This unique, polenta-like side dish is a Tanzanian favorite, traditionally served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Made by rolling a tiny bit of creamy, thick cornmeal paste (made from cooked white maize) in a hand until it forms into a ball, and making an indentation in it with a thumb, ugali becomes an edible spoon that is often dipped into various stews and sauces.
The sign of a good ugali is that it doesn’t stick to your fingers. The whole thing is usually dipped in a savory sauce, then placed in the mouth for consumption. Ugali is more than just a taste, it is a food culture in itself. This dish is usually served with whatever meat is available, mashed vegetables, stews, or sour milk.