Boko Boko Harees Recipe | Burundian Cuisine


Located on the Eastern Africa is Burundi. A country which boasts of massive agricultural land that covers over 80% of its surface. 90% of the population is employed in the agricultural sector. Coffee, tea, manioc, plantains and cereals are the staples. By looking at the crops grown here, you may at first think the cuisine is limited. But that’s not the case. There are great dishes to explore with limb smacking flavors. One of the popular dishes is the Boko Boko Harees. The delicacy is prepared with chicken, turmeric and bulgur wheat.

Bulgur Wheat, file courtesy of flickr

The cuisine felt here is majorly influenced by the farming practices. Did you know that most Burundians are vegan?Though some dishes may contain meat, in most cases they are either from chicken, sheep or goat.

Cows at Burundi are sacred and more so their horns. To Burundians, a cow horns bring good fortunes. When a cow dies, they’ll eat the meat, but they wont slaughter a cow. The horns of a deceased cow are buried deep in the earth a few meters from the house.

[bctt tweet=”cows in Burundi are sacred and more so their horns. To Burundians, cow horns bring good fortunes. When a cow dies, the meat is consumed and the horns burried deep on earth a few meters from the house”]

Like most African dishes, most traditional dishes in Burundi are boiled, roasted or stewed over a wood fire.  Boko Boko Harees is one of the hearty meals you can’t miss in most restaurants.

Are you feeling Boko Boko Harees so far along with the traditions of the Burundians? You don’t need to travel all the way to learn how to make this exotic cool tasty food because we are going to take you through all the preparation and cooking process. Stay close!

Preparation: Easy

Serves: 4-6


  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 800g of bulgur wheat
  • 4 Chicken giblets
  • 6tbsp. sugar
  • 7tbsp. ghee
  • 4tbsp. turmeric powder
  • Two large onions (grated)
  • Two small onions (shredded)
  • 1 ½ tbsp. ginger
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 1 tbsp. Black pepper
  • 1 bunch coriander (optional)


  • Soak your wheat for 3 hours. Drain the water and put the wheat aside
  • In a cooking pot add water, wheat, salt, shredded onions, and cardamoms. Cook the mixture for about 30 minutes
  • As your chicken cooks, prepare your turmeric sauce by cutting your chicken giblets into small pieces. Add salt, turmeric powder, 100ml water and sugar. Mix the mixture to ensure everything is well incorporated. Cook the mixture under low heat for 10 minutes
  • Remove and your chicken breasts and leave them to cool. Shred them and put them back to the wheat
  • Add black pepper and 4tbsp. Ghee. Stir until the mixture is homogeneous
  • Fry your onions with the remaining three tablespoons of ghee
  • Put off the heat and allow the wheat and chicken to cool down to moderate temperature. Serve with fried onions and turmeric sauce. Garnish with coriander

Enjoying the same dishes becomes so boring. And Boko Boko Harees is for sure a great treat to enjoy with family and friends. Surprise your loved ones with this finger-licking dish and leave them begging for more. Try it out and share your experience.

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