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THIEBOUDIENNE is an African recipe from the Wolof people and is considered the national dish from Senegal.

PROBABLY THE MOST POPULAR DISH FROM WEST AFRICA.

Thieboudienne is an aromatic combination of fish, vegetables, and rice in a hearty tomato sauce flavored with garlic and chili. It’s also called Cheb-u-jin or Ceebu Jën, and can be prepared with chicken (Thiebou Guinar) or meat (Thiebou Yapp) instead of fish. This great African dish has spread to different countries with only a few differences in its recipe: in Nigeria or Ghana it is known as Jollof Rice, in Gambia it is also called Benachin.

RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds fish,
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley,
  • 1 large onion sliced,
  • 15 ounces of tomatoe sauce,
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste,
  • 5 garlic cloves,
  • 2 Maggi cubes,
  • 3 cups uncooked short grain rice,
  • 2 pounds veggies (carrots, green pepper, eggplant),
  • 2 pounds potatoes and cassava,
  • 8-10 cups water,
  • 8 ounces smoked fish.

Total Time: 1 hr 55 min
Prep Time: 35 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 20 min


Method

  • Wash the fish carefully, drain, and pat dry with paper towels or a clean towel. Score or slit the fish 4 to 5 times in a slanted position across each side. If using fish steaks score once. Rub the fish with lemon and salt the fish and set aside.
  • In a food processor or blender puree chopped parsley, spring onions, garlic, habanero pepper and Maggi seasoning.
  • Dip fish in one portion of the parsley marinade. Flip the fish so that both sides are coated with the marinade, including the inside of the scores. Let it set as you prepare the vegetables for the dish. It may be done an hour or two in advance; cover and refrigerate.
  • Clean and wash the vegetables ; potatoes and cassava (peel outer layer and cut into large chunks).
  • Clean Carrots, eggplant, red and green pepper (cut into large chunks).
  • Heat a wide heavy sauce-pan until hot; add 1 cup of oil; swirl and heat for a few seconds, then lower in the fish and fry until fish is brown, for around 3 minutes. Turn the fish around and brown for two minutes on the other side. Remove the fish and set aside.
  • Add the chopped onions and tomatoes sauce and include the remaining marinade for the fish (about 2 tablespoons), add Maggi and salt to taste. Let it simmer for about five minutes.
  • Pour in 6 cups of water, on to the cassava and potatoes for about 5 minutes, then add the eggplant, carrots and the peppers last, simmer for about 3 minutes or until tender. Remove the vegetables and set aside.
  • Finally add the rice and about 1-2 cups of water as needed. Season to taste, add half of the fish. Cover and cook on very low heat on stove top for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and absorbs all the water. Stir occasionally being careful not to let the fish break up.
  • Another option is to finish cooking the rice in the oven for about 10 minutes or until tender (if using an oven safe pan) This minimizes the stirring and prevents burning.
  • Remove and serve warm.