matooke and groundnut sauce recipe in detail.

Steaming the Matooke Recipe

We shall cook our matooke by steaming it in banana leaves which is the traditional way of cooking the matooke in Uganda. However, with the growing change in technology and modification of cooking ware, the steam pan is used by those residing in urban areas to steam their matooke.

What you need for steaming the matooke

  • 2 clusters of Matooke
  • 4 banana leaves
  • Banana stalks/cassava cuttings

Step by step process of steaming the matooke

Before cooking the matooke

Peel the matooke one by one carefully as you drop it in cold clean water to prevent it from browning.

Remove the hard middle part from the banana leaves and fold your banana leaves evenly

Select a saucepan that is big enough to hold your matooke in addition to the leaves for steaming

Set up your saucepan by placing banana stalks under the saucepan, in modern times short evenly chopped sticks are placed under the saucepan, these will prevent the matooke from getting soaked in water.

Pour water 2-3 cups of water into the saucepan and then make a base for the matooke.

Fold a banana leaf neatly and place it above the banana stalks or sticks. Place another banana leaf above it.

Wash your matooke and place it above the banana leave and wrap it over to cover the top.

With the 2 remaining banana leaves cover the top of the matooke by tucking the banana leaves all around the saucepan.

Cooking the matooke

Place the saucepan over a sauce of heat most preferable to a charcoal stove. And bring the matooke to boil. Let it boil for 1 hour or more. Ensure that the water does not run out from the bottom as it will burn.  If you need to add water push down a wooden spoon from the side of the saucepan to create a hollow gap, then pour water through the gap to the bottom of the saucepan. 

The banana leaves will have turned from green to brown by the time the matooke gets ready.  

 Mashing the matooke

Put the matooke off the heat. Remove the top 2 banana leaf covers. Use one leaf for mashing the matooke and set the other one aside.

To mash the matooke, fold the banana leaf neatly and press all around your matooke in the saucepan, this ill mash up your matooke press down until you form a round mount of matooke.

You don’t need a lot of energy for this process.  But you will need cold water nearby. This will come in handy when you get burnt and when you need to cool off the heat on your hands.

Place a newspaper over the banana leaves as you mash the matooke, this will act as a heat insulator as you do the mashing.

When the matooke is fully pressed and mashed up cover it up properly and steam for at least 30 minutes over moderate heat. As the matooke steams we can now make our groundnut sauce

Groundnut sauce Recipe

Ingredients for the groundnut sauce

  • 4 tablespoons of groundnut paste
  • 1 cup of cold water
  •  ½ cup of warm Water
  • 1 onion
  • Salt to taste

Step by step process of making the groundnut stew

Mix 4 tablespoons of groundnut paste with warm water and stir until it fully dissolves into the water.  Warm water will dissolve the paste faster than cold water.

 Add 1 cup of cold water to the solution and place it on medium to low heat.  And start stirring frequently to prevent the groundnut paste from sticking to the bottom of your cooking pot. Note that the ground nuts will immediately start burning after they stick to your pan.

Cook the stew until it starts producing oil on top, you can now cut in your onions and add salt to taste. Wait for more than five minutes or 10.

Serving The Matooke and Groundnut Sauce

Matooke is served while it is steaming hot and eaten hot or warm. This is because the matooke hardens as it cools down.  Serve your matooke on a plate and cover it with a banana leaf on top to maintain the heat. Scoop small amounts of matooke onto a large ceramic plate, add the ground nut sauce, then garnish with vegetables.

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