Uganda’s “Rolex” is breakfast luxury that can be purchased on any street corner. Whipped egg is the gold setting. Precious studs of tomato and purple onion glitter across the surface like garnet and amethyst, while fine strands of cabbage sparkle like peridot. The completed jewel is nestled safely in a soft chapati wrap.
But shouldn’t every day food be as precious as a “real” Rolex?
What is a Ugandan Rolex?
Rolex is classic Ugandan street food. The similarity to the luxury watch brand is happenstance: Once upon a time the vendors who made this treat called out “Rolled Eggs” – nothing more. The basic idea is eggs cooked with cabbage, onion, tomato, and sometimes peppers, which is then wrapped in chapati. But, as the words careened off their tongue, “Rolled Eggs” sounded more like “Rolex” to visitors. Gradually the (quite fun) misinterpretation stuck.
How do you make a Rolex?
To prepare a Rolex in the true Ugandan spirit, a few steps must be followed.
First, make your way to Uganda…
… and find a welcoming village in which to set up your food cart.
Then set up your station.
A mug or cup must be used to mix the ingredients together.
A standard to over-sized mug easily holds all the ingredients for a 2-egg Rolex. The high sides make whipping the mixture together a splash-free activity. No wonder all the street vendors use one!
Second, the egg mixture must be poured onto a hot, well-oiled pan and spread out with the same spoon used to whip the eggs.
Again, this is all about thinking like a street vendor: No use getting another utensil dirty!
Once the first side is cooked, flip the eggs over. They should be lightly browned.
The bottom side will brown less – but you’ll be able to see those pretty ingredients…
As they cook, the hot eggs steam and soften the harsh crunch of cabbage and onion, while also stewing the tomatoes. A good dash of salt brings the flavors together into a craveable bite of Uganda.
Here’s the next pro tip from Uganda:
While the eggs are still in the pan, top them with a large chapati (you can use my recipe if you want). The steam coming off the eggs will soften the chapati and make it easier to roll.
Finally, many Rolex are wrapped in newspaper for serving.
Not all Ugandans do this – fancier street vendors slide them into cellophane baggies – though some claim the newsprint provides great flavor.
Say what you will about ingesting newsprint, there’s rustic charm to the practice. It soaks up any stray cooking oil or juices …
… and it keeps tiny hands from burning.
Ava wasn’t keen on eating newsprint, so she quickly removed hers.
Her final assessment?
For the record, I agree.
Here’s a great video showing a Rolex being made in Uganda.
And here’s one with the newsprint…
(Side note: notice how the whipped eggs come out? It would seem Ugandan eggs are more of a white gold than yellow!)