Posho, Ugali, ...

Here is a recipe I wrote yesterday after reading about a request for a posho recipe in the recipe forum. This is meant to give a start for people who have never prepared it. Those who have never used any measurements, but their experience would probably frown at this, but that’s ok. 😉


  • 500 g white maize flour (yellow does not taste good! ;))
  • 1 litre water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (enough to taste)
  • For: 3
  • Preparation: 15 min
  • Ready in: 15 min


  1. You will need a strong wooden or plastic utensil suitable for mingling a very stiff mixture.What you need mingle: a robust wooden or plastic spoon, ...
  2. Bring the water with the salt to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium.
  3. Carefully and slowly pour the flour into the pan while vigorously mixing to avoid any lumps forming, to form a smooth mixture. You will note that it very rapidly thickens to a very stiff consistency. You will need to hold the pan down with one hand.
  4. Keep mixing and turning for 5 - 7 minutes. Look at the middle picture to see what it should roughly look like. The heat should be such that you can mingle for that length of time without the layer at the bottom getting burnt. Using a teflon pan is best as nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Serve hotPosho, ugali, kawunga, sadza ... result


Posho/Ugali made with semolina (Grieß, German), for those with no maize flour

If you have no way of measuring the ingredients, this is what has worked for me: 1 measure of flour requires a little less than twice the volume of water. So 1 cup of flour needs about 2 cups of water. You may need to experiment a bit …

Since posho takes a very short time to get ready, the sauce should be ready before preparing it, unless you have a way of keeping it warm. In some Ugandan communities, this is achieved by wrapping it banana leaves & steaming it, which apparently gives it a fine aroma.Posho goes well with different meat & fish sauces as well as with vegetables such as “sukuma wiki”, groundnut sauce and much more.

Posho is best made with white maize flour, but those who do not have access to it (mainly outside Africa) use yellow maize/corn flour, which to me does not taste as good. In some European countries, many Africans use semolina, known as “Weizengrieß” in German, otherwise used to make puddings & pasta as a substitute.

Some people susbsitute part of the water with milk. I have not tried it, yet.

Posho is eaten in many parts of Africa and is a staple in many communities. Some of the names for it apart from Posho: Kawunga (Luganda), busiima (Lugisu), obusima (Samya), bando (Lugwere), Ugali (Swahili), Nshima (Zambia), sadza, mealie pap, etc. There may be some variation in the way it is prepared.


More information from other (external) sources:

How to make Posho/Ugali/Kawunga/Busiima/Nshima

3 thoughts on “How to make Posho/Ugali/Kawunga/Busiima/Nshima

  • 03/07/2015 at 12:34

    Comments to the video to this recipe copied & pasted from Youtube:

    • Maurice Wahinya 9 months ago
      The heavy duty wooden spoon is called “mwiko” in swahili!
    • EvaKroells Kroells 1 year ago
      best food ever together with a nice stew!!!
    • Electro 1 year ago
      Save us from “kwony” a.k.a ugali.
    • Collette Stevenson Shared on Google+ · 1 year ago
    • Mary Ann Ndwanyi 1 year ago
      when i was in Rwanda i brought home two of those spoons as you can’t find them here. about to use for first time. 🙂
    • Mary Ann Ndwanyi 1 year ago
      btw, to response to leftysergeant, i do believe fu-fu is Cassava flour ugali. but it may be used interchangeable as ugali is in east africa.
    • Mary Ann Ndwanyi 1 year ago
      great video. Thanks. my husband is not home and i want to make myself. This gave me confidence 🙂
    • leftysergeant 4 years ago in reply to orbituganda
      @orbituganda It also appears in other forms with different kinds of meal or flour. West African fu-fu seems to be the same thing made with plantain or yams or manioc.
    • MegaSweetella 4 years ago
      @orbituganda thanks a lot for the video. I have always forllowed this video but in the end my kawunga is never fit for human consumption 🙂 I really need to master the art and will keep trying.
    • Morania 3 years ago
      The better word for heavy duty spoon is mwiko. Need one? I can get them. Not quickly, but I know where to find them.
    • orbituganda 2 years ago in reply to Solot2008
      Hi, thank you for the compliments. Regarding the amount of water, though – give your proportions a try. The 1 liter for 500g in this case is not a mere figure but those measures were used & many other times too. It can off course be a bit less or more, which affects the stiffness of the result, but if one does not deviate too much, a bit hard or soft ugali does not matter to most people as long as it is cooked. Mind sharing your results? Regards 🙂
    • orbituganda 4 years ago in reply to leftysergeant
      “Fufu” seems to be a west African word for foods that look like that, or probably that are “mingled” but the taste is quite different, depending on whether you are using maize flour, yams, cassava, etc …
    • Emjoh Media 4 years ago
      sembe or Ngima in Central Kenya.
    • Solot2008 2 years ago
      This is very good but I had issues with those measurements! 1/2 kg to 1 liter of water. I have to reduce the proportions and see what comes out. Asanta Sana
    • Kerry Abeni Park 2 years ago
      i made this tonight 😀 i love african foods, pounded yam too
    • Visu Iyer 2 years ago
    • Convo King 4 years ago
      he spelled service “suffice”
    • orbituganda 4 years ago in reply to Convo King
      “He” did NOT spell “service” as “suffice”, because suffice according to an English dictionary means => “be enough, be sufficient, be adequate, meet the needs of; satisfy” …. and that is what “he” said & wanted to say. 😉
    • orbituganda 4 years ago in reply to MegaSweetella
      As you see in my case, the result was acceptable & edible .. :p
      Practice makes perfect, so the saying goes.
      Having said that, where/when do things go wrong? 😉
    • Charity Veronica 2 years ago
      I hustled to learn how to cook Ugali when I was kid, but trust me this is one of the most satisfying foods ever especially if it is accompanied by heavy stew.
    • orbituganda 4 years ago in reply to Emjoh Media
      🙂 Good to know. It shows how widespread “ugali” is.
    • kooyawn00 4 years ago
      This is interesting – like a dense polenta.
  • 20/03/2019 at 01:22

    Thank you so much for this helpful information!

  • 20/03/2019 at 16:37

    Thank you for appreciating. I hope you enjoy(ed) and succeed(ed) making some for yourself … 😉


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