The Recipes

Ugandan Beans, Rice, Salad, and Flatbread
Choroco, Pilau, Catchembarat, and Chapati

As Haroun Kibirige, Zabib Marium, and Mubarek Fazil, from the Nubian Tribe in Uganda, taught Lindsay Sterling in Portland, ME May 2014

Cooking Time: 4 hours
Serves: 10-12

Moong Beans

3/4 pound moong beans (choroco)
1 Tbsp salt
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1/4-1/2 cup oil
1 tomato, cut into chunks
4 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste
1/2 carrot, cut into small chunks
1 green pepper, chopped
small bunch cilantro, chopped

Toast moong beans in a dry saute pan until smoking. In a medium pot, cover beans generously with water (1-2 inches) and cook until beans puff up and are soft when tasted. Then add 1 Tbsp salt and cook 20 more minutes.

While the beans are cooking, in a separate medium saute pan, saute red onion slices in 1/4-1/2 cup oil (enough oil so that the onions are swimming in it). When they're browned, then add tomato, garlic, carrot, green pepper, and cilantro.

You want the moong beans to be a thick liquid, but not at all watery. When the beans are completely soft, drain extra water out if necessary. When vegetables are soft and completely fried, combine moong beans and the fried vegetables in oil.

Serve with flatbread (see recipe below). Break off pieces of flatbread use them to grab bites of the beans.

Rice and Meat
Pilau [Pee-lah-oh]

1 onion, quartered and sliced
1/2 cup oil
1-2 pounds bone-in beef or goat pieces (oxtail worked great)
2 Tbsp salt
2 tomatoes, cut into hunks
1 1/2 pints basmati rice
3 pints water
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cardamom
pinch clove
(or 1 tsp garam masala in place of cumin, black pepper, cardamom and clove)
2 cardamom pods
1/2 bunch cilantro (about 1/4 cup chopped)

If using a tough meat, simmer submerged in water for 2 hours or until soft. Pick meat off bone and use meat broth instead of water to cook the rice.

In large pot saute onions in oil until chocolate brown. Add pre-cooked beef (or not pre-cooked if using tender cuts), 2 Tbsp salt and tomatoes, cover and cook on high. When tomato and onions have disappeared add 1 cinnamon stick. When meat has dark sauce all around it,  cover it with 1 inch of water or beef broth above meat (about 3 pints liquid total). Add rice, 2 cardamom pods, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, bring to a boil and simmer with the lid on for twenty minutes.


8 cups flour
4 cups water
1-2 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp oil

Mix salt and water to make salt water. In a large pot mix knead flour and salted water with your hands until dough is uniform and wet. Knead in 1/2 cup oil and let dough sit covered for 20 minutes to become soft.

Roll dough into big disc one inch thick, dusting counter and dough disc with flour as necessary to keep from sticking. Spread oil on top of disc. Cut vertically into strips 1 1/2 inches wide. Fold each strip lengthwise in half to make a narrower strip. Then roll each strip like a coiling snake until you have about the size of a plum, a little larger. Break off any remaining length of the strip, and tuck the end piece under the roll so it stays put.

Roll each ball of dough out into a disc, slightly less than 1/8th of an inch thick, but not so thin that it becomes transparent. Try to make the disc as evenly thick as possible otherwise thin parts will become crunchy while thicker parts will remain raw.

Cook chapati on a dry skillet on high fifty seconds on each side, 'til the color changes to light with brown spots. If you like, spoon 1 Tbs oil on top of each chapati and spread all over the top with a spoon, then flip chapati over so oil side is down. Turn chpaati with a spoon in pan so it continues to toast without burning. Flip over so that dry side gets some of the oil/toasting. Remove from pan when each side is toasted brown and lightly fried, about 3 minutes total on medium heat.

Chapati should be soft and pliable, easy to rip into pieces and grab beans, rice, and salad.

(Chapati stores well in freezer. Fold in half. Then roll into a cone shape. Cover with tinfoil and store in gallon Ziplock. When you want to use, defrost, then microwave briefly, about 30 seconds) but not too long or it will get rubbery.)

Shaved Fresh Salad

carrots, shaved
tomatoes, shaved
green pepper, shaved
red onion, shaved,
2 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Cut onions into slivers. Pour salt on onions and massage together and squeeze with hands. Rinse onions. Mix all ingredients together. Add salt and lemon juice as you wish. The fresh, cleansing salad is a great contrast to the more filling and cooked other dishes.

Copyright Lindsay Sterling 2014