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Senegalese Relish: How to Make Thieboudienne Deliciously

Africa is home to diverse cultures and people. This cultural diversity brings up different practices, beliefs, foods, and traditions. And we love to share this diversity to help you have the real African experience.

Today, in the spirit of celebrating the 63rd independence anniversary of Senegal, we have decided to share the recipe for making Thieboudienne, a very popular Senegalese relish.

Thieboudienne is pronounced as (ceebu jen) and has a very fascinating origin. It literally means the ‘rice of fish‘ in the Senegalese Wolof language, but the name hardly does the dish any justice. This dish is considered to be the national dish of Senegal, and it is one of the reasons Senegalese cuisine is known around the world.

How to Make Thieboudienne

To make Thieboudienne, also known as Senegalese Jollof Rice, you need to have your ingredients and cooking methods right. First, you start by soaking 2 cups of rice, while preparing other ingredients. The ingredients you’d need for this meal include;


  • 1 1/2 cups rice broken rice
  • 4 Large pieces white fish snapper or grouper
  • 3 tomatoes mashed
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bunch parsley crushed
  • Large Carrot (1) peeled and cut into medium pieces
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped (divided)
  • 1 small eggplant sliced
  • 1 small cabbage cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 2 Seasoning cubes
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon nététou
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked fish shredded or ground
  • 2 habanero peppers de-seeded and diced.
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 okra
  • 6 cups hot water

Steps to Make Thieboudienne

Follow these steps to prepare the Senegalese relish, Thieboudienne

#1. Prepare the stuffing or puree/marinade for fish

  • Blend or crush the parsley, the garlic, 1 seasoning cube, plus a little salt and pepper to taste and a spoon of oil.
  • Cut slits in the flesh of the fish and stuff the puree inside or slather the fillets with the puree and refrigerate for a couple of hours. (Reserve leftover puree)

#2. Make the Thieboudienne tomato sauce.

  • Heat the oil to medium-high and add the onions, tomatoes, tomato paste, black pepper, and remaining garlic. Then fry for 15 minutes.
  • Add the stuffed or marinated fish into the tomato sauce.
  • Add the seasoning cube, bay leaves, nététou, smoked fish, habaneros, and 1 cup of water.
  • Simmer until the fish pieces are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

#3. Remove the fish and add vegetables

  • Remove the fish pieces and add all the vegetables except okra with 1 cup of water and cook the vegetables until they are cooked approximately 15-20 minutes. You must ensure that the vegetables are tender before removing them, but take care to not overcook them. Then remove the vegetables and add the okra with water. Cook for 5 minutes more, then remove the okra.

#4. Thieboudienne Rice

  • Cook the rice over low heat, stir often, and cook until tender. When the rice is cooked, set the table for serving. Place the rice on a dish and arrange the vegetables and fish on top.

See more foods made by different African Countries and try something out!

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