What to Eat in Senegal

Africa is definitely one of the most exotic continents to visit. And though there are many countries within Africa that should be on the list, if Senegal is your next destination, you are not making a wrong choice. Safari trips, cultural encounters, and main tourist sightings will give you the experience of a lifetime. But what about food? There is only so little we know about this fascinating country. But to make your trip a lot more enjoyable, you want to be sure to get involved with the locals. Not just learn about their culture, but eat what they eat. “What do they eat?”, you may ask. Here is a few of the typical Senegalese dishes you should definitely eat.

CEEBU JËN

This dish cannot get more Senegalese as it involves the most used ingredients by the natives: rice, fish, and a few vegetables. The rice is seasoned, and is accompanied by a grilled or fried fished that is stuffed with a paste made of garlic. The pieces of vegetables involve carrots, cabbage, turnips, and so on. It is a huge hit in the area thanks to its various mix of ingredients, and the intensity of its flavours. Best part is, you can find it anywhere and it’s cheap.

CEEBU YAPP

This is pretty close to the previous dish we just discussed, only instead of using fish, they use meat, either beef or lamb. You will get the same texture in rice as you will in the Ceebu Jen, but the preparation is more of a stir fry, as the vegetables and meat are cut up into small little pieces and all mixed in together.

FATAYA

I would call this more of a snack instead of a proper dinner or lunch dish. It involves deep fried empanadas, stuffed with a paste consisting of tomato, onion and fish. They are usually accompanied by a sweet and spicy tomato sauce called Kaani, which is used for dipping.

DIBI

Dibi is probably Senegal’s favourite street dish. It involves spiced sheep meat, roasted on simple grills and served with grilled onions, mustard and some bread on the side. This simple dish originates from the Arabs but, more than 80% of the country’s citizens practice Islam. So, of course, they made this part of their typical cuisine.

THIOU

There is not much of an explanation to this particular dish but does not make it any less delicious. It is basically a stew consisting of tomato, fish or meat, and chopped up vegetables, poured over a nice bowl of white rice.

MAFE

Mafe, I would have to say, sounds like the most unique kind of dish in this entire list. It involves a combination of local nuts, (which in this case, would be peanuts) meat, and rice. The peanut sauce tends to be rich, thick, and very oily, giving it the flavour it is known for. The list could go on and on about all the kinds of local dishes we should try. But, these are definitely top priority.