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What does Djeneba eat in Mali?

Hi and welcome back to Together Today for Tomorrow’s blog.

Let’s continue our journey through Djeneba’s home country, Mali. Last time we learned about the Bambara culture and before that, we spent some time learning about Djeneba’s city Sikasso. This week’s blog will highlight the many different types of food in Mali. Read on below!


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Many dishes in Mali include a variety of proteins such as beef, lamb, chicken, and fish. These different meats are commonly served with vegetables like eggplants, onions, tomatoes, plantains, and yams. Meals are flavored with many different spices to create amazing flavors and a variety of foods.



Mali is a third-world country and they do not have modern kitchens. Women usually cook on a hearth made of three stone blocks or on a terra cotta stove placed either in the kitchen or outside, within the family courtyard. They use dry wood as the main cooking and heating fuel.



A specific dish that is popular in Mali is called Poulet Yassa. The Poulet Yassa is a Senegalese chicken with onions and lemon. It takes about a day or two to make this dish. The chicken is marinated for at least 8 hours in an onion-lemon-vinegar mixture. This lets the chicken absorb all the wonderful flavors in the marinade. Once the chicken is cooked in the hearth it is served with a side of rice or some leafy greens. This dish has been passed down from many generations and is a common staple household food.



Maasa is a common dessert in Mali. It translates to pancake doughnuts. This is a delicious sweet treat often found on the streets of Mali. This tasty dessert is crispy on the outside but soft and dough-like on the inside. Most are covered in powdered sugar and served with fruit on top.



We’ve looked at a meal and dessert, but what are the drinks like? Djablani, also known as "Malian ginger juice," is a delicious beverage popular in West Africa. This drink is fantastic since it helps to cut through the heaviness of fried creamy meals. The main ingredients in this energizing drink are ginger, lemon, and mint leaves. If the ginger makes the drink too strong, many people add more water.



Each meal usually concludes with a sweet tea. There are three teas served each day. The first tea symbolizes life, the second love, and the last, death.



Many traditional Mali families are extended families and mealtimes can involve dozens of people. They have their meals as we would say “family style.” They sit together and by sharing their food they strengthen their family bonds. Mealtimes are not just for eating but also for sharing memories and stories.



We hope you enjoyed this post!

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