The Gambia has many large restaurants with a variety of cuisines to choose from, including Lebanese, Chinese, Italian, and Indian. Some establishments also serve a full English breakfast. However, in addition to foods from other cultures, Gambian cuisines are worth trying, and both locals and visitors enjoy them. The Gambia has many traditional foods; when you visit the country, don’t forget to try them.
Here are the 18 most popular foods of The Gambia
Ebbeh is a nutritious and tasty traditional Gambian soup. The soup is made with various vegetables, such as cassava, cocoyam, and sweet potatoes. Palm oil, lime juice, tamarind, chili peppers, stock cubes, and seafood such as catfish, Bonga fish, prawns, and crabs are also included in the recipe.
Afra is typically eaten as a snack, and it is one of the locals’ favorite late-night snacks. It is made of seasoned meat that has been grilled. The Afra is then served with spicy or mustard sauce. This snack can be found in food stalls all over the country and is a must-try because of its delicious flavor.
Benachin is the most well-known Gambian dish. Benachin literally means “one pot” or “one dish.” Most of their dishes require two pots, one for the rice and one for the soup, but with benachin, everything is cooked in a single pot.
Benachin is a simple fish, beef, or chicken dish cooked with oil, onions, garlic, pepper, tomato, seasoning, cassava, and bay leaves. You can also include carrots and shrimp, but they are not required.
Yassa is a simple dish that can be made with chicken or fish. Yassa ganarr (chicken) and yassa jenn (fish) are the terms used to describe this dish (jenn being fish). This dish is delicious when combined with onions, pepper, black pepper, seasoning, salt, lime, mustard, and bell pepper.
Tapalapa is popular in countries other than the Gambia, such as Guinea. It is a traditional bread made with a combination of wheat and millet flour. Yeast, cowpea flour, maize flour, and salt are also required ingredients in the recipe.
Akara is a popular dish among the locals there. It is typically eaten for breakfast with tapalapa bread. It is made from ground black-eyed peas. After cooking, the dish is served with a sauce made of jumbo and chili peppers, as well as onions.
7. Nyambeh Nyebeh
Nyambeh nyebeh literally translates to cassava and beans and is typically eaten for dinner. Three pots are required for nyebeh: one for the cassava, one for the beans, and one for the stew. Cassava is first boiled, and once cooked, a little salt is added. The beans are then boiled with a little salt. The stew is finally ready.
8. Naan Mburu
Naan mburu is a Gambian dessert that can be made any day of the week, but it is traditionally made on Good Friday. Almost all Christians in The Gambia make naan mburu at home to share with their Muslim neighbors and friends. It is also sold on the street and served in restaurants. It’s essentially a rice pudding dessert with baobab fruit. The main ingredients are rice and baobab, as well as sugar, fruit (such as banana, apple, and grapes), milk, and the flavor essence of your choice.
Domoda is the national dish of the country. It’s a delectable peanut stew. It comes in two varieties: with and without meat. You’ll need a pumpkin, peanuts, sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and tomato paste to make domoda. If you want to include meat, use chicken or beef. It is served with rice after it has been cooked.
10. Fish Cake and Sauce
Fish cakes are a traditional Gambian evening snack sold on the streets. They, ironically, do not contain any fish. They are made with a simple dough of flour, fat, and salt. Roll the dough out, cut it into circles, and fry it. What sets these apart is the sauce that comes with them. Onions, jumbo, pepper, and salt are combined and sautéed in hot oil before being simmered with a little water. All that remains is to plate the fish cakes and top them with the delectable sauce.
Superkanja, also known as okra stew, is an absolute must-try. This delectable stew is made with onions, fish, beef, okra, and crabs or prawns. It goes well with rice, according to the locals.
12. Wonjo Juice
Wonjo juice, while not a food, must be included on the list. It has a very refreshing flavor, making it ideal for a summer drink. It is made with dried hibiscus flowers and is non-alcoholic. Locals add a little sugar to improve the flavor.
13. Baobab Juice
This pale brown, non-alcoholic drink is full of vitamins, calcium, and fiber and is made from the fruit of giant baobab trees. It’s also a probiotic, which means it promotes the growth of good bacteria. It’s used in various ways, including flavoring yogurt and smoothies.
14. Chewi Kong
Chewi kong is a Gambia-based traditional catfish stew. Catfish, onions, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, cassava, cabbage, oil, tomato paste, bay leaves, salt, and pepper are common ingredients in the stew. The catfish is washed in hot water with lime, and the onions and tomatoes are blended and fried with tomato paste. Chewi kong is typically served with boiled rice.
Plasas is a popular vegetable soup throughout West Africa. It is a Gambian dish that can be prepared in a variety of ways using any preferred green vegetable, though spinach is recommended. It can also be prepared with the well-known palm oil vegetable oil. Some versions include ground melon seeds, ogiri (locust bean seeds), and peanut butter.
Olele is a Gambian steamed bean pudding that is also known in Nigeria as moi moi. Olele can be eaten as a side dish with rice or on its own. It is best cooked in leaves to preserve the local flavor, but it can also be prepared in tin cups.
Chakery is a type of couscous pudding. It’s a sweet and creamy dish that could be mistaken for dessert, and it’s best served cold. Chakery could be made with pineapples, berries, or nuts. Consider it Gambian oats—creamy oats.
18. Pepper Soup
Another hot and spicy Gambian dish popular in West Africa is pepper soup. The flavor is derived from the animal protein added to it, which can be fish, seafood, mutton, chicken, or goat meat. Pepper soup can be served on its own or with rice.
The Gambia has foods that will suit any palate as they are wholesome and full of flavor. The use of fresh fruits is very common, and the meals are quite filling. Hope you will try these most popular foods of The Gambia soon!