okra and fish

West African vibes: Okra, fish and semovita

Here are 2 lessons I learned from eating at Gimzsoca restaurant in Kansanga (next to KIU). Try and eat at restaurants ran by people who are native to the areas the food comes from. You know, Nigerian food, Nigerian owner, Indian food, Indian owner, Karamojong food, Karamojong owner. It really does lend an authentic vibe to the dish. 2. If you are bargain hunting, eat around universities. Another one called Mom’s eat’s was even cheaper, at about 8k for a dish but they had less variety.

I ordered Semovita and Okra with fish. The waitress (Ugandan) who called me Sweet heart about 16 times, came back from the kitchen to tell me “Sweet heart, okra is very sticky. They give you egusi?” I had had that before and wanted to explore. “OK sweetheart”

semovita, fish, okra, west african food


The semovita, is like posho but a softer, smoother, easier to go down kind. Why don’t we have more of it here?

The fish was your regular deep fried fish, nothing much to write home about.



That red sauce. It is tomato based with some chilli, onions and green peppers and is a little sweet to the taste. Because it is thick, it bonds well to the semovita. If you have eaten posho with ground nut paste, you have an idea of what i mean, texture wise. Although i had been warned about the chilli ” Sweet heart do you eat chilli?” to which i said yes, there was very little of it. I suspect they tone it down when cooking for Ugandan clients.

okra and fish

The semovita was really light, but filling. It is rich in fiber which explains why i felt stuffed after just a few bites. It has a plain taste which makes it the right companion for the fish and the slightly spicy sauce and the Okra…which I’m getting to.

The okra: When you see it on the street as small pod shaped plants, it is hard to imagine it turning into this gooey, stretchy, sticky sauce. While its taste is almost sweet…it is hard to keep your mind on that when you are trying to separate it from the other okra, wrap it around the fork, get it into your mouth, off of your chin, out of your nose; basically, trying to detangle yourself from the okra web.

Ya, exactly like that.

This meal, like many West African dishes is mostly eaten by hand but I did not do that. My neighbour did, but i refused to bow to peer pressure.



The semovita is soft and malleable, the fish is firm on the outside (a little too firm) and soft on the inside. Unlike the okra, the red sauce is not sticky.



The owner could be heard (loudly) asking one patron why we don’t have more of these types of posho in Uganda; “For us we have gari, fufu, yam” you, you only have this maize posho. Good question. It would be great to see some Semo on the menu in other restaurants.

This meal goes for 13k. Eat this when you are tired of the regular.


4 thoughts on “West African vibes: Okra, fish and semovita

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