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Ugandan Matoke (Green Bananas)

Ugandan Matoke (Green Bananas)

In Uganda, Matoke, also known as Matooke or green bananas is considered a national dish as it has become an integral part of the country’s culture, prepared and served at various occasions. In other parts of East Africa like Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya, the dish is also loved and enjoyed as it has been a staple food for centuries.

Matoke is made from green bananas which history revealed was brought to East Africa by Arab traders from Southeast Asia in the past. The bananas used to make matoke belong to a specific group called East African Highland bananas, which are different from the sweet dessert bananas commonly found in other parts of the world.

The dish is often prepared by steaming the green bananas in banana leaves until they are soft. The bananas are pounded afterwards and then various spices and ingredients are added to create an aromatic dish. The use of spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric, as well as onions, tomatoes, and coconut milk, enhances the taste and aroma of matoke.

Preparation Time

45 minutes.


Green bananas (Matooke)

1 large onion (chopped)

Tomatoes (chopped)

Garlic (chopped)

Green chilies

Ground cumin

Ground coriander

Turmeric powder

Cooking oil

Coconut milk




  • Cut both ends of each banana, and remove the peel from the bananas.
  • Soak peeled the bananas in salt water for a few water for minutes to prevent discoloration.
  • Cut the peeled bananas into chunks.
  • Add the chopped onions to the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic and chopped green chillies to the pot and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they are soft.
  • Add the ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, and salt and mix until well coated with the tomatoes.
  • Add the green bananas (matoke) to the pot and stir gently.
  • Pour the coconut milk into it and gently mix it well to give it a creamy flavour.
  • Cover with a lid and allow cooking for about 30 minutes for the bananas to become tender.
  • Remove the green bananas (matoke) from the fire and mash them to achieve a smoother texture.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!