There are so many culinary secrets and delicacies in African cuisine, which have not yet been discovered by the rest of the world.
Indeed, African cuisine is probably the last frontier in world cuisine. One such secret is the ‘Luwombo“.
Luwombo has been a royal dish since the year 1887 and it is commonly prepared for exceptional events, for instance, the introduction ceremonies where the groom visits the bride’s home to meet her parents.
Well known across central Uganda in the Buganda Kingdom, this cooking technique takes in both red and white types of meat, vegetables, and pulses, groundnuts as well as fungi like mushrooms.
The time and skills involved in making this dish make it extra special as one needs to tie up the ingredients in a scorched banana leaf and steam it over Matooke or any other foods in banana leaves.
How to prepare the Luwombo leaf
The banana leaf used for Luwombo must be fresh, young and without a tear. Clean the leaf with a clean, damp cloth and stage it on a clean surface in the sun for about 25 minutes or more, so that it becomes limp.
Next, carefully, smoke the leaf over dried banana leaves without allowing the leaf to dry out. Finally, remove the midrib being careful not to tear the leaf so that it can easily be folded. Prepare two leaves in case one tear.
To cook luwombo, you place meat or fish, together with onions, tomatoes, vegetables and a little oil in clean banana leaves. It takes some skill to wrap it all up and tie it with banana rind, without losing any liquid.
Chopped banana tree stumps are then placed in a large saucepan or pot, and covered with water. The parcels of luwombo are arranged carefully onto the banana stumps so that they can be steamed without being boiled.
Luwombo is best served in the banana leaves, where it remains hot, and retains the very distinct taste lent by the banana leaves.
A lot of fancy restaurants now include luwombo as a specialty on their menus. Traditionally, luwombo is served alongside matoke (banana)
The mashed cooking banana central to Baganda cuisine – cooked in a similar way to luwombo.
If you want to get the feel of this Ugandan delicacy, don’t ask for a folk, spoon or even a knife. Ask for water, wash your hands and dive in. Believe me, this will be the best experience of your entire life.
Luwombo draws attention to the cooking methods common to African cuisine. Luwombo refers to food steamed in banana leaves. The Baganda also steam cooking bananas and other dishes.
Steaming is recognized by many cooking experts as an extremely healthy and highly-recommended method of cooking.
In many African communities, food is like sweet potatoes, cassava, various types of banana, fresh maize, meat, and fish is roasted.
Many Ugandan staples dishes are also boiled in water, that is to say, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, cassava, bananas, maize and Ugali.
In general, African cuisine employs healthy, time-honored cooking methods such as steaming, boiling and roasting.
You owe yourself a huge date. Come down to Uganda, Africa, and taste first hand this unforgettable delicacy.