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Senegalese food is the food from the cuisine of Senegal, a country located in the sub-Saharan West Africa. The cuisine is mostly non-vegetarian and is flavored by sauces and spices.

Senegalese Food - Factors that Influence It

The Senegalese cuisine closely resembles that of France as it was a French Colony until the year 1960. The cuisine also embraces Portugal and North African foods. Fish is the staple food here as the country borders the Atlantic Ocean. As the majority of the population follow Islam, pork is not a part of the food.

Common Ingredients

Rice, peanuts, couscous, lentils, sweet potato, peas, carrot, potatoes, lettuce, mango are some of the ingredients used in cooking. Peanut butter and tomato sauce is frequently used in cooking. While fish is very common, chicken, eggs, beef, and lamb are also used in cooking.

Everyday Senegalese Food

Senegalese food typically consists of marinated meat and vegetables which are stewed and eaten with rice. Fish dishes are the most common. Thieboudienne, ceebu jen, maafe, yassa, bassi salte, and poisson à la braise are some of the traditional dishes served here. Thieboudienne is a dish made with marinated fish and vegetables, cooked in tomato sauce. Maafe can include any type of meat and vegetables cooked in peanut butter and tomato sauce. Thiou au poulet is a chicken stew, and poisson à la braise is grilled fish. Fried fish balls called as boullette de poisson is served with ceebu jen, which is a dish made with fish, rice, and vegetables.

Snacks, Desserts, and Beverages

Roasted peanuts are often eaten as a snack. Desserts are made with native ingredients with a French touch. Fondue made of fruit covered with chocolate and banana glaze are consumed as desserts. Cinq centimes, which is also called the five-cent cookie, is made with peanuts. Fresh fruits are also served as a dessert. A dessert is usually followed by tea or coffee.

Health Benefits of Senegalese Cuisine

The commonly used ingredients, including fish and meat, provide the necessary carbohydrates and protein to the diet. Vegetables are a good source of vitamins. Peanut, which is quite common in this country, is high in monounsaturated fat, which is good for the body. It can help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Thus, the Senegalese food is considered mostly healthy.