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I've learned a lot researching for the ZWT '05: Eastern Africa's Ugali (similar to Southern Africa's Mealie-meal, Nshima, and Sadza) is usually made from maize (corn) which was brought from the Americas to Africa by Europeans. Previously it was made from millet. These starchy Fufu-like "foundations" are the Eastern African versions of Western African staples like Fufu (which is generally made from yams, plantains, or cassava tubers) and Banku, Kenkey, or Tô. -- They are all starchy accompaniments for the African soup or stew or sauce, or other dishes with sauce or gravy. They are generally made by boiling and vigorously stirring a starchy ingredient into a thick, smooth mush. Many Africans feel they haven't had a meal unless they have eaten Fufu or Ugali with a sauce or stew.
- Heat water to boiling in a saucepan. Slowly pour the corn flour into boiling water. Avoid forming lumps.
- Stir continuously and mash any lumps that do form. Add more corn flour until it is thicker than mashed potatoes.
- Cook for three or four minutes, continue to stir. (Continuing to stir as the ugali thickens is the secret to success, i.e., lump-free ugali.)
- Top with a pat of butter or margarine, if desired.
- Cover and keep warm.
- Serve immediately with any meat or vegetable stew, or any dish with a sauce or gravy.