Rolex in the Ugandan Context; The word Rolex is usually associated with an expensive watch brand worn by people with a luxurious taste. However, there is another kind of Rolex found in Uganda – the Pearl of Africa. Interestingly, this kind is not connected to fashion and style at all. It is a famous street food/snack that many Ugandans and foreigners enjoy, and it is also known as the Ugandan Rolex.
In the Ugandan context, this snack derived its name from its preparation method, which involves rolling/wrapping an egg omelette and some vegetables (if preferred) inside a chapati. This is why you will hear Ugandans saying, “In Uganda, we don’t wear Rolexes; we eat them.”
What makes the Ugandan Rolex popular?
The Rolex usually consists of a fried omelette and a filling of different vegetables rolled inside a chapati, a soft and fluffy flatbread made of wheat flour.
This delicacy is cherished by many because of its delicious taste, affordability (it is very cheap for both residents and non-residents), accessibility (can be found along many of the roadsides/streets, especially in urban areas), it is cheap and easy to prepare (if you are interested in preparing by yourself in the comfort of your home). It can be eaten anytime or with any meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner).
Where did the Rolex originate from?
The idea of making this incredible dish originated from a chapati vendor stationed in the Busoga region some years back. This vendor was creative, and his recipe spread like wildfire throughout the region and then continued to a place called Wandegeya, which is located near Makerere University in Kampala. This is where it became even more popular since many university students in the area were always looking out for quick meals to save time (due to lectures) and also to save money.
The magic of the Ugandan roles did not stop there, but it continued to spread to different parts of the country because of its incredible taste, low price and how it made people’s lives much more manageable.
The Ugandan Rolex made it to the Guinness Book of records
The Rolex had gotten a lot of credit over the years from chefs, roadside vendors, and tourists, to mention but a few. However, 2021 was its year of breaking through to greater heights. A Ugandan YouTube content creator (YouTuber), Raymond Kahuma and his team made the largest Ugandan Rolex that had ever existed, and it weighed 204.6 kilograms, such a record breaker! This mesmerising event occurred on 4th November 2021 in Kasokoso – Wakiso district.
In terms of length, the gigantic snack measured 2.32 metres (quite unbelievable), and its thickest diameter was 0.66 metres. Approximately this record-breaking snack consisted of about two thousand normal-sized Rolexes.
What did it take for Kahuma and his team to pull off a Guinness world record?
It is, first of all, essential to note that a lot of effort, resources and time were invested in this cause.
Kahuma and his team, or the power team as one could call it, started their journey by setting aside a year of preparation and trials to ensure that the final day would yield excellent results.
Then, finally, on the 4th of November, they used 14 hours and 36 minutes for kneading the dough, whisking eggs and frying – with the result being the 206.4 kilograms Ugandan Rolex.
Additionally, it took a total of sixty people, two separate cooking surfaces (set up from scratch) to cook the eggs (1200 in total) and chapati (made with 72 kilograms of flour), as well as 90 kilograms of vegetables.
A worthwhile challenge
Although a big team was handling the job, the entire process, from preparing and cooking the dough to moving and rolling the giant finished flatbread (chapati) and eggs, was quite a challenge. One of the toughest steps was finding the best way of lifting the dough off the frying surface without breaking it.
However, the team could finally conquer by rolling the surface with kitchen foil/film instead of carrying the dough. In a nutshell, it took them four attempts to attain the title of the largest Ugandan rolex in the history of Rolexes!
Ingredients that can be added to the Rolex
Initially, a Ugandan Rolex consisted of chapati, eggs and vegetables. However, due to various trends, other ingredients can now be added to your meal. If you go to an eating spot such as Ugaroll, you will be introduced to a world of chicken and beef wrapped inside a rolex. These variations taste so good that you may eat them all day! Serve many variations of fillings. For a person who wants to make a unique, delicious combo at your home, feel free to consider fillings such as cheese, chicken, beef, avocados and so on.
Below are some simple instructions on how to prepare a home-made tasty rolex:
- Collect and wash/clean all your ingredients and cooking equipment.
- Peel the onions and chop them into fine pieces.
- Chop the coriander and slice the tomatoes into thin/fine pieces
Ensure that the vegetables are of a reasonable amount that can quickly get ready.
- Prepare the dough in a bowl by mixing wheat flour, water mixed with salt and shredded carrots/onions (if preferred)
- Mix the dough until it is soft and fluffy. Separate it into small round portions and then roll them out into flat round pieces
- Pour some little cooking into a non-stick pan. When it is heated, put the chapati to fry.
- Break the eggs into another sizable bowl, add the onions, tomatoes, coriander and a pinch of salt. Whisk the mixture together.
- Put a clean non-stick pan over medium heat and add a teaspoon of cooking oil.
- When the oil gets heated, pour the egg mixture into the pan and fry one side. Use a spatula to turn it over carefully so that you can also fry the other side.
- If you want to add fillings such as avocados, minced chicken or beef, raw tomatoes or anything else, ensure they are prepared in advance.
- Place the ready hot chapati on a serving plate, put the fried omelette on top, and add the fillings of your choice and some fresh coriander (if desirable).
- Roll the chapati and place it on a plate ready to eat, or wrap it inside foil paper. A rolex tastes good when it is hot. You may accompany your meal with a fresh glass of juice or tea or anything else.
The Rolex Initiative
The Rolex has not only put the country in the Guinness Book of Records or boosted tourism to some level but has also contributed much to society. This contribution is through the Rolex Initiative, a female-led organisation founded by one of the former holders of the Miss Tourism position for the Busoga region from 2015 to 2016, known as Enid Mirembe. Additionally, the Rolex initiative focuses on environmental sustainability, transforming the shadow economy into a formal industry, and ensuring female inclusion in earning a living through sustainable culinary tourism development.
COVID-19 and Ebola Travel Guidelines
Ensure to follow all the necessary COVID-19 and Ebola travel guidelines to ensure you are safe and healthy during your safari with us. One of our primary priorities is to provide the best possible safety and comfort during your tour, so please rest assured that you will be in safe hands.
Some of the travel guidelines include wearing and carrying a sufficient number of surgical masks, moving with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, vaccination against COVID-19 or taking a PCR test and several others.
To sum it all up, the taste of a Ugandan Rolex cannot be compared to any dish you have ever had. It is with that point, therefore, that we recommend exploring the extraordinary taste of a Rolex during your safari with us to Uganda or even making one for yourself at home. It will be a worthwhile experience for you!
Please feel free to contact us and forward any inquiries or questions, or even suggestions about your upcoming safari. We shall be delighted to hear from you. Don’t miss out on a beautiful opportunity to explore Uganda with us. Allow us to turn your safari dream into an everlasting memory!