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Traditional Dish Recipe: Benachin

My Magazine 2022/07
5 min
Benachin is one of the most favourite and typical Gambian dishes. It is easy to prepare and can be made in different variations depending on your taste and available ingredients. Benachin in Wollof means one pot, which tells us that the whole recipe is prepared in a single pot.

COOKING INGREDIENTS:

  • whole chicken
  • oil
  • onions
  • hot peppers (depending on the taste)
  • green pepper
  • tomatoes
  • rice
  • season vegetables (carrot, cassava, cabbage, eggplant, bitter tomato, okra, potato, pumpkin, etc.)
  • garlic
  • Spring onion (optional)
  • Ginger (optional)
  • tomato paste
  • bay leaf
  • black pepper
  • vinegar
  • salt
  • mustard
  • Maggie / Jumbo / Joker seasoning to the taste

COOKING DIRECTIONS

First, prepare the seasoning for the chicken. Pound or blend the garlic and spring onions.

Remove the skin from the chicken, cut it into pieces (legs, breasts, wings) and add some notches to the flesh. Wash the chicken with lemon juice and salt. Spread the mustard, add seasoning in the notches and marinate for some time.

Put the chicken pieces in the pot and let it steam.

Pound or blend black pepper, garlic, hot pepper and green pepper. Cut Onions and tomatoes into small pieces and all the seasonal vegetables into bigger pieces.

Fry the chicken. Put it aside when it's golden brown and stir fry onion in the same oil. Add the rest of the cut vegetables and seasoning and cover with water. Add fried chicken to cook with it.

Wash the rice and steam it (depending on the type of rice).

When the vegetables are cooked, put them aside with chicken and add (steamed) rice to the pot. The dish is ready to be served when all the water evaporates and the rice is cooked.

Place rice on the plate and top it with vegetables and chicken.

TIP: There is a special sauce you can prepare to serve with the benachin, called Rangha bissap. The sauce is prepared from the green parts of the hibiscus plant. The leaves need to be boiled and pounded or blended into a fine paste. It can be a cherry on the top of this amazing meal with a bit of salt and local seasoning.

Instead of the chicken you can use fish or prepare it only with vegetables. Anyhow, it is delicious!

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