Matoke (Mashed Plantain): A Traditional Ugandan Delight

Matoke, also known as mashed plantain, is a traditional Ugandan dish that has been a staple in the country’s cuisine for centuries. This hearty and flavorful dish is made from plantains, which are starchy, less sweet relatives of the common banana. Matoke is typically served with meat or vegetable stews, making it a versatile and wholesome choice for any meal. In this article, we will guide you through the simple process of preparing Matoke at home so you can experience the authentic taste of Ugandan cuisine.


6-8 green plantains

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium-sized tomato, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional: 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish


Begin by preparing the plantains. Remove the peel by making a shallow cut along the length of the plantain and carefully prying the skin away from the flesh. Be cautious not to remove too much of the flesh in the process. Once peeled, cut the plantains into 1-inch thick slices.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until they become translucent and slightly golden, around 4-5 minutes.

Add the minced garlic to the skillet and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

Next, add the chopped tomatoes and green bell pepper to the skillet, stirring to combine with the onions and garlic. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables soften and release their juices.

Carefully place the sliced plantains into the skillet, layering them over the vegetable mixture. Pour in the water, and season the dish with salt and pepper to taste.

Cover the skillet with a lid, reducing the heat to low. Allow the plantains to simmer for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until they become soft and easily mashable. Check the plantains periodically and add more water if necessary to prevent sticking or burning.

Once the plantains are tender, use a potato masher or a fork to gently mash them until they reach your desired consistency. The final result should be similar to mashed potatoes, with some small chunks of plantains remaining for texture.

Taste the Matoke and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot alongside your favorite meat or vegetable stew, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro or parsley if desired. Matoke is a delicious and easy-to-prepare traditional Ugandan dish that is sure to impress.

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