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Traditional Dish Recipe: Mbahal

My Magazine 2022/09
3 min
Mbahal (mbaxal) is one of the most common and healthy dishes prepared in The Gambia. The locals value Mbaxal because of its low-budget ingredients. The recipe was created by people who found it hard to afford the main meal for the whole (many times extended) family.

There are two different ways of cooking mbahal - frying or steaming. We share the recipe for fried mbahal with you. 



  • Rice 
  • Cooking oil
  • Peanut powder
  • Smoke fish
  • Salted dry fish
  • Spring onion
  • Green pepper
  • Okra
  • Jumbo 
  • Salt
  • Locust bean 
  • Bitter tomato



In a big pot, bring a fair quantity of water to boil and add washed and uncut vegetables; bitter tomato, okra and hot pepper. Later on, we will add rice and cook it together with the vegetables. While waiting for the water to boil, you can start preparing ingredients for pounding. Pour boiling water over salted fish to remove excess salt. Remove the bones from smoked fish. Prepare for pounding. Firstly, pound the sliced spring onion, and start adding one by one: sliced green pepper, washed locust beans, salted dry fish, smoked fish and peanut powder. Pound it until you get a smooth paste ready for steaming. When it is steamed, it's time to fry it. 

In the meantime, cook the rice together with vegetables. 

After the boiled rice has rested for a few minutes, mix it with the fried paste. Serve the mbahal with cooked vegetables and enjoy your meal.  

This article is sponsored by APS International


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