Gastronomy in Senegal: what are the typical dishes?

What do you eat in Senegal? Discover through this blog the dishes you can find during your internship in this country!


This is the traditional dish. It is made of rice with very small and crispy grains, fish, tomato sauce and vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, manioc, etc. It is also found in neighbouring countries such as Mauritania or Gambia (benechim), as well as in the rest of West Africa under the name “riz au gras” or “riz sénégalais”.

Yassa with chicken

Another local dish is chicken yassa, cooked with onions and vegetables. It is similar to the Thieboudian recipe but not as good because the fish gives the rice a special flavour and the chicken a little less.

This dish, as well as all other dishes in Senegalese cuisine, is always accompanied by a very thick onion sauce.

Yassa fish

This is a fish dish, which is cut and stuffed with a mixture of oil, stock cube, pepper and garlic, cooked on a grill and then marinated in lemon juice with onions. It is served with a plate of white rice cooked separately.


This is a very richly flavoured dish of chicken, mutton or beef cooked in a pan with oil, tomato paste, pepper, garlic and onions, and boiled beans, drained and added to the pan.


This is mutton, beef or sometimes pork cooked in oil and tomato, to which water and peanut paste are then added. The dish is ready when the oil in which the meat has been cooked rises to the surface and is served with a plate of white rice cooked separately.

Kandia soup

This is a dish of white rice, served with a sauce made from palm oil and okra in which fish cut into small pieces is cooked.


Modern Senegalese cuisine has been enriched with various starters, such as Niébés, small beans that are left overnight in water so that the skin can be easily removed the next day, mixed with salt and fried in oil; they are served with the famous onion sauce.

Another is the Chawarmas: meat, tomatoes, peppers and onions with piadina and sesame sauce.


Just as important as the dishes to be enjoyed, there are various typical drinks; here are some examples.

Ataya is an infusion of green tea, fresh mint and water prepared in a metal teapot, heated over charcoal, from which the tea is then poured into the glass. For the Senegalese, Ataya is much more than a drink: it is a ritual and a moment of sharing.

There is also Bissap, a sweet-tasting thirst-quenching drink made from an infusion of dried hibiscus flowers, which give the juice a reddish colour; the leaves are used to make sauces and condiments.

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