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Kenyan Porridge; Effortless Uji Recipe (Lump-Free)

27 March 2023 | Kenyan Recipes

Uji, especially in Kenya is a light porridge, thin in consistency that is drank rather than eaten. Unlike other porridges, its thickness can be adjusted to your liking. 

Uji Porridge

Kenyan uji is made from sorghum, millet, maize flours; or a combination blend of these. You can either use individual flours or mix them all in ratios of thirds.

The recipe is the same regardless of the flour choice. Served for breakfast or a hot beverage. And just like any porridge, it keeps you full for a longsay goodbye to hunger pangs

Finally, sorghum and millet are naturally gluten-free and nutritious as well.


Ingredients

  •  1 cup, flour of choice
  •  4 cups water
  •  1 cup milk (optional) if you skip milk then use 5 cups of water instead
  •  1tbs margarine or butter(optional)
  •  Sugar to taste or honey
  •  Lemon juice of 1 lemon or citric acid 1tbs (both optional)
  •  Cardamon and cinnamon are optional spices
  •  Garnishes: Fruits and nuts of your choice(optional)

Serves: 4   Cuisine: African     Total Time: < 20 minutes


Procedure

  1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil on high heat till bubbling and steaming start.
  2. Mix flour on the other cup of water in your trusty bowl till you get a smooth consistency paste or gravy kind. Mix  and swirl vigorously till everything is smooth with no lumps or clumps
  3. Add mixed flour to boiling water gradually while stirring with a wooden ladle or spoon (to avoid clumping and settlement of flour mixture at the bottom ) for like 3 minutes nonstop, like your life depends on it.
  4. Reduce heat to low whilst stirring non-stop for another 4 minutes, stir both clockwise and anticlockwise to get the best homogeneity 
  5. When the mixture starts bubbling and simmering you can stop stirring and it’s time for you to take a well-deserved break from stirring duty.
  6. Add milk, followed by margarine sugar, lemon juice, and spices at separate times say 10 seconds between each interval
  7. Cook for an additional 2 minutes till the thickness you desire is achieved, if you want thicker then proceed to bubble longer
  8. Serve warm  in a cup or a bowl
  9. Garnish with chopped or crushed nuts of your choice, chia seeds, banana slices, fruits, or a combination of all. You can skip all the garnishes as the authentic recipe doesn’t call for them 
  10. Enjoy your well-deserved uji porridge, however careful not to get burns. Uji is notorious for disguising…the outside temperature may seem ideal but once you take a sip, the inner layers will burn your tongue so bad that you won’t taste anything for 2 days 

Notes

  1. Just like in making any porridge, in uji; milk is optional but recommended for a creamier texture and richer taste. However, if you are calorie-conscious skip milk and use only water
  2. To make it lump-free, use warm water to combine flour in the bowl in making the paste, overly hot water will clump and so will cold water. Also in the stirring stage, do it continuously like your life depends on it
  3. For the fermented version of uji just mix the flour with water and keep it covered in a warm place and it is ready for use after 3 to 4 days. Optionally you can buy fermented uji flour from the supermarket, it is in a green package mostly and is called ujimix or sour porridge. But making your own fermented flour paste will always be better
  4. Lemon juice or citric acid adds that tanginess that compliments the uji further giving it a kick and more depth to the flavor profile
  5. You can adjust. the consistency of your porridge whilst cooking, if it is too thick then add more water, preferably hot water. If your uji is too thin, add more flour paste. Don’t add flour directly as it will lump up into balls
  6. Margarine and butter add richness and silkiness making your uji drink more smooth and velvety to have your mouth watering for your next sip 

Nutritional Information

Plain uji no butter, margarine, or milk. Keep in mind calories will be higher with the addition of either

Calories: 284

% Daily Value* Total Fat 0g 0% Saturated Fat 0g 0% Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 26mg 1% Total Carbohydrate 295.2g 107% Dietary Fiber 0g 0% Total Sugars 71.2g 

Vitamin D 0mcg 0% Calcium 495mg 38% Iron 13mg 70% Potassium 3300mg 70%

 *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Disclaimer

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and may vary based on ingredients, cooking methodology, and quantities used. This should only be used for informational purposes and not for dietary advice. 


Benefits of Uji Porridge

Nutrition: Porridge is packed with all whole grain goodness like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This will be vital in helping you achieve your minimum daily requirements. It is also gluten-free for sensitive individuals.

Budget Friendly: Yes, it is cheaper to prepare than your average milk tea. A 1Kg packet of uji flour will probably make you up to 20 cups of the drink

Comfort food: Who said comfort food has to be greasy fast food like pizza and french fries? Uji can pull that off, especially on a cold day, it just comforts you while keeping you warm. 

Plus it will keep you full for longer so that you can concentrate on productivity 

Cultural Significance: Uji is a breakfast choice in many traditional communities and tribes in Kenya. Consuming uji is one way to get in touch with your cultural heritage and a sense of belonging.


FAQs

What is uji power? This is just normal uji served in restaurants but infused with several other ingredients like pumpkin seeds and peanuts to make it ” more healthy”. It is advertised as so healthy but please take that with a grain of salt. No food would cure an underlying condition instantly

What is the best uji wimbi flour? For pure wimbi, the Soko brand is the best overall

Famila’s brand is equally good but not as rich and smooth as Soko’s. 

Both brands have pure and sour versions. The pure variants are all in brown packets while the sour are in green packets.

Jogoo also has uji flour but unlike Famila and Soko which are pure sorghum, Jogoo is a composite flour meaning; it contains portions of other flours; finger millet, sorghum, and maize flour all combined in one flour

Best baby porridge flour?  Toto Afya by Winnie’s Pure Health is generally the best and most loved. It stands out as it has other goodness added to it like milk powder and vital minerals and vitamins

Omena mix is another brand, it is porridge flour mixed with omena (Lake Victoria Sardines). Omena addition is vital since it enriches the flour with Omega 3 fatty acids that are crucial in the brain development of babies and young children

Both flours are generally the best for baby porridge

The best margarine for uji?  Blue Band brand is the best, it has that unique signature taste that compliments porridge so well, that other brands simply can’t match. 

Keep in mind that the suitable Blue Band is the original one with a dark blue lid; ( also  Blue Band medium fat ). Don’t use the low-fat one with a light blue lid since it doesn’t melt properly

5 Ways to Make Use of Blue Band Margarine in Kenya

Is Blue Band Margarine Really Healthy?


Recommended Links

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Grocery Guide: 10 Popular Rice Brands in Kenya 


(External) Blue Band Kenya Uji Recipe

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