Brown uji (uji wa ulezi/sorghum porridge)

Porridge (uji), not the most exciting breakfast for most people. I enjoy it though. Most especially the way my mother makes it. Once it’s cooked she adds butter, sugar, sour milk and lemon juice. It’s so yummy! Have you ever eaten anything that caused a tingling in that space below your ear just behing the jaw bone? This is one of those for me. And I like it nice and thick.

One morning in October last year I was thinking about what to make for breakfast and it occurred to me that I hadn’t made porridge yet. I got really excited, mostly for him, he had probably eaten porridge before but not like my mother makes it. I was sure he would love it!

the white porridge I made last year in October

Shock on me! The man didn’t even taste it (-_-) He made it clear that he has never liked porridge and would not be forced to eat it in his own house!


Fast forward 8 months. We went to shagz to visit his parents during the long Madaraka Day weekend. While we were there, his mother made some brown porridge for breakfast. I wasn’t sure what to expect so I just waited. He drank it without a single complaint and then said

this is the porridge I like. You can make this one!

uhm, yeah sure, OK.
It was such a lovely day outside, I focused on it. Besides, at least now I know which porridge to make. I had a conversation about it later with his mother, she said he didn’t like the brown uji when he was younger. The man is allowed to change his mind I suppose (^_^)

Fast forward 2 weeks. His mother comes to visit us in Nairobi and brings lots of goodies from shagz. Matoke, beans and sweet bananas. Nice and fresh from her shamba. And to my delight, some of her wimbi mix.

the millet mix I got from my mother-in-law

I say hers because she makes her own. She told me she washes and sun dries the wimbi. Then sun dries some cassava (which she also grows) and pounds it to small pieces in a kinu. She then combines the pounded cassava with the dried wimbi and takes it to get milled and voila!

So I made the brown uji for breakfast last week. I’ve eaten it before but never made it myself. Figured it couldn’t be too complicated.

two cups of water and a few table spoon of the wimbi mix heating up and starting to thicken
OK. So it started to look like I was making brown ugali. I guessed the water to flour ratio and didn’t get it right, had to add a lot of water (^_^)
back on track! Now just letting it bubble and cook
prepared the lemon juice while I waited

When it was done I called him to come get breakfast …

what’s for breakfast?

Porridge! (^_^)

what? Is there anything else?

But it’s the one you like!

yeah, but you didn’t ask me if I want porridge!

Since when do I ask you what you want for breakfast?!

but you usually make nice stuff!

It’s the porridge you said you like!!!

OK OK! I’ll drink some, then I’ll have tea after! … With some cake!

I laughed on the inside. Figured if I look back a year from now I would laugh so I might as well laugh now. Some battles just aren’t meant to be won,… or maybe they’re not battles at all.

adding sugar and lemon juice
he drank it, then had his tea and cake

Husband  Rating: ★★★★★★★½☆☆
it’s too thick!

I like it thick! But then again I like a lot of thick heavy creamy stuff which he stays away from. I guess I’ll be making it thin next time.

I looked around online and found a site with an uji wa ulezi recipe, check it out.

About aika

Making, eating and sharing good food are a splendid way to start, brake and end a day! I post good eats on Life is a feast, eat up!

15 thoughts on “Brown uji (uji wa ulezi/sorghum porridge)

  1. he he he so like my hubby. I suggested I buy some wimbi mix for porridge. He was very quick to say no. So no porridge for me either. I think I’ll try preparing without asking and see whether we’ll have a repeat of your conversation with him.
    My mum also prepares the maize meal uji like your mum, only we use butter, sugar and some salt. Totally ear tingling 🙂

  2. when I make it I put half a cup of water in the pot to boil and a little less in a separate cup and add about 3 tablespoons (if I plan to eat the porridge as opposed to drinking it 🙂 ) of flour; then stir the flour water mix and add it to the pot once the water boils. Sometimes I have the heat too high and a lump or two may form but not many. And I add milk and sugar- recently began to add coconut milk and cardamom too 🙂 Never really been a fan of lemon in porridge- and I have to say white porridge and me are not friends lol.
    Question though: did you make sorghum (mtama) porridge? Was that the white porridge or did you use maize flour?

  3. Thanks for the recipe! I tried it today and it was great! And just poked around for other recipes – I like the layout of your website too: easy to navigate and interesting! All the best!

  4. Hello. You solved a mystery for me. On yahoo in the US there is a photomontage of foods that people eat for breakfast around the world. One of them was uji and I had never heard of that. When I did a google search, your recipe and explanation appeared. I enjoyed your description and your husband’s response. Men are the same all over the world 🙂 Here is a link to the video. I hope it is available for you to watch.

    1. Hey!! Glad I could help! Thanks for the link, very interesting. Some things in there I didn’t think were breakfast at all! Learned something new (^_^)

  5. I love to cook and always am looking for something new to try. Sorghum is not that popular here in the US but there are places here that prize it. I can find it in specialty stores and use it in cooking. I have a friend who is from South Sudan who was very happy to see that when he was relocated to the US that he could find sorghum for sale in the state of Kentucky where he was placed as a refugee in 2001. I find that sorghum is a wonderful base to use for barbeque sauces and grilling meat. I’ve made that for gifts for people who have never tasted it and they now love it as well. I’m very pleased to find your website and will be trying some of your recipes.

    1. Hey, Sorry for the late response, been a bit busy but getting back to posting soon.

      For the white uji, 500ml water + 1/2 cup (maize)flour, stir on high heat till it thickens and starts boiling. Cover and allow to cook for about 5 min on low heat. At this point most people add sugar to taste and it’s done. I do it differently,… I add the juice of one lemon, 1/3 cup of natural yoghurt, 2 tablespoons butter and sugar to taste. That’s how I like it! (^_^)



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