how to cook Ugandan Steamed Matooke


steamed Matooke is one of the favourite staple foods of Uganda; it was traditionally hyped by the Baganda in central Uganda as their staple food but has currently become a national food. There is no Ugandan buffet that is served without matooke. In this write up therefore we shall learn how to make steamed matooke recipe, Ugandan food.

  Matooke is known by different names in Different tribes Matooke / amatooke originating from the Buganda region, ekitooke in parts of the west by the Banyankole, kamatoore by the Bagishu in eastern Uganda.

bunches of matooke for sale in Uganda

What Is Matooke?

Matooke is a type of banana that grows in the East African highlands in the great lakes region. It is harvested green when mature and is cooked before it ripens.   Matooke is grown and eaten as staple national food in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi.

In Uganda, the name banana is preserved for the edible yellow banana fruit, while matooke is specifically for the green bananas that are cooked as food. The common dishes are katogo, steamed matooke, and matooke and groundnut sauce

steamed matooke served with vegetables
steamed Matooke served with vegetables on a white plate

How to cook steamed matooke

2 clusters of Matooke

4 banana leaves

step by step Method of steaming Ugandan food matooke

Peeled matooke arranged neatly on a Banana leaf
peeled matooke arranged neatly on a Banana leaf

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.

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 the matooke will burn.  If you need to add water push a stick down from the side of the saucepan and direct water straight to the bottom of the saucepan. 

steamed matooke served on a basket
steamed matooke served on a basket

The leaves will have turned from green to brown by the time the matooke gets ready.   Now you can mash your matooke.

Put the matooke off the sauce of heat and remove the top 2 covers. Use one cover for pressing all around the matooke as you mash it with each press you make. The cooked matooke is soft so you will not need a lot of energy for this process.

 You will need cold water nearby to avoid getting burnt and cool off the heating.  Traditionally ladies used their bare hands to mash up the matooke under the leaves but the use of newspapers and a clean kitchen towel is advisable to avoid getting burnt by the hot matooke.

Place a newspaper over the banana leaves as you prevent heat from getting to you.

When the matooke is fully pressed and mashed up cover it up properly and steam for at least 30 minutes over moderate heat.

steamed Matooke is mostly served and enjoyed hot before it cools down and gets hardened. You can enjoy matooke with the Ugandan groundnut stew, any meats like kigere/ molokoni, and vegetables.

steamed matooke served with meat and vegetables
steamed matooke served with meat and vegetables

do you love matooke as I do, read obut the matooke and groundnut sauce recipe next

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