Hungry in Kampala? Try Katogo

Friday May 17 2013

By Peter Mugarura

Recently, Ugandan born Archbishop of York John Ssentamu appeared on BBC’s The One Show where he prepared three dishes, two of which must have appeared really strange to non-Ugandan eyes. He prepared what we call here Katogo.

Katogo consists of matooke (green bananas) and just about anything that you can throw into the same pan.

Lately it has become the preferred meal at breakfast especially in restaurants within Kampala.

Ugandans tend to have a variety of foods on the table at meal time. Hence, it is not surprising to find someone with say a plate of rice, ugali, potatoes, matooke and pumpkin, all together!

You shouldn’t be shocked either when you hear someone say to the waiter “I’ll have ‘all foods’ and beef’!’

In the same vein you shouldn’t look at your watch when you walk into a restaurant early in the morning and find people with platefuls of Katogo; it’s the ultimate breakfast meal for people about to travel a long distance, the working class and for killing a hangover.



Recently, I decided to have Katogo for breakfast, instead of my standard tea and bread.

Every restaurant in Kampala with the exception of fast-food franchises has it on the menu; I therefore had no problems selecting where to go. I walked into a restaurant in Wandegeya — a part of Kampala given over to small local restaurants.

Here, my Katogo was made up of matooke, offals and beef.

There are many variations of the standard Katogo: Matooke and beans, which is very common; matooke and groundnut sauce; matooke and beef/offals, and most recently thanks to the Archbishop of York, matooke and lamb.

When I was at the university and a little hard-up for money, a late breakfast of Katogo was a sure way to keep the stomach quiet till evening, when I would be ready for dinner. I guess that’s why Katogo has become a popular breakfast meal for workers in Kampala.

The average price of a Katogo breakfast is about Ush3,000 ($1.2). So the next time you visit Kampala and are tired and hungry after the long bus drive from Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kigali or Bujumbura, be sure to pop into any restaurant within the vicinity of the bus-stop for a satisfying meal of Katogo.