Ugandan Rolex | Breakfast Wrap

Ugandan Rolex Recipe

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.

Ridiculous? Maybe.

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…

"Lake Viktoria 2009-08-26 14-01-23" by Simisa (talk · contribs) - Own work Simisa (talk · contribs). Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Viktoria_2009-08-26_14-01-23.JPG#/media/File:Lake_Viktoria_2009-08-26_14-01-23.JPG

Lake Victoria. Photo by Simisa.

… and find a welcoming village in which to set up your food cart.

"Ugandpic3" by CFM-Uganda - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ugandpic3.jpg#/media/File:Ugandpic3.jpg"Ugandpic3" by CFM-Uganda - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ugandpic3.jpg#/media/File:Ugandpic3.jpg

Child in Uganda. Photo by CFM-Uganda.

Then set up your station.

mug or cup  must be used to mix the ingredients together.

Ugandan Rolex Recipe

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.

Ugandan Rolex Recipe

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.

ugandan-rolex-recipe-01

The bottom side will brown less – but you’ll be able to see those pretty ingredients…

ugandan-rolex-recipe-02

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.

Ugandan Rolex Recipe

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 …

Ugandan Rolex Recipe

… and it keeps tiny hands from burning.

Rolex Recipe from Uganda

Ava wasn’t keen on eating newsprint, so she quickly removed hers.

Eating Uganda's Rolex

Ugandan Rolex Recipe

Her final assessment?

Yum.

Yum.

Yum.

For the record, I agree.

How to serve a Ugandan Rolex

Here’s a great video showing a Rolex being made in Uganda.

And here’s one with the newsprint…

Delicious!

(Side note: notice how the whipped eggs come out? It would seem Ugandan eggs are more of a white gold than yellow!)

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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.Ugandan Rolex
Servings Prep Time
1person 10minutes
Cook Time
5-7minutes
Servings Prep Time
1person 10minutes
Cook Time
5-7minutes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Crack eggs into a large mug. Add the cabbage, tomato, red onion, and salt. Stir together with a spoon until well combined.
  2. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Oil well. Nonstick pans make the job even easier.
  3. Add the eggs and spread out into a flat circle with the back of your spoon. Let cook until mostly set and the bottom is browned.
  4. Flip and cook another couple of minutes. Top with chapati to heat it up.
  5. Remove from pan and, when cool enough to handle, roll it up! Enjoy your bite of Uganda.
Recipe Notes

Options: Right before serving consider adding hot peppers or more sliced tomatoes.

Source:

Recipe Copyright Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure. For personal or educational use only.

9 Comments

  1. Cynthia says

    What great fun, Sasha! Wonderful cross cultural experience watching this. Great way to travel the world. Loved watching how they prepped the ingredients. Now I’m off to make my own!

    • Sasha Martin says

      Oh, good! You’re going to love it, Cynthia 🙂 Enjoy!

  2. HA HA HA. Brilliant Post Sasha. I learnt how to cut vegetables. That is a neat trick, how he make the cross cuts on the Tomato and then slices just a portion They also seem to call a Roll a Role. Quaint. Having lived in Zimbabwe I can understand the dynamic. Despite Idi Amin expelling the Indians, the Chapati survived I see. I will try mine with Malaysian Roti which I get frozen from the Asian stores.

    • Sasha Martin says

      That’ll be a nice combination, I’m sure! Have fun with the slicing – just watch out for your fingers 🙂

  3. Nancy Collins says

    Thanks! – I made this. Lacking chapatis, I sliced a pita thin, the long way, and used 1 side (a bit small for 2 eggs). It was very good. A person can really customize the ingredients to suit one’s taste.

    I hope you’ll consider featuring the Japanese egg/cabbage/onion pancake/”pizza” Okonomiyaki. Flour can be substituted for the unavailable nagaimo root, per my Japanese friend. Yum!

    • Sasha Martin says

      Nancy, the Okonomiyaki sounds wonderful! I will definitely add trying this a version of this Japanese recipe to my list – thanks for the tip!

  4. Joy C. says

    Can the Chapati be made the day before…? I want to make this for my 4 kiddos – we homeschool and we’re studying Africa next week. I’m not sure I could handle making the Chapati AND the Rolex in the same morning – ha!

  5. Milly says

    Uuuuuhhhh sasha am ugandan my name is milly you may also add the tomatoes and onions cut together (kachumbali) just after removing from the pan and roll it whsn still hot wow the aroma is just wonderful and the taste will just make you ooozzz with saliva.

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