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Karo, The Westerner’s Delicacy

Monday, March 6th, 2017

When we talk of a delicacy the mind rushes to a thousand appealing images. With this “The western delicacy” however, i bring you one rare but delicious dishes known as KARO. Karo also Oburo as it pronounced in most western Uganda districts has over time earned the honour of presiding over cultural functions when it comes to meal time.

Be it weddings, introductions, thanksgiving ceremonies and other parties, people will not settle for less, at least you will hear a whisper or two “my lunch is never complete without Karo on such an occassion” while the other will check with the waiter “young man, how come you did not prepare Karo?” and so on.

The delicacy is not only enjoyed in western Uganda, other regions have also followed suit like Eastern and the Northern region. Before you get into the whole Karo mood, let me take you through the preparation which is unfortunately a bit complicated and requires experience if one is to come up with the proper final millet bread on table.

First is the tedious garden preparations which may take you a month and some days before you start the sowing. The garden must be cleared, no big soil crumbs and shadowing trees.

Next is the sowing which is done locally by use of hands in broadcast manner then after a month, weedding is done. Weeding is sometimes repeated basing on the rate at which the millet and weeds grow. After this, one takes the patience like for any other crop to mature and yield.

Three to four months down the road, the millet fingers are out loaded with grain ready for harvest. so here comes to the harvesting season and one would think its KWERANGA ceremony as done in central region. Families and friends get together, join effort for the heavy activity ahead.

Now you can feel a little bit relieved, but before you cross-leg and take a deep breath, alot other activities await your effort. Sun drying the grains, pounding, winnowing and sorting the grains are some of the activities. Grinding follows, which is done either by the grinding machine and some people still use the local grindstone (Orubengo) to bring out fine flour.

Pounded millet grains can be stored in sucks and plastic containers. However millet flour requires proper storage to avoid contamination with sand stones and dust particles.
This is one of those recipes that require keen attention and analysis. Depending on the number of people you want to serve, the appropriate amount of water is boiled either in a saucepan or mingling pot. A mingling stick is used, flour is added into water and the mingling starts untill required hardness.

Here the millet bread is ready and is served in EKIIBO that is a basket. These particular baskets come in very attractive designs and colors which will send signals to your taste buds as you await the delicious delicacy.

Karo is served with mostly local sauce like ESABWE which is made from cow ghee, beans, goat meat, beef, mushroom soup and other local sauce.
Millet has essential nutrients like zinc, manganese and a low cholesterol content which is ideal for proper body maintenance and easing the digestive system. so you can now get that portion of the millet bread, feel the piece in your hands, dip it in that preferred sauce and let it face its way down to your gullet. Trust me KARO can get you danc to one of those cultural songs your mother used to sing for you some good years back.