Bassi Salte is a traditional Senegalese delicacy. The dish is prepared by combining millet couscous with meat and greens. Traditionally the dish contained mutton balls, chicken meat or beef, cassava roots, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, tomato paste, and sweet potatoes.
To enhance the taste, sugar ingredients like dates are added. The delicacy is one of the most valued dishes in Senegal that requires some skills to prepare. Without combining the ingredients properly, you may miss the real authentic Bassi Salte flavor. But in this round-up, we will walk you though the process.
But before then, let’s look at Senegalese culture.
Senegal is known for its unique culinary art and traditional music. With over 12 million people, this great nation boasts of its diverse culture, which dates back to centuries. The Senegalese population is grouped into 12 ethnic groups, with each having its dialect and culture.
Wolof is the largest ethnic group, which constitutes 43% of the population. Pullar comes second with 25%, Serer 15% while Soninke, Diola, and Mandink make up the remaining 17%. Despite these ethnic differences, the country is united by one culture.
Rice is one of the primary foods in Senegal which are cooked with vegetables and sauce. During ceremonial occasions, fried or roasted meat with beans, French fries are popular. Couscous with mutton, gravy, and veggies are also enjoyed during ceremonies.
Women take part in food preparation, and all the household chores. Men, on the other hand, take up leadership and lead the family. During meals, men, children, and women dine separately. The best food is first served to men, women, and kids in that order.
Everyone is expected to wash hands before and after meals. Tea is one of the important hot drinks that must be served in every meal. Normally tea is served three times. The first time, no sugar is added, the second round sugar is added while the third round the tea is sweetened.
[bctt tweet=”In Senegal, men are served with the best food, followed with women and children”.]
This tea serving practice is used to depict how friendship grows. Now let’s switch gears from cultural matters, and let’s delve in our todays recipe.
Dish type: main dish
½ Kg of millet couscous
1/2Kg of meat
1 tbsp green pepper
3 medium sliced onions
1tbsp black pepper
150 grams of cassava
2 litres of water
250 grams of diced tomato
3 Chopped garlic cloves
100 grams of a dry kidney beans
50 grams of Raisin
150 ml of cooking oil
100 grams of tomato paste
- Boil 500ml of water and pour it in a bowl containing the couscous.
- Cut the meat in sizeable pieces.
- Heat oil in a bowl at 120-1400C and add your meat and leave it to fry until golden brown
- Add diced tomato, onions, salt, and tomato paste to your heated meat
- Add a liter of water and let it to boil.
- While the meat is cooking, wash and peel the cassava, carrots, green pepper, and garlic. Put them in a cooking pot.
- Add black pepper and heat with relatively low temperatures. Ensure that you achieve a uniform thickness.
- Wash then boil the kidney beans until they are soft.
- Drain the beans and add them to the couscous. You can then add the sauce that you also prepared separately in the cooking pot. Add raisin.
- Serve the couscous and add some sauce on top.
Note: The most crucial part when preparing the dish is the sauce part. The sauce provides the taste that you need.
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