Have you traveled to Uganda? Do you know Sim Sim? Have you eaten it before, or its products? If you haven’t, you no longer have a reason to say you dint know. Just a trip to northern Uganda or eastern parts of the country, try asking these yummy cereals, they will be at your service.
Sesame seed and sesame dessert with caramel
When I visited my sister in Kinyamaseke Village, in Kinyamaseke Parish, Munkunyu Subcounty in Kasese where she has been married for about 12 years now, I began to appreciate different food prepared by people in a traditional setting.
The warm air that escaped the house to the wintry chill behind me was infused with the aroma of the freshly prepared Sim Sim cake. Looking at them, my mouth started watering and i could barely wait to feast on these little, seeds.
Anyone who walks on the streets of Kampala can tell he/she has seen these little, yummy food stuffs called Sim Sim. It is some times called Sesame.
Usually, Sim Sim products are hawked in the traffic jam and some time with street vendors beautifully packed in a water and air tight polythene. They are made in different forms to please consumers. Some take square shapes, others circular while others are sold together with roasted G.nuts.
Interestingly, when you keenly interest yourself on who Usually sells these yummy little seeds, it will be young beautiful ladies and trust me these will not be Baganda. It will be someone with a true deep African beauty hidden in her dark skin color. Most probably this person will have origins from dry land areas of Uganda such as Acholi, Teso, Lango, and West Nile areas because that is where they are usually grown.
Black Sesame Seeds
If you have not eaten these, Oh My God you don’t know what you are missing. Sim Sim is used in many ways to and is a delicacy.Bakeries add sim sim seeds to bread and the top of hamburgers to give them a rich nutty taste, if you have tasted it, you can testify.
The beauty about delicacy is that you can eat these seeds raw or you may roast them (Okukaranga in Runyankore). Once roasted, they can pound its paste can be added to smoked meat, fish and some types of vegetables to make delicious soup. Lakorokoro is a dish of smoked meat and cooked sim sim. One to be regarded as a pure Acholi. “We eat this meal usually with Karo and sweet potatoes,” my friend Oyeki Gerald from Gulu excited me.
Sim Sim paste which the Luo people call ‘Odi’ is very sweet. When you advance to South Sudan, this white Sim Sim is used to make “Halawa” usually referred to as the “African Chocolate”
Sim Sim once pound oil can be extracted and used for smearing
If you have been to areas of Lira, Aduku, Dokolo and Apac, Gulu towns, then you know what i am talking about Please try and ask this delicacy.
A man preparing sim sim after harvesting in northern Uganda
Just like it is believed that eating G.nuts increases Male sexual performance, the same argument is also advanced for Sim sim. That is not why i take it anyway but true this crop has been proved to have important health benefits for one who eats them.
For instance, it contains calcium, which helps build bones, enhance bone density and lower the risk of Osteoporosis (the holes in bones). Eating Sim sim has also been proven to bring relief to people suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, a Chronic joint disease that causes damage to joints in the body. These seeds are high in dietary fibre and add roughage to the intestines which improves bowel movements and helps prevent constipation.
Facts reveal that Uganda is the fifth largest producer of Sim Sim in the world producing about 170,000 metric tons annually. It is believed that Sim Sim growing in Uganda started in 1910 when it was first introduced from Kenya and then distributed to Eastern and Northern Parts of Uganda. I hope you will testify on testing the delicacy.