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Larry Madowo tastes pan-fried ugali during flight & withdraws initial skepticism

Larry Madowo suggests that it's only referred to as ugali when prepared using a mwiko (wooden stirring stick).

Larry Madowo

Media personality Larry Madowo, on October 8, shared his flight experience on the X app, particularly highlighting his encounter with a dish he humorously referred to as 'ugali mwitu'.

Madowo began by posting an image of himself on the plane with his meal, commenting that Emirates planes now serve pan-fried ugali on their Nairobi flights.

"Emirates has pan-fried ugali on Nairobi flights. I desperately wanted to hate this abomination," Madowo wrote.


Despite initially expressing skepticism about the pan-fried ugali, Madowo was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually sweet. He even went so far as to express his desire for the recipe to make the meal himself.

However, while Madowo admitted that he enjoyed the dish, he couldn't help but ponder what the original name of the pan-fried ugali might be.

"According to an ancient law, it’s not ugali if you don’t make it with a mwiko. So what do we call this cake-like thing?" Madowo added.

Madowo's fans responded to him in the comment section, offering suggestions for what he had actually consumed.


On the other hand, some took the opportunity to make light-hearted jokes about the situation, humorously remarking that Kenyans could easily organize a demonstration for missing ugali on planes.

"They know Kenyans can hold a demonstration with sufuria kichwani if they don't see ugali on their menu," Reema-MinjBen wrote.

"What is ugali ugali? According to our tradition ugali is not made or even fried in a pan! I would abhor that as well," Githinji Kiamboni wrote.


Ugali is a staple food, particularly in the Western part of Kenya and some areas of the Nyanza region.

Ugali is made from a mixture of water and maize flour, and the following are the steps on how to cook ugali.

  1. Begin by bringing water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Gradually add maize flour to the boiling water.
  3. Allow the water and flour mixture to continue boiling for a few minutes.
  4. Start stirring the mixture with a long wooden spoon.
  5. As you stir, add more maize flour to the mixture.
  6. Continue stirring and adding flour until the mixture begins to thicken.
  7. To prevent burning your hands, use mittens or a cloth to hold the pot.
  8. Keep folding the flour into the mixture. The ugali will gradually become firmer and more challenging to turn.
  9. Periodically press the ugali against the wall of the pot with the spoon and then mix it back into the middle of the pot. Repeat this process several times.
  10. Once the ugali reaches the desired consistency and thickness, let it stay in the middle of the pot.
  11. Reduce the heat to low and allow the ugali to cook for a few more minutes.
  12. Periodically press out and return the ugali to the middle of the pot.

Note: The amount of water depends with the number of people present.


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