Sumpthin Good from Gambia – Benachin

“Stuffed Fish with Jollof Rice (Benachin)”

The ingredients for and preparation of Stuffed Fish with jollof rice which the owner of Jay’s Restaurant in Senegambia offers to the BLAC Foundation’s “Sumpthin good from _____ competition” is as follows: [Note that the woman doing the preparation is not the owner but rather one of restaurant’s employees.

Ingredients for four servings: two carrots, one small cabbage, dried fish or yate (optional), one medium sized cassava; one medium sized sweet potatoes; three chopped onions; one crushed garlic; black pepper and salt to taste; one cup of vegetable oil; one bitter tomato (optional); one slice of pumpkin; two tablespoons of lime juice; four medium sized fish (or four cuts of fish);two big hot peppers; two bay leaves (optional); two cups of rice; four tablespoons of tomato paste; four cups of water; two bullion or magi cubes; enough parsley for stuffing and adornment.


  1. clean fish

  2. Cut fish

  3. Make stuffing with parsley, bullion or magi cube and one big pepper [i.e. blend the parsley, bullion, an big pepper or cayenne until smooth].

  4. pour lemon juice over cut fish

  5. stuff each piece on one side by making a hole in the flesh;

  6. pour the oil in a cooking pot and heath

    • fry the cuts by putting one or two pieces at a time in the hot oil until golden brown. Then remove and set aside.

    • sauté the chopped onion, garlic, tomato paste, and chopped fresh tomato for about two minutes on low heat

    • then add one half a cup of water to the sauce and keep stirring for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining water to the cooking pot;

    • when it starts to boil add all the vegetables and the fried fish; add pepper, salt and bullion, and then let it simmer for from twenty to twenty-five minutes; taste occasionally for seasoning.

    • wash rice and steam (optional) or let rice stand for from fifteen to twenty minutes; this step can be done while fish and vegetables are cooking.

  1. remove fish and vegetables from the pot and set aside.

  2. Then add the rice to the pot from which the vegetables and fish were removed and let cook until water evaporates.

  3. Stir and cover tightly for from fifteen to twenty minutes; check periodically for doneness.

  4. When done dish out and put fish and vegetables on top and garnish with parsley.

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