A Kitchen in Uganda’s Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Photo: Nadezhda Moryak via Pexels  

My Ultimate AKIU Holiday Gift Guide is here jut in time for Black Friday shopping! And just like that 2020 is over! This year has been and done the most and I think we owe it to ourselves to celebrate both the big and small wins like having made it through. And what not a better way to celebrate than to shower ourselves (yes because self care and love are equally important) and loved ones with items and gestures that make us show our appreciation than through this gift guide. The guide has everything for everyone; from local home grown small businesses to foodie favorites. I also have blogger and content creators covered by sharing exactly what I use to create content such as my camera, lens, tripod and my favorite backdrop. Let me stop wasting your time. Get shopping! 

Ultimate AKIU Holiday Gift Guide below: 

  1. Interested in knowing more about Ugandan food, particularly the Teso region? Get this Taste of Teso Cookbook. 
  2. get this jar of Royco for Ugandans in the Diaspora
  3. Another Ugandan cookbook  by Sarah Akelly Always Extra for Love 
  4. Another favorite Ugandan cookbook with captivating visuals Food that Grew Us
  5. I love Essie and her Business wisdom. This Essie Spice would make for a great gift.
  6. Get this premium Ugandan Vanilla
  7. Get my Ebook My Vegetarian Kitchen in time for the holidays
  8. If you are an avid coffee drinker try this Premium Ugandan Coffee
  9. Do you love cooking with cast irons? Check these ones out.
  10. Baluku design for cute home pillows and more household items.
  11. Esther has the best shop of dinner and kitchen ware in the country
  12. Recently started burning scented candles and OMG they immediately create such a luxurious atmosphere! Karobwa Scents are going to be your favorite handmade scented candles and diffusers!
  13. Naturalistas! This hair care membership from hair guru Fiona is so worth it!
  14. Kentaro Handmade Organics are the best hair care products on the market. Try them.
  15. Lyflyn Designs is a self care brand with the best handmade products like journals and homeware. The journals and planners make excellent gifts! 
  16. Want to take your brand to the next level? Get this branding consultation with branding expert Amaru 
  17. Bamatooke have the prettiest handmade greeting cards.
  18. Artisan Apparel have beautiful handmade accessories and jewelry.
  19. Been getting into skin care lately and it feels so so luxurious. Check out this natural skincare products by Kweli Skin Organics. 
  20. Join the Thrift Membership hosted by the talented sustainable fashionista Rebecca.
  21. These organic body and homecare products from Lakehouse are a dream!
  22. The Incredible Bettinah Tianah recently launched her beauty line of Shea Body Products. Check them out. 
  23. XNasozi Studio with an assortment of household products.
  24. Custom made pallet wood furniture and products from Pallet Furniture.
  25. Qwezi Beauty with this cold pressed moringa oil for the body.
  26. Understand Photography Composition with The Rule of Thirds Ebook
  27. Learn How to Photograph Food from expert Bea Lubas
  28. Invest in these versatile light reflectors for your photography.
  29. These Stoneware Plates are so beautiful and not to mention matte which makes them perfect for food photography.
  30. I use this entry level Canon DSLR Camera for all my photos.
  31. Planning to upgrade to this advanced level Canon DSLR Camera. You can get it now though is it is within your budget. 
  32. This phone tripod is a life saver especially since I make YouTube videos with my phone. 
  33. Get this portable, durable and waterproof photography backdrop that I have been using no stop since I got it. 
  34. The only lens you will ever need as a beginner photographer. I have 7 lens and  use these 50 MM 1.8 Prime Lens 99% of the time! 
  35. This durable and versatile DSLR Tripod is great for food photography.
  36. Lastly, if you would like to jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey or would like to gift some business advice to friends and loved ones, Claire is the girl for you with her Business Strategy Planner. She even has receipts.

If there is a product of brand you would love for us to know and check out, leave their link below. Happy Holidays! 


DISCLAIMER: This post includes affiliate links. A Kitchen in Uganda is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  If you decide to purchase a product or service, I may earn a commission for my recommendations. Thank you for your support!

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Warm and Delicious Maize (Corn) Cookies

Easy to make moist and crumbly interior and golden crunchy exterior corn flour cookies. These corn flour cookies can be made in less than 60 minutes with ingredients readily available in your kitchen/ pantry. 

If you have been following @akitcheninuganda on social media, then you know that last week I was a presenter at the Culinary Institute of America‘s 22nd Annual Worlds of Flavor Virtual Conference and Festival where I talked about Ugandan food. To watch the replay of my presentation, follow this link here.

Remember this cornbread I shared a few months back? Well, I am back with its cousin in form of a cookie. This cookie feels like a warm hug on a cold day. Think of your favorite meal when it has rained non-stop  and the weather is miserable and gloomy. Yes this cookie feels like that! And it doesn’t need any elaborate set of ingredients to make.  The corn flour (maize flour) adds a warm rich and crumbly texture to the cookie. I made it twice in a span of 24 hours because it is that good. 

Warm and Delicious Maize (Corn) Cookie Recipe

What you will need: 
1 C. Corn flour/Maize Flour
2 C. Wheat flour
1 C. Powdered milk
1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Butter /margarine
2 eggs
1 Tsp. Black pepper
1/2 Tsp. Allspice/Cloves

Handful of raisins (optional)
1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg
1 Tsp. Vanilla essence
2 Tsp. Lemon/lime juice
1/2 Tsp. Baking soda


  1. I used yellow maize four. You can use white maize flour which works equally well. 
  2. You can easily double the ingredients to make more cookies.
  3. I added raisins since they are what I had available. You can add chocolate chips as well. 
  4. When the cookies are done baking they will be soft. Wait for them to cool down and harden.


  1. Sift all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside
  2. In a separate bowl, beat (whisk) the sugar and butter till loose and fluffy 
  3. Add the eggs to the beaten sugar and butter and mix well. 
  4. Next add the vanilla and lemon juice and mix.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients (i.e. the mixed flours) into the whipped butter and egg mixture while mixing. A firm dough should form when all the flour is used up. 
  6. Using a spoon/ ice cream scoop or your hands, form balls from the dough and place them on a greased baking tray. 
  7. Bake for 25-30 at 300 degrees F
  8. Yields 15+ cookies

Use #AkitchenInUg to share your creations.


How to Make Pumpkin Greens

Lightly fried nutritious and delicious pumpkin greens. Great for stew when cooked with groundnuts and as a side dish when lightly sauteed. Video demonstration attached. 

There is a misconception that African food is not diverse, varied and nuanced. This misconception is heightened by international aid organizations marketing hunger to donors. I am sure you have all seen undignified images of Africans one way or the other. But what they don’t tell you is that most of our food is plant based, medicinal and freshly grown. Take pumpkin leaves for example, not only do we eat the pumpkin but find use and nutritional value in the greens as well. This is true for so many edible plants and vegetables on the continent and explains why we eat a lot of leafy greens. To prepare pumpkin greens, we remove the thin hairy outer layer on each leaf which I cannot quite find a word for in English. I hope the video demonstration below makes it easier to understand. Pumpkin greens are cooked in various forms depending on which region a person comes from.

Pumpkin Greens Recipe

What you will need: 

3-4 Handfuls of chopped pumpkin greens
3 Garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1 Large Onion, chopped
3 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
1 Small Green pepper, Diced
1 Tsp. Curry powder
1/2 Tsp. Black pepper
2-3 Tbsp. Oil


  1. Use soft and tender pumpkin leaves to cook. 
  2. Removing the thin hairy outer layer on each leaf helps make the greens softer.  
  3. Adding salt and baking soda helps remove impurities from the greens. 
  4. Letting the greens sit in water allows all the sad to settle at the bottom. 


  1. Peel off the thin hairy outer layer on each leaf stalk and thinly slice the greens. 
  2. Add water in a large bowl. Add about 2 teaspoons of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda. Add the greens and let them sit in the water for about 10 minutes. Thoroughly wash the greens and then drain them completely.
  3. Place a clean pan/ pot on high fire. Add oil and let it get hot.
  4. Add the garlic and onions and le then cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Next, add the tomatoes and green pepper  and stir well. 
  6. Le the tomatoes cook until tender. This can take about 3-5 minutes. Once they are tender, use your wooden spoon to mash them. 
  7. Add your pumpkin greens and mix well. Let them cook for about 5-10 minutes or until tender. 
  8. Serve with your favorite meal.

Use #AkitchenInUg to share your creations.