RECIPE: Chicken Luwombo – Ugandan traditional delicacy

Chicken luwombo; Ugandan traditional meal with Matooke steamed and served in green banana leaves wrapped around a bowl.

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Luwombo meal is a Ugandan delicacy and one of my favorite meals. If you have never been to Uganda and may have plans of visiting this beautiful country (The Pearl of Africa) one day, please do not leave without trying out a luwombo prepared meal.

Most people eat this special meal on special days but I could savour this delicious delicacy any day, everyday! Luwombo is basically sauce cooked in banana leaves.

The banana leaves are specially prepared over heat with low smoke to make the leaves aromatic and soft enough to contain the food. It is actually a method of preparing stews by steaming as you will get to learn as you read along.

I am going to share how to prepare the different types in our Luwombo Series which include: chicken luwombo, smoked meat luwombo, mushrooms in ground nuts paste luwombo, smoked meat in ground nuts paste luwombo and dry fish in ground nuts paste luwombo.

It is easy, time saving and most important nutrient saving.

1. Chicken luwombo recipe


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 Irish potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup of water
  • Spices of your choice (1 chicken stock cube, 1 teaspoon Chicken curry masala, 1 teaspoon gram masala, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional and used only if the chicken is lean)
  • Luwombo leaves (You can get these readily prepared)
  • Kitchen thread or a banana fibre


  • You can decide to prepare this meal as a whole chicken or the chicken cut into pieces. Smoke your chicken over charcoal until it is golden brown. You can also use the grill or BBQ stove for this purpose. Add the chicken whole or pieces in the luwombo leaf that is positioned in a large enough bowel.
  • Finely chop the onions, tomatoes, carrot, cilantro into the chicken.
  • Peel and dice the potatoes into the chicken.
  • Add the salt and spices to the water, mix well and pour into the chicken
  • Add olive oil if the chicken is lean and not fatty.
  • Wrap up the banana leaf and tie it up with kitchen thread or the banana fibre.
  • To cook you can further rap your luwombo with normal banana leaves in a saucepan cushioned with a banana stem at the bottom and cover to prevent loss of steam as much as possible. If you stay out of Uganda and may nor have access to this you can steam your luwombo using a steamer all at medium heat for up to 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours.
While participating last year in the Karibu/Kilifair 2019 in Tanzania with the East African Slow Food delegation, Nassozi Kezia prepared matooke n’oluwombo, a traditional dish of mushrooms luwombo cooked with oysternut paste and served with mashed steamed bananas from Black Nakitembe , one of the many banana varieties grown in Uganda. COURTESY PHOTO

Serve and Enjoy Your Meal.

Read Also: Uganda Food Experience – Rolex and Kikomando

Join us in our part 2 series as Kampala Dispatch shows you how to prepare smoked meat luwombo.