A Visit in Eastern Uganda-Malewa(Bamboo Shoots) Sauce

These edible bamboo trees are a special kind tree that grow in the wild regions in eastern Uganda around Mt. Elgon. They are harvested when still young and soft. Malewa is smoked bamboo shoots which are dried for preservation.

Malewa (smoked bamboo) forms the major ingredient of the Malewa /dish.

It originated from Eastern Uganda in the Bugisu sub-region (area occupied by the Bagisu Tribe people) in the Mt Elgon region.  It was originally eaten as food and later it started to be cooked as a sauce when mixed with ground simsim (sesame seed) or peanuts.

Malewa is a traditional sauce for the Bagisu people.

It is typical to find some pieces of Malewa in the store of a Mugisu family regardless of where they stay.

It is a delicious sauce when prepared well. Actually some people eating it for the first time might think they have eaten pasted smoked fish.

Ingredients Include;

  • Malewa (the smoked bamboo shoot)
  • Water
  • Soda ash (locally made by sun drying Matooke/Banana peels and then burning them to form ash) or Rock Salt or Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Peanut paste

The Below steps may be followed when preparing Bamboo Shoots

 Malewa is boiled in water to clean it (or soaked overnight to make it softer before cleaning it) and then the joints (which stay hard even after the boiling or soaking) of the shoot are cut off leaving the middle parts (which become softer after boiling or soaking) are cut into smaller pieces.

Rock salt or Baking soda or Soda Ash is added to the boiled malewa to make it more tender. Finally peanut paste and salt are added and the sauce is simmered to acquire taste.

The sauce can be served with either Matooke (Cooked green bananas), Cassava, Sweet potatoes, rice, Posho -or any food as the consumer my prefer.

Also read:

Shamirah Naava

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