If you have never tried Malakwang, make this the year, nay, the month that you do. It is highly nutritious, satisfying and pocket friendly. Plus it tastes divine. Sure, there are several places in Kampala where you can get it but please do go to Cam ker on Dewinton street. It is pronounced chum care and means Food for the royals.
Finding the place is the hardest part of the journey so don’t be discouraged if you do not immediatley, or even later, see a big (or even small) sign post welcoming you. Keep at it and ask the people on the street where you can find the restaurant. It’s right next to, but also behind a saloon.
Malakwang is a vegetable, what some of us call greens. It is prepared by combining the leaves of the plant with water, ground nut paste and a little sim sim.
The sauce looks creamy. Served as a side dish, it was brought with kalo, sweet potato fish in paste. You have the option to have malakwang as the main sauce. It can also be added to dried fish.
Along with my malakwang came a side of Lapena. It is made from a variety of chickpeas called enkolimbo in luganda (i learnt all this from the very sweet, no nonsense waitress called Namakula)
Malakwang is slightly chewy, thick. smooth and rich on the tongue.
Unlike Malakwang, Lapena feels dry. I felt like i needed a lot of water to wash it down. It is traditionally served with shea nut oil to counter that effect.
Literally everyone was using their fingers to eat this food. Everyone, except me and one other person, and the place was packed. It seems there is some magic in pulling the kalo with your fingers and dipping it in the sauce.
When i expressed some intrest in taking pictures, the owner, Sylvia A Lamunu was more than happy to oblige. I was invited to go all the way to the kitchen. If that isn’t an endorsement of how above standard this establishment is, i don’t know what is. She has been running this restaurant for years and has rich knowledge in all cusine from the North.
Some facts she shared: Malakwang is good for lactating mothers; it is said to stimulate the mammary glands.
Malakwang provides relief from fever
It’s sweet sour taste can go all the way to too sour if a lot of sim sim is included in the preparation.
This dish, served with fish, whole, goes for just about 9k.