Cookbook:Gonja (Ugandan Fried Plantains)

Gonja (Ugandan Fried Plantains)
CategoryUgandan recipes

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Gonja is a delightful and popular snack loved by many in Ugandan cuisine. These sweet and savory fried plantains are a staple street food, enjoyed as a quick treat or a side dish to accompany main meals.






  1. Begin by peeling the ripe plantains and cutting them into diagonal slices about ½ inch thick. You can choose to slice them straight or at an angle for a different presentation.
  2. In a deep frying pan or pot, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. The oil should be deep enough to submerge the plantain slices.
  3. Carefully add the plantain slices to the hot oil in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the plantains for about 2–3 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown and crispy.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried plantains from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain excess oil.
  5. While the plantains are still hot, sprinkle them with a pinch of salt to enhance their flavor.
  6. Serve the gonja while warm as a delightful and irresistible snack or side dish.

Notes, tips, and variations

  • Ripe plantains with black spots on the skin are ideal for making gonja, as they are sweeter and softer when fried.
  • For a sweeter version, you can dust the fried plantains with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or drizzle them with honey.
  • Gonja can also be served as a side dish to accompany savory main dishes, adding a touch of sweetness to the meal.
  • These fried plantains can be enjoyed as a tasty snack on their own or paired with a cup of Ugandan tea or coffee.
  • Gonja provides a satisfying combination of carbohydrates, natural sugars, and dietary fiber from the ripe plantains.