Street food – Ebbeh

October issue

Ebbeh is one of the most popular street foods in The Gambia, consumed by almost everyone, both young and old, male and female. It is also served at traditional ceremonies like weddings, initiations, naming ceremonies, birthday parties and even on social gatherings in the communities. Some share opinion that a party without ebbeh is a boring party. Some will keep their stomachs empty so there will be enough space for ebbeh!

Because of the ingredients, it is known as a healthy and balanced meal. It is also a very uplifting alternative to daily meals with rice.  

It is very common that a pregnant woman eats ebbeh due to the sour and spicy taste of it. But as mentioned above, it is eaten by the whole population, from small children to elders.

The biggest fans of ebbeh will not wait for the meal being ready, they will buy it while it is still cooking in the pot, before it is served or brought out to the street to be sold. It is one of the fastest sold foods on the streets.

If a vendor is known as someone who can cook ebbeh exceptionally well, she will sell the big cooking pot of it within an hour. Due to high demands from customers, some women won’t have a day off – they will prepare and sell ebbeh every day. And there are many Gambians who will buy it every day, even if only a very small portion. 

The price starts at GMD 5 (approx. 0,09€) up to GMD 100 or more. You get the desired portion in a plastic bag, therefore you can choose any quantity according to the amount you want to spend.


Ebbeh is a soul food so if you want to make children or your friends in The Gambia happy, cook or buy ebbeh for them.

When you are in The Gambia, you should taste it! You may not be impressed but majority of Gambians really love it.




  • Cassava peeled and cut into chunks
  • Smoked bonga fish, bones and fins removed 
  • Smoked catfish bones and fins removed
  • Crab cut into halves
  • Palm oil
  • Hot whole chili
  • Lemon powder
  • Tamarind
  • Salt
  • Maggi or Jumbo cubes
  • Cassava powder



  • Boil the cassava until tender.
  • Remove the cassava, pound it and return it to the cooking pot.
  • Add remaining ingredients.
  • Continue to simmer until all ingredients are cooked.
  • Add cassava powder for thickening the sauce.
  • Adjust the seasoning as desired.

Serve hot.

By Modou Lamin


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