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Ugali is like a porridge but much more dense made from white maize meal or maize flour. It is the staple diet of the indigenous people of East Africa. Ugali or Nsima as it is known in Kenya, is generally enjoyed with a vegetable and/or meat stew.
5 from 11 votes
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Main Meal
Cuisine Kenyan
Servings 2


  • 1 cup maize meal / corn meal
  • 2 cups normal water


  • Heat water over medium heat in a deep pan. Make sure you take a pan with a handle.
  • Sprinkle about 1 tbsp of the maize meal while the water comes to a boil.
  • Add the maize meal or cornmeal and keep on stirring with a strong wooden spoon.
  • Keep stirring and pressing the mixture against the sides of the pan to break up the lumps.
  • As the mixture becomes thicker, it becomes more difficult to mix but keep mixing and breaking up the lumps.
  • The mixture with begin to come away from the sides of the pan.
  • Allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • At this point either transfer the ugali to a platter from the pan. Place the plate over the pan and turn it upside down.
  • Or you can transfer to a small heatproof bowl. Pat it down into shape. Place a plate over the bowl and turn it over.
  • Enjoy piping hot ugali with your favourite stew or curry.


  • It is important to keep mixing the mixture and break up the lumps. Don't serve ugali with lumps.
  • For a softer consistency, add ½ - 1 cup extra water.
  • Best to prepare Ugali just before you are about to have your meal.
  • Cooking Time will vary according to the quantity of ingredients used.
Keyword how to prepare ugali, ugali recipe