Mali is a landlocked country which only has one fully navigable river, the Niger. So instead of the ocean fish available to their coastal neighbours, the Malians eat freshwater fish such as Tilapia and salted, dried fish such as that used in this recipe.


500 grams (1 pound) salted, dried fish

1 litre (1 pints) water

90 millilitres (3 fl oz) vegetable oil

3 large onions, finely chopped

2 - 3 red chillies (hot peppers), finely chopped (optional)

4 medium tomatoes, diced

15 - 20 okros (okras), cooked


Soak the fish overnight in some water. Drain off the water and wash off the excess salt. Remove any bones from the fish. Put the fish in 750 millilitres (1 pints) water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently.

Heat the oil in a pot and fry half the onions and all the chillies (hot peppers) until golden. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes then stir in the remaining 250 millilitres (8 fl oz) water and simmer slowly for about 15 minutes.

Mash the remaining onion with the okro (okra) and add to the fish. Stir and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes until the fish has softened and the water has reduced a little. Combine the onion/tomato/chilli (hot pepper) mixture with the fish mixture and serve with Fufu or some other type of dumpling.


Serves 4.


country : Mali

course : fish dish


source : A Taste of Africa : With over 100 traditional African recipes adapted for the modern cook / Dorinda Hafner