By Vision reporter
The demand for mukene is steadily increasing, partly because more people have discovered the hidden treasure in this food.
Some people are put off by the grit (if not washed well) and smell of mukene. But, when prepared well, one can transform mukene into a mouth-watering dish.
According to Vivian Namboozo, a nutritionist at Nutridieteric Centre in Kampala, mukene, is loaded with proteins (body-building nutrients) and calcium (for strong bones and teeth).
Mukene is also rich in phosphorous, which aids brain and bone development.
Sarah Wanyana, a nutritionist at Mwana Mugimu malnutrition unit at Mulago Hospital, adds that mukene fat is easily digestible because it remains liquid at room temperature, therefore, cutting risks of cholesterol build-up in the body.
Mukene contains polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6, which reduce cardiac (heart-related) diseases and risks of blood clotting as well as high blood pressure.
Omega–3 fatty acids improve the membranes of the red blood cells, reducing risks of infl ammatory diseases.
“Mukene also contains vitamins A and E, which improve skin health and sight,” Wanyana adds.
In addition, vitamins C and E as well as betacarotene and zinc help to slow down macular degeneration. Nutritionists advise that one should eat fi sh at least three times a week.
However, caution should be taken when cooking mukene because overheating may result in the loss of nutrients.
How to prepare mukene in groundnut sauce
Roast the mukene over low heat
Soak it in warm water to remove sand and to soften it
Drain the water and rinse the mukene in clean water
Mash the mukene into a paste
Cook the groundnuts and add the mukene paste
Cook until it boils
Add onions and similar for about 10 to 15 minutes until the soup thickens, then add salt.
You may serve the sauce with matooke, posho and sweet potatoes, among other dishes of your choice.
According to Sarah Atim, a mukene trader, in local markets like Nakawa, Owino and Kamwokya, unprocessed mukene is sold in small polythene packs at sh500, while plastic containers and tins are priced between sh1,000 to sh7,000, depending on the size.
In supermarkets, a 100g pack of mukene costs between sh1,500 and sh2,500.