Ugali for the Soul

Ugali is a Kenyan staple.  It has been said that without ugali the people would starve.  Ugali is generally seen as “comfort food”.  It reminds Kenyans of home, family and community events. For some this basic foodstuff is at times the only guardian against hunger and starvation.

Ugali for the Soul” is the equivalent to the North American version of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”.  These are inspirational stories and news items that create good feelings and a sense of well being for people.  Ugali for the Soul is a collection of Kenyan happenings that will open the heart and rekindle the spirit.  These describe the new hope emerging in Kenya for a better future.  Ugali for the Soul also describes stories about how Canadian youth are opening up their hearts to Kenyan kids.

Ugali is an East African dish of maize flour (cornmeal) cooked with water to a porridge or dough-like consistency.

Ugali with beef and sauce

The traditional method of eating ugali  is to roll a lump into a ball with the right hand, and then dip it into a sauce or stew of vegetables or meat.  Making a depression with the thumb allows the ugali to be used to scoop, and to wrap around pieces of meat to pick them up in the same way that flat bread is used in other cultures.

Ugali is relatively inexpensive and is thus easily accessible to the poor who usually combine it with a vegetable stew (e.g. sukuma wiki in Kenya) or meat stews and makes a filling meal. Ugali is easy to make and the flour can last for considerable time in average conditions. Maize from which the flour is obtained is hardy and will grow reliably in dry seasons. For these reasons, ugali is an important part of the diet of millions of people of Sub Saharan Africa.

In Kenya, it is also known as kimyet in Kalenjin, ngima in Kikuyu, kuon in Luo, obusuma in Luhya and obokima in the Kisii language.