Acholi Recipes: Cabbage, Binyeba, Irish and Mucele

Our first week in Uganda we have been blessed with Beatrice, our house help, who has been excited to teach us all things Acholi.

Starting with Acholi recipes.

I actually thought that the Acholi diet would be lacking, but from what I can see all the essential proteins, fats and carbs are there. Along with a decent variety of vegetables and tropical fruits. So much for my “starving children in Africa” theory… guess cleaning my plate in the states wasn’t helping anyone ;-).

Below is the first batch of many recipes that I will be learning in the near future. I’ve included the Acholi name if there is one and I estimated the measurements. Personally, I would cut back on the oil on all of these recipes, you don’t actually need that much…. They just really like oil.

Acholi Sauteed Cabbage
– 3 cups Shredded Cabbage
– 1/2 small red onion sliced
– 2 roma tomatoes chopped in big chunks
– 1/2 green bell pepper chopped
– 1T oil
– 2 tsp salt

In a frying pan, fry the onions until soft. Add the cabbage and bell pepper and cook over medium/low heat till softened. Add tomatoes and cook on low. Smash the tomatoes as you cook and stir the vegetables. Tomato juice will color everything a little red and that how you know you are done. Add salt and combine. Remove from heat and serve.

Binyeba (G-nut Sauce)
– 1.5 Tbsp oil
– 1 T salt
– 1/2 small red onion chopped
– 1 roma tomato chopped
– 4 cups water
– 3 cups g-nut flour***

In a saucepan on low heat, add oil. Add onions and cook until softened. Add tomatoes till softened, smash them as you cook them. Add 4 cups of water and g-nut flour. Simmer on high heat and stir till thick. If the g-nut sauce is not getting thick enough add more g-nut flour a half cup at a time. Add the flour by mixing with 1/2 cup water in a small bowl then dump into pot. If you add the g-nut flour without pre-mixing it it gets clumpy. Add salt and serve.

*** In Uganda, g-nuts are actually peanuts. G-nuts are short for ground nuts… because they grow in the ground.

Irish (Fried Potatoes)
– 4 cups potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
– 1 tomato chopped
– 1/2 small red onion diced
– 2 tsp salt
– water

In a large saucepan on medium/high heat add oil. Add in onions and cook until softened and turning brown. Add tomato and smash as they soften. Add potatoes and raise heat to high. Fry potatoes for 2 minutes. Add salt and combine. Add water to pot till potatoes are almost covered with the water, but not floating. Cover the pot and boil potatoes on high till water is gone. Remove from heat and serve.

Mucele (rice)

2 cups rice
5 cups water
1 T oil
1 T salt

Combine all in a pot and boil uncovered till water is absorbed. (she didn’t have a solution for rice sticking to the bottom of the pot. đŸ˜¦ I was really hoping for a solution to that.)

You can combine all 4 dishes in a bowl and eat it with your hands like the Acholi or you can separate it like we did and eat with a fork like a Muzumgu (foreigner). 
If you make any of them let me know! Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Acholi Recipes: Cabbage, Binyeba, Irish and Mucele

  1. To stop rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot here is what you can do. Take your pot and put some oil in the bottom. Fry the rice until you see white spots start to pop up on the rice. Then add your water. Bring it to a boil and then as soon as the water starts to roll, COVER IT, lower the heat and bring it to a simmer until you see bubble marks on the top. Or you can do it like me and shake it around till you dont see water :D. Just make sure you keep the top on. Fluff and eat!

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