Delicious Delights from Northern Uganda: Exploring the Enchanting Flavors of Luo Cuisine

By David Mwanje

When many think of Northern Uganda’s cooking claim to fame, they think malakwang, an exquisite traditional Luo dish whose tongue bewitching taste has given many a reason to believe in love at the first taste as opposed to love at first sight. 

Unknown them, especially those who haven’t been to the Luo land for a taste bud quest is that malakwang is just one of the many Luo dishes adored for hitting the tongue at the spot where one wants it 


Malakwang is the outcome of simmering okra, a sour finger-like vegetal with moderate heat and later pasting in it peanut butter plus minimal salt. The outcome is not only a feast for the eye but further a justification for one to drool.

Malakwang goes beyond turning on you’re a petite, it gives the tongue a tickling sensation. The source tastes better when served with millet bread or sweet potatoes. It is a fantastic lunch food that will keep you going till the next breakfast and you’ll probably resume with another serving.

Due to its pleasant and easy taste on the palate, it is said to be the reason many tourists believe in love at the first taste as opposed to love at first sight. To say the least, the food is awesome.


Agira is mashed peas or beans simmered till it is perfectly smooth to be swallowed without chewing. Depending on your preference, you can either settle for the fried or pasted type. Whichever option pleases you, you might want to add just a little bit of Shea butter oil for a heady aroma. Yes you’ll get fat, but you will have a great time doing so because the oil is proven to be free of cholesterol.

Potokono-the fresh leaves of a pumpkin

Potokono. Say it out loud as one word, POTOKONO now that’s how it’s pronounced in Lango, the land where it is one of the favourites. Anyway potokono is definitive, rough but oddly clean-tasting at the same time and the sauce is no doubt “lovable”.

According to Angella Susan, Langi, 62, Potokono is highly thought of as a love charm that Luo wives use to find their ways into the hearts of their husbands.

“The Langi men love it to bits because besides having a strong green aroma that sends a prickle of sensual awareness skittering across their tough skins, it awakens the taste buds with its greasy taste.’’ she says

“Above, it boosts their manpower and makes them feel like the lord of the land instead of landlord-simply powerful.” Angella adds

There you have it folks, if all the above doesn’t meet your expectations, then I am afraid you might have to go on hunger strike or try out the otigo, a food which is adored for its delightful and attractive green color. Aside from that, it is so fresh and you’ll think its flirting with you