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Ugali Mayai(Egg Stew) Recipe: The Kenyan Campus Cuisine

Unlike scrambled eggs that are a breakfast option, egg stew here is used to accompany starch dishes for lunch and supper meals. The eggs are scrambled eggs essentially, but further elevated with add-ons. This recipe is insanely easy to prepare with no special ingredients required. It is also a quick one since it takes less 5 minutes.

 I know, I know, I know, the title is a little dramatic but hear me out, isn’t that why you are here? Can’t believe I survived campus, the era of sleepless nights thanks to the low-quality instant coffee for caffeine. 

If there was a dish that populated my menu; it is ugali mayai. This got me thinking, why though? I mean there are hundreds of meal variations but this was just the default (and not just for me). 

Other meals in the “Campus Cuisine” included;

Keep in mind all these foods are takeout, and ugali mayai is the only thing comrades seem to be cooking, maybe throw in occasional green veggies to get a taste of Shrek

Let’s dive into the recipe, then maybe we will establish why ugali mayai rules the campus kitchens. 


Ingredients

a) For Mayai(Egg Stew)

Basic Ingredients

  •  2 Eggs
  •  1 Tomato
  •  1 Onion
  •  Salt
  •  1 Tbs, Vegetable Oil

Optional Ingredients

  •  Fresh Coriander/ Cilantro, (Dhania)
  •  1/4 Bell Pepper
  • Curry Powder/ Seasoning/ Beef Cube

b) For Ugali

  •  2 cups, Water
  •  2 cups, Maize Meal

Procedure

a) Egg Stew

Start by chopping up onions, tomatoes, and the optional coriander and bell pepper if you using them

Break the eggs into a bowl, add salt, and fluff till homogeneous and velvety,

Add your oil to a pan and swirl to coat it all over, add onions first and cook till translucent and fragrant, go in with bell peppers and tomatoes, lightly salt them before covering and simmering on low heat till the tomatoes broken are down

Add your egg mixture over the cooking tomato mixture and combine gently letting them set for 10 seconds before mixing. Ensure you are on low heat

mayai
Cook on low heat while stirring continously to get smooth folds

Garnish with coriander leaves as soon as the mixture starts drying up, and take off the heat when eggs are no longer runny (as Africans, we find runny eggs unappealing). Take your eggs off while not entirely dry, as they will continue cooking from the residual heat of the pot

 mayai dish
Take off the heat at this consistency and it will firm up from residual heat of the pot

b) Ugali

This here is a quick summary, if you want in-depth information check this post dedicated entirely to Ugali

  1. Bring water to a boil, make sure it is covered to prevent evaporation
  2. Add half the amount of flour and allow to bubble till thick
  3. Add the remaining flour amount and combine while molding with a cooking stick till solid, and steamy on low heat
  4. Cover

Serving 

Ugali and Mayai (Egg Curry)
Ugali and Mayai
  •  Personally, I further complement the dish with fermented milk (buttermilk), (mala) to wash everything down, help with digestion and smooth the taste of the dish
  •  To make it a perfect balance diet serve with avocado, green veggies, or salads of your choosing
  • The mayai egg stew tastes like scrambled eggs but with flavors and textures of the aromatics and vegetables used, thus it has more depth interms of flavor, allowing the ugali to soak its taste.

Notes

  1. It is recommended to prepare ugali before the egg stew because ugali retains heat for a longer period, whereas egg stew cools down more rapidly.
  2. Be cautious not to use excess oil, as it can result in a greasy stew and cause the oil to separate, resulting in a  mushy dish. Both olive oil and other types of oil are suitable options for cooking this egg dish.
  3. To achieve a well-balanced flavor, it is crucial to add salt to your cooked tomatoes. If you omit this step, you will end up with eggs that are salty and tomatoes that lack taste. As a result, the overall taste of the egg stew will not marry properly.
  4. Cooking eggs stew for long and at high heat will result in a  crumbly and excessively dry texture. It is preferable to prepare a moist egg stew to complement the typically dry consistency of ugali, which is served alongside; thus low heat cooking is a must. For the garnish choice, it is optional or you can substitute with fresh spring onion leaves or chives
  5. While you have the option to add your favorite spices that complement eggs, I personally prefer to keep it simple and stick to the primary flavors.

Nutritional Information

 a) Egg Stew (Mayai)

Calories 181

% Daily Value* 

Total Fat (9g, 12%)Saturated Fat (2.8g, 14% )Cholesterol (327mg, 109%) Sodium (286mg, 12%) Total Carbohydrate (13.4g, 5%) Dietary Fiber (3.1g, 11%) Total Sugars(7g ) Protein (12.8g)

Vitamin D 31mcg 154% Calcium 78mg 6% Iron 2mg 11% Potassium 426mg 9% 

b) Ugali

Servings: 1 Amount per serving (100g)  Calories 132 Kcal

% Daily Value* Total Fat 0g 0% Saturated Fat 0g 0% Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 28mg 1% Total Carbohydrate 28g 10% Dietary Fiber 0g 0% Total Sugars 0g   Protein 0g

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. 

*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.


Thoughts

Ugali Mayai
Ugali Mayai

By now it is evident why ugali mayai appeals to campus students, I mean it is dirt cheap, quick, nutritious, delicious, and available

As a campus student, no matter how well off your background is, you will face financial disasters at some point,(thanks to dumb purchases). You need to stretch your budget and that will include cheap meals to get you through. Not to sound like a motivational speaker, but I once spent KSh 200 in a week.

Now that we have established this ugali mayai dish is cheap, how cheap are we talking about exactly? Well despite everything being expensive lately, 2 eggs will cost you KSh 40, maize meal 2 cups is approximately 240g that is like KSh 30, onion and tomatoes will cost you KSh 20. That totals KSh 90( $ 0.65) for this 5-star dish at the sanctuary of your cramped campus kitchen. 

You probably like “Ooh, he hasn’t factored in heating costs”, like come on; both cook in less than 10 minutes that is negligible gas or electricity cost right there.

I’ll just outro with, Never underestimate the power of ugali mayai


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I Tried Adding Butter & Salt to Ugali


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Ugali Afya: Is This the Healthiest Maize Meal?


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