What Is Matoke? Here’s What We Found Out

Do you know what a matoke is? Are you wondering what exactly it is? If so, then do not wonder now because we are here and you are here as well. 

In this article, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about matoke. By the end, we hope you’ll surely be able to answer yes when someone asks you about matoke.

Matoke is also called matooke, matooke, ekitootye in southwestern Uganda, ebitoke in northwestern Tanzania, ekitooke in western Uganda, and igitoli in Rwanda. Actually, it looks just like a banana and is one of its starchy varieties.

This fruit is harvested when it is green, cautiously peeled, and after that, it’s cooked and mashed into a meal. 

Moreover, in Rwanda and Uganda, matoke is steam cooked, and yes, the mashed meal is said to be the national dish in both these countries.

But what exactly is it? Keep calm and read below, you’ll surely know what matoke is.

Matoke

What is matoke ?

Matoke is the name assigned to plantains in Uganda and the Eastern part of Africa. Matoke is a type of plantain that is used either green or yellow, and is used extensively in cooking. They are a staple food as well as the staple crop of Eastern Africa.

Also, people sometimes call matoke a dish made by using matoke plantains and beef. In fact, this dish tastes is a stew and is considered as the national dish of the country Uganda. 

But the difference between bananas and matoke is that a banana can be eaten raw, whereas matoke are supposed to get cooked before eating.

The matoke dish

Generally, in Africa, matoke is steamed in the leaves of its plant. It can also be mixed with some other dishes to increase their taste, like potatoes in American and European countries. 

On the other hand, plantains can be seen in many countries’ grocery stores, mostly in the produce section.

Various versions of the matoke use salt and ground roasted nuts, with various other spices for seasoning the dish.

Basically, the matoke dish is prepared using tomatoes, plantains, bell peppers, and lemon juice as well. Also, you can include hot and spicy red peppers. Garlic, onion, fresh ginger, and mustard seeds are also used to enhance the taste.

In addition to this, the various spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne pepper are added to the dish to make it taste more good. Roasted peanuts and salt are used to increase the taste.

Read also: Is Plantain A Fruit Or A Vegetable ? 

How to cook matoke

If you’re interested in how to cook your own matoke dish, then you have to get yourself some real matoke. We doubt you can take a trip to Uganda or East Africa, but if you get your hands on regular plantains they will do just fine.

A great recipe for matoke can be found at Food.com, with detailed directions.

Matoke (the fruit) seems to be cooked by the same logic as potatoes. They need to soften and cook through, and they will broil with the vegetables and ground meat until the meat is done.

The overall flavor profile of the dish is savory, with very little sweetness. It’s similar to how you would cook potatoes and beef, so when you taste the dish it shouldn’t be a shock.

Matoke VS plantain VS bananas

To get a clearer understanding of matoke, let’s put them in context. Let’s compare them with plantains and bananas.

In terms of taste, bananas are sweet and creamy and soft, while plantains and matoke are starchy and barely sweet at all. The only time plantains and matoke are sweet is when they turn black and are fully ripened.

In terms of usage, bananas are used just for deserts, while matoke and plantains are used just for savory dishes. The same way potatoes would be used, due to their high starch content.

Both matoke and plantains are difficult to peel, while bananas peel very easily.

Beginning to see a pattern ? Matoke and plantains are basically the same, because matoke is just another name for plantains in Uganda and Eastern Africa.

Of course, the dish called matoke is another story, which we’ve explained above,

Where is matoke most common ?

Plantains are grown in East Africa, Western Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and most Caribbean countries. They are cooked and fried and eaten widely in all these countries.

Of the plantains found in the world, matoke is common in Uganda and East Africa.

Having said all of this, know that reading ‘matoke’ and being a bit confused is a common thing. After all, this is a name that isn’t common outside of the Eastern part of Africa. Unless you have ancestors that still remember the matoke, either the fruit or the dish, there’s a very slim chance you knew of it.

If you’ve got any other food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.