CEEB U JENN (RICE WITH FISH)

2 hot red peppers

2 medium-sized onions

1 clove of garlic

1 lbs. of sea bass or other whitefish, cut into 3-4 steaks

6 oz. cooking oil

2 oz. tomato puree

5 cups of water

2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut in quarters

3 oz. pumpkin (or papaya), peeled and cut in chunks

1 small eggplant, cut in chunks

1 small cabbage, cut in quarters

1 lbs. medium-grain rice (uncooked)

2 limes, cut in quarters

2 oz. dried fish*

small piece of yete (a type of dried mollusk)*

5 oz. cassava root, peeled and cut in chunks*

parsley, salt, black pepper and bay leaf to taste

*If you can find these optional ingredients in a specialty grocery store, they will add a nice flavor to your ceeb u jenn.

Chop half of one onion and one quarter of one red pepper. Add garlic, parsley and a pinch of salt. Pound the ingredients together with a mortar and pestle (or puree them in a blender) until they form a paste. Make a one-inch slit in the middle of each fish steak and stuff the paste inside.

Heat the oil in a large stew pot over medium heat. Chop the remaining onions and fry them in the oil. Add the dried fish and the stuffed fish steaks and fry until golden. Remove the fried fish steaks from the oil and set them aside temporarily.

Stir the tomato puree and the water into the hot oil and bring the mixture to a boil. Mix in the carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and cassava and cook for 15 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and return the fish steaks to the boiling stew. Season to taste with salt, pepper and spices. Float one whole red pepper on top of the brew and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat. Ladle off 2 quarts of the stew liquid into a pot to cook the rice. Cover the vegetables and the fish to keep them warm. Add the rice to the poured-off liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover until the rice is done.

Spread the rice evenly across the bottom of your serving bowl (or platter with a deep edge) and arrange the fish and vegetables in one heaping mound at the center of the rice.

Serve with lime quarters. For variety, you can also try ceeb u yapp (rice with meat) using lamb, beef or chicken.

country : Senegal

course : fish dish

source : internet <http://magazine.medill.nwu.edu/tsp/cultiq_senegal.html>