Nsaamè is a hearty and delicious rice dish topped with meat and vegetables.

To make it, you need rice, water, beef, salt, garlic, pepper, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, tomatoes, and oil.

After heating the oil in the pan, fry the garlic, then brown the beef. Add water. Wait for it to boil, and then let it simmer to bring out the taste of the beef. Cut up the cabbage, potato, carrots, tomatoes, and onion, add to the beef soup, then season with salt and pepper.

Let this sauce simmer for a few hours. Meanwhile, steam the rice until it is soft and fluffy.

When the rice is done, pour the sauce on top. You can garnish the dish with slices of hard-boiled eggs.

Thiebu djen

Thiebu djen (Photo by: ljubar)

Thiebu djen is a dish made from stewed whitefish. It is often served on rice, for lunch .

To make thiebu djen, you need a whole bunch of ingredients – okra, eggplant, cabbage, yucca, squash, carrots, tomatoes, bell pepper, onions, chili, garlic, parsley, scallions, chicken broth, and of course, whitefish – and a lot of time.

You need to mince the scallions, chili, garlic and parsley, mix them together into a paste, and then stuff the paste into and around the fish. Then leave the fish to marinate overnight or for at least four hours.

In a stockpot, sauté the onion, chili, garlic, bell pepper, and salt. Add the water and tomatoes, and then simmer until the stew thickens.

Add the chicken broth, add the yucca, squash, carrots, cabbage, okra, eggplant, and cauliflower. Simmer for about 15 minutes, then add the fish. Simmer until the fish is cooked, then transfer everything into a platter and bake.

Using some of the stew liquid, cook the rice. After the rice is cooked, serve with the fish.

The whole process takes about two hours, excluding the marinating time, so you can just imagine how good the dish must be, for people to go through all that trouble to make it.


Meni-meniyong is a favorite Malian sweet. It’s made very simply from just sesame seeds, unsalted butter, and honey.

To make meni-meniyong, heat the butter and honey in a saucepan, then stir toasted sesame seeds into the mixture. Spread the paste thickly onto a baking sheet and wait for it to cool a little until it is stiff but still soft enough to cut easily.

Cut into sticks, cool, then serve.

 Salade à la Tomates et au Cocombres

One of Mali’s favorite salads is the salade à la tomates et au cocombres, or the tomato and cucumber salad.

This is such a refreshing salad, and so easy to make, it’s no wonder it’s popular in countries outside of Mali as well.

To make the salade à la tomates et au cocombres, you need tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil.

Dice the tomatoes, cucumbers, and cheese. Mix and toss with the oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!


This drink that the Malians call dabileni and the French call bissap is a tea made from hibiscus flowers. It has a beautiful red color, and is non-alcoholic. And since it is made with boiling water, it is as good and safe to drink as bottled water.

Dabileni is made with dried hibiscus flowers, water, mint leaves, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and sugar.

To brew it, simply soak the dried flowers in boiling water for an hour, strain, and add the rest of the ingredients to the red liquid. Serve with ice.