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Matoke market in Kampala, Uganda
Matoke seller in Uganda

Matoke locally also known as matooke, amatooke, ekitookye in south western Uganda, ekitooke in western Uganda and ikitoke in Rwanda, is a starchy variety of banana. The fruit is harvested green, carefully peeled and then cooked and often mashed or pounded into a meal. In Uganda and Rwanda, the fruit is steam-cooked, and the mashed meal is considered a national dish in both countries[citation needed]. The Buganda tribe of Uganda do however pride themselves in making the best matoke dishes[citation needed].

The medium-sized green fruits, which are of a specific group of banana, the East African Highland bananas (Musa AAA-EA),[1][2][3] are known in the Bantu languages of Uganda as matoke.

Cooking bananas have long been and still are a common staple crop around the Lake Victoria area of Uganda, and in the West and Kilimanjaro regions of Tanzania.[4]

Food preparation[edit]

Matoke fruits

Matoke are peeled using a knife, wrapped in the plant's leaves (or plastic bags), and set in a cooking pot (Swahili: sufuria) atop the banana stalks. The pot is then placed on a charcoal or wood fire and the matoke is steamed for a couple of hours, water is poured into the bottom of the cooking pot multiple times. The stalks in the bottom of the pot serve to keep the leaf-wrapped fruits above the level of the hot water. While uncooked, the matoke is white and fairly hard; cooking turns it soft and yellow. The matoke is then mashed while still wrapped in the leaves or bags and often served on a fresh banana leaf. It is typically eaten with a sauce made of vegetables, ground peanut, or some type of meat (goat or beef).

Ugandan traditional meal with Matoke steamed and served with luwombo, meat or gnuts steamed in banana leaves.

Matoke are also used to make a popular breakfast dish called Katogo in Uganda.[5] Katogo is commonly cooked as a combination of the peeled bananas and peanuts or beef, though offal or goats meat are also common.[6]

In Bukoba, Tanzania, matoke (or matooke) are cooked with meat or smoked catfish, and beans or groundnuts. This method eliminates the need for preparing a separate sauce. In this recipe, the matoke are not mashed. Up until the early 1980s, this was the most common meal in Bukoba and would be eaten year round.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Karamura, D. and Mgenzi, B. 2004. On farm conservation of Musa diversity in the Great Lakes region of East Africa. African Crop Science Journal 12(1):75-83.
  2. ^ Karamura, D., Mgenzi, B., Karamura, E. and Sharrock, S. 2004. Exploiting indigenous knowledge for the management and maintenance of Musa biodiversity on farm. African Crop Science Journal 12(1).
  3. ^ Mgenzi, S.R.B., Mshaghuley, I.M., Staver, C. and Nkuba, J.M. 2005. A study on the analysis of Musa processing businesses and their support environment in Tanzania. A paper presented to the Musa processing businesses and their support environment workshop, Manila, Philippines 10-13 Oct. 2005. INIBAP [online], accessed 2011 June 14 from: "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-24. Retrieved 2011-06-14..
  4. ^ Raschke, V., Oltersdorf, U., Elmadfa, I., Wahlqvist, M.L., Cheema, B.S.B. and Kouris-Blazos, A. 2007. Content of a novel online collection of traditional east African food habits (1930s – 1960s): data collected by the Max-Planck-Nutrition Research Unit, Bumbuli, Tanzania. Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr. 16(1):140-151 [online]. Accessed 2011 June 14 from:
  5. ^ "The king of all breakfast". Daily Monitor. April 1, 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Katogo". Retrieved 19 February 2014.

External links[edit]