(Pap, Sadza, Nsima, Nshima, Sima, Sembe, Kaunga, Dona, Posho, Chima, Ubugali, Bugali, Meliepap, Tuozafi, Saab, Sakoro, Sakora, Couscous de Cameroon)

This unique, polenta-like side dish is a Tanzanian favorite, traditionally served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Made by rolling a tiny bit of creamy, thick cornmeal paste (made from cooked white maize) in a hand until it forms into a ball, and making an indentation in it with a thumb, ugali becomes an edible spoon that is often dipped into various stews and sauces.

The sign of a good ugali is that it doesn’t stick to your fingers. The whole thing is usually dipped in a savory sauce, then placed in the mouth for consumption. Ugali is more than just a taste, it is a food culture in itself. This dish is usually served with whatever meat is available, mashed vegetables, stews, or sour milk.

Found throughout Africa, it is not just a Tanzanian dish: in South Africa, it’s called pap, in Zimbabwe, sadza, and in Zambia, it’s called nshima. Regardless of the name, its popularity as an African side dish is unrivaled.



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