Gambian Literature and Publications
A Taste of The Gambia: Local and International Recipes
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Foreword (p. 8)
I have written this cookery book to provide easy, speedy and efficient ways of preparing, cooking and serving delicious and nutritious Gambian meals.
I also hope that the book will be a useful guide for the student of home economics, as it aims to provide an appropriate choice of menus using weal products for the purpose of examinations.
Food is usually divided into three main groups:
1) Body building or flesh forming foods: proteins and mineral salts:
2) Energy giving foods: fats and starch.
3) Protective foods: vitamins, mineral salts and roughage.
When planning meals, you should provide foods from each group. The food selected should supply the required daily nutrients in the most digestible form.
I believe that at least three meals should be eaten everyday if possible: one big meal and two small ones. It is essential to start the day with a good, sustaining meal, as this enables us to work more efficiently. Daily consumption of fruit should be encouraged, particularly in the morning as this stimulates the bowels, prevents constipation and headaches.
Green vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and mineral salts. They can be eaten raw, in stews, ‘palasas’ or as an accompaniment to the main dish.
First class protein should be included in the daily diet. The menu should be varied, alternating fish with meat, beans, groundnuts and locust beans, which are valuable second class protein foods. Whenever possible one of them should be included in our daily meals: e.g., Mbahal with fish, or beans, or both.
New cooks may want to take note of the following advice. -It is a good idea to reduce the amount of oil in your cooking. Slow cooking draws out the maximum flavour of your ingredients. Remember to use the correct proportion of ingredients. Try to avoid monotony in the methods you choose of cooking, alternating grilling with steaming, stewing, boiling and sautéing. When making a sauce the stock or roux should be cold to avoid a greasy sauce. In preparing slimy soup use a little lubi and boil it with water, kren-kren or okra before adding it to the soup.
As a cookery writer, it is my daily role to create, experiment and improve on failures. I hope that the recipes here, the results of many years in the kitchen, will inspire you to make tasty meals of your own with confidence.
This 93-page recipe book presents 94 recipes of both national and international dishes. Adele’s recipe book is divided in three parts: the normal dishes, the weaning meals and notes for Home Economic students.
The first part reserved for normal dishes comprises of Breakfast, Lunch, Supper and Soups. Other recipes figuring under this part are how to prepare Fish, Vegetables, Desserts and Sauces. There are 77 recipes under this part distributed in the following manner: Breakfast, 11; Soups, 4; Lunch, 12; Fish, 11; Supper, 12; Vegetables, 8; Desserts, 15 and Sauces, 4.
Under weaning meals, the author proposes 17 recipes. She provides a special introduction for this part to better explain what kinds of dishes are good for babies, how they should be prepared and which age corresponds to which dish. Included in this part are recipes like Coos and Groundnut porridge (Pap), Scrambled eggs, steamed fish, fish pie but to name a few.
The last part dedicated to Home Economics students is in four short chapters: Reheating foods, Cooking for Invalids, Vegetarian Cookery and Nutrients in our Local Foods. This very important information helps better sort out the types of dishes to prepare for whom and on what very special occasions. No recipe is proposed but clear instructions are given to guide students (and other readers) in catering for special people and knowing the ingredient composition of the food we eat.
There is an Appendix where some extra recipes such as Domoda (peanut butter soup or groundnut soup), Fish domoda and Cherreh M’Buum are given on the request of her readers; a Glossary and explanations on the local use of measurements.
Adele has produced a comprehensive and a must have recipe book which is very handy both for non-Gambians discovering our delicious dishes and for Gambians (on the soil and the Diaspora alike) who would like to perfect their skills or learn to prepare new dishes they love.
If you are interested in Senegambian recipes, click on the link below: