Thursday, May 18, 2017

Uganda: Chicken Luwombo and Bean Stew #CookingAroundtheWorldAdventure

May is a brutal month when I am constantly over-scheduled with the boys' schools and work. Needless to say, we haven't checked off one country per week as planned for our Cooking Around the World Adventure. But we can cross Uganda off our list! Slow and steady...we'll finish this project. Eventually.


About Uganda...
Uganda is a landlocked country that lies just above the Equator in East Africa. Its landscape envelopes the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains as well as the immense Lake Victoria. D read that its wildlife includes chimpanzees, hippos, as well as rare birds. Just over 35 million people inhabit the country and the official languages are English and Swahili. 

On Our Plates...
I initially planned to make three dishes, but I was running late and didn't have time to stop for plantains. So, I only managed to serve two dishes from Uganda: Chicken Luwombo and a Bean Stew. Luwombo is a ubiquitous dish that is found at most traditional Ugandan ceremonies and, when it comes to Luwombo, the variations are practically limitless. All of the ingredients are simply combined and allowed to marinate in the banana leaves as they bake.

Chicken Luwombo

Ingredients serves 4, makes 8 packets
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (cubed)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cubed
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 C tomato sauce
  • 1/4 C peanut butter
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • 1/4 t ground coriander
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • also needed: banana leaves and 100% cotton twine

Place banana leaves and twine cut to 18" length on a cutting board. Set aside.

Melt butter in the olive oil and add in the onions. Cook until they are softened and beginning to turn translucent. Stir in the chicken and cook until no more pink remains. Add in the tomato sauce, peanut butter, and stock. Bring to a boil. Stir in the spices and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is thickened.

Place 1/3 C filling in the center of the banana leaf. Fold the edges of the banana leaf over the stuffing and roll the banana leaf to form a packet. Tie the packets with the twine.

Place the packets in a large pot, suspended over water. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot tightly and steam for 60 minutes. Each diner opens the banana leaf of his or her own before eating.

Serve the Luwombo hot with rice, matooke or any other side of your choice. We served it with a bean  stew and steamed brown rice.

Bean Stew

  • 2 C cooked beans (I used white beans)
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 C tomato sauce
  • 1/2 C stock (I used chicken stock)
  • 1/4 C fresh herbs, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in pan, then add the onions. Cook until the onions are softened and beginning to turn translucent. Pour in tomato sauce and stock. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Add in beans and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, adding more stock if it's too dry. Before serving, season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in herbs.

Serve with rice.

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