Aromatic and Delicious: The Diverse Food Culture of Gambia

In case you didn’t know, Gambia has some of the most flavorful and aromatic food you’ll ever eat. Whether it’s groundnut stew, rice and peanut sauce, or tomato stewed fish, the aromas emanating from the local cuisine are guaranteed to get your mouth watering before you even taste them. Here are some of our favorite Gambian delicacies to try out on your next trip to the country (or your next cooking experiment at home).

Rice, Peanuts and Bananas

West Africa’s Gambia is a small country. Despite its size, it boasts a diverse food culture due to the many different ethnic groups that live there. Rice is a staple in Gambian cuisine, as it is in many other African countries. Peanuts and bananas are also easily available and often used in dishes.
Gambian food is generally healthy, as fresh ingredients are used instead of processed ones. Spices are also used sparingly, as they are believed to be bad for one’s health. That being said, some dishes can be quite spicy.

Overall, Gambian food is fresh, delicious and relatively cheap. If you ever have the chance to visit this beautiful country, be sure to try some of its unique dishes! One popular dish is rice with chicken. It tastes great and has plenty of healthy protein. Another famous dish in Gambia is pili pili. They’re spicy shrimp fried with peanuts, onions, tomatoes and chili peppers. You’ll love them! There are plenty more options available too–some very cheap while others may cost a little more.


The country of Gambia is located in West Africa. It is bordered by Senegal on all sides except for its coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. The country has a population of about 2 million people. The climate is tropical, with two seasons: a hot, dry season from November to May, and a cooler, wet season from June to October. The food culture in Gambia is diverse, with influences from Europe, Asia, and Africa. Rice is the staple food, and most meals are served with it. Seafood is also easily available, as Gambia is a coastal country. Fish stew is a popular dish, made with fresh fish, tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers.

The food culture in Gambia is dominated by seafood. Since its location on Africa’s Atlantic coast, Gambian cuisine has a lot of influence from Portuguese and French cooking styles. Its most well-known culinary exports are peanut sauce, made with ground peanuts and occasionally chili peppers; cashew nut soup; peanut stew; okra soup, made with okra, garlic and onions; garri which is a staple food made from ground cassava or maize dough (used as an alternative to flour); goat meat or other meats used in many different dishes.


West Africa is home to the small country of Gambia. It is bordered by Senegal to the north, south, and west, and has a small coastline on the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The country is relatively small, but it is very diverse in terms of its food culture. The beef industry in Gambia is quite developed, with many different types of beef available. The most common type of beef consumed in Gambia is from cattle that are raised on small farms. These cattle are usually allowed to graze on grasslands, which gives the beef a unique flavor. There are also many other types of beef available in Gambia, including beef from goats, sheep, and even camels.

Very few people outside of Africa have eaten camel meat, but it is quite common in Gambia. Camel meat is comparable to beef in texture, but with a sweet taste that draws in people who are willing to try new foods. Not only does camel meat taste good, but it is also quite affordable compared to other types of beef. This can make it an attractive option for people who want to reduce their spending while trying something new.


This rich and hearty stew is a favorite among the Mandinka people of Gambia. It’s made with chicken, beef, or lamb cooked in a peanut-based sauce. You’ll often find vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and onion in the mix. Maafe is usually served over rice or couscous. For a traditional dish, it’s eaten with karanga (fermented milk) that can be stirred into the maafe for an extra punch of flavor.

Mafé Milo: A traditional meal enjoyed by all Senegalese communities in Gambia, this dish includes rice and beans mixed together before being fried to perfection with tomatoes, onions, garlic, thyme leaves and other spices. When the dish is done cooking, ground sesame seeds are added and allowed to simmer until they form a thick paste. Aside from giving mafé milo its distinctive taste, sesame paste also provides nutritional benefits including calcium, iron, protein and zinc.

Sakooti/Kow: Sakooti or kow is a beef stew native to Ghana. This spicy meal is traditionally eaten with pounded yam, potatoes, or beans and is generally served over rice. Limes are usually sliced into sakooti just before serving to give it an extra kick. Aside from being flavorful, sakooti contains essential vitamins like vitamin A, C, B-6 and potassium which are important for a healthy diet.

Jollof Rice

In Gambia, Jollof Rice is considered to be the national dish. It is often served at weddings, funerals, and other special occasions. Jollof rice can be made in many different ways. Some people like to add additional ingredients such as okra, eggplant, or even peanut butter. No matter what ingredients you use, Jollof Rice is sure to be a delicious and aromatic dish! One thing that all Jollof Rice recipes have in common is onions. They are usually chopped into very small pieces before they are cooked with the rice.

This dish would not be complete without either vegetable oil or palm oil. If you don’t have one on hand, it’s better to substitute the other instead.
The rice needs to be thoroughly washed before it’s added to a pot along with water and allowed to cook for about thirty minutes on medium heat with some salt for taste. Olive oil is then added along with the vegetables, dried shrimp scotch bonnet pepper , garlic, thyme leaves , tomato paste , onion paste , ginger root paste .


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