A tray of eggs, balls of wheat dough neatly lined up in rows, a cup of cooking oil, shredded cabbage, tomatoes and salt, a flat pan and busy young men under a makeshift structure prepare Uganda’s favourite street snack called rolex.
A rolex, which can be found at any street in urban areas in Uganda, is a thinly-rolled pastry (basically a chapati) stuffed with fried eggs, cabbage, tomatoes and onions.
It has recently grown in popularity, and is creeping onto the breakfast menus of high-end hotels.
Fred Wakhasa makes a rolex at his stall on Kibazo Lane in Kibuli, a suburb in Kampala. He begins by flattening a dough ball, which he fries in a wide frying pan.
While the pastry is frying, he breaks two eggs into a cup, adds salt, and whisks the eggs. Meanwhile, he flips the pastry several times to ensure it is cooking evenly.
Once the pastry is ready, he removes it from the pan. He pours the eggs into the hot pan and, when ready, places the pastry on top of the eggs for a few seconds.
He then flips the pastry, sprinkles shredded raw cabbage, tomatoes and salt onto it, and rolls it up and serves it.
Last year, the Ministry of Tourism adopted the rolex as a unique Ugandan dish.
Like a sandwich, a rolex can be had for breakfast, lunch and super on the street or at home or restaurant.
Originally, a rolex was made of pastry, eggs, tomatoes, onions and salt, but now several brands have emerged including those rolled with mince meat, mushrooms and sausage.
This relatively inexpensive snack goes for as little as Ushs1, 500–3,000 ($0.41-0.82).
The delicacy that was initially enjoyed by students and low income earners is now so popular that it has found its way onto the menus of upmarket hotels, restaurants and fast food joints in Kampala at a cost of Ush6, 000–10,000 ($1.6–2.7).
A typical street vendor operates under a stall with an umbrella or iron sheet roof to protect him, his ingredients and tools from the sun and rain.
Rolex is enjoyed by many tourists who visit the country, and it has also spread to some parts of Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania.