Thiéboudienne

One of Senegal's main dishes, made for me by a wonderful woman!

Basically, it is a rice and fish dish. Short-grain rice is cooked in a tomato-based sauce with spices (somewhat reminiscent of Jollof but a wholly different taste due to the spices), and is topped with fish (also cooked in a tomato-based sauce) and a variety of vegetables. The vegetables shown here are carrots, egg-plants, cabbage and garlic.

I find it interesting that they don’t really cut the vegetables here (except, I think for the eggplants and cabbage which are simply too big to not cut) when they use them to make stew. I’m not entirely sure the reasoning but I thought cutting vegetables helps release the flavour into the meal, along with making them cook faster, although the trade-off is that you lose some nutrients in the process. This stew, I was told by my friend, is cooked for at least a couple of hours so it might be that they don’t really need the vegetables to cook fast (any vegetable is bound to cook in a couple of hours!); thus, they retain all the nutrients. Or it may just be that it saves a WHOLE lot of time! I’ll definitely be asking about this one.