Food

Luwombo love – the unofficial story

There is a universal saying that the way to a man’s heart is through their stomach. I am told that is still up for debate. The Baganda from Central Uganda have a saying that you should never ask a husband why he is home late.

Baganda people at a ceremony

It is assumed that wherever your husband is, he is working hard to make a living. Our mothers were cautioned never to start a quarrel when a man comes home late. Simply serve his dinner and wait for him to explain himself which he didn’t have to anyway.

A young woman preparing matooke today

A young woman preparing matooke today

Of course, some husbands took advantage of this and stayed out really late. This meant that when they got home, their dinner would be cold and their wives had to begin the unenviable task of relighting the fire. Over time, this became quite inconveniencing. Our mothers knew men are creatures of comfort. They always return to a place where they are most comfortable. This remix version of ‘don’t tell don’t not ask’ policy led to the invention of Luwombo. The royals will say that this meal belongs to them but I beg to differ.

Chicken Luwombo

Chicken Luwombo

Traditionally, Luwombo is composed of very simple ingredients that somehow turns into an awesome stew with a bewitching flavour and aroma. To make Luwombo, you need either beef, chicken, fish, groundnuts or mushrooms plus onions, tomatoes, water and seasoned with salt.

This mixture is then carefully wrapped in pre-prepared banana leaves with no split, put in a large pan lined with various materials to stop the boiling water from touching the stew and steamed for hours on a slow heat.

Ready to be steamed

Ready to be steamed

Here is a lady narrating her experience with making Luwombo

There different types of Luwombo. If you have the patience and time you can try a different recipe each time.

You can also use vegetables to make luwombo

You can also use vegetables to make luwombo

Yum yum

Yum yum

As you can tell by now, making Luwombo is very complicated and time-consuming. It is for this very reason why it was perfect for husbands and guests. The wives would leave the Luwombo on fire for as long as their husbands took to come home. Eventually, husbands couldn’t wait to get home to a delicious meal of Luwombo. As he ate and smacked his lips, the wives sat patiently and basked in their husband’s pleasure creating a simple and lasting love. Over time, this tradition evolved into a meal for guests.

Lunch is served

Lunch is served

When you next visit Uganda which I hope you’ll, don’t forget to order for Luwombo.

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Our Correspondent
Cult Uganda correspondent
Pamela - Kampala

I am a Student of Life. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. I have an eclectic taste in taste in music, I won't watch horror films and I like to create things. Some work, most don't, but that's okay; the pleasure ...

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About Uganda
About this place

Continent: Africa
Capital: Kampala
Population: 33,398,700
Area: 236,040 km2
Currency: Shilling
Languages: English

Time in Kampala
1:14 am

Weather in Kampala
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Distance from you
11,700km