Liberia is a country located on the West African coast. It is surrounded by Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast and the Atlantic Ocean. The country is the only black state in Africa which has never been subjected to colonial rule.
The population of Liberia is made up of 16 different indigenous ethnic groups. Liberian cuisine revolves around the consumption of rice, cassava, plantain, yam, tropical fruits and vegetables (including potatoes, greens, cassava leaf, okra and cabbage). Fish and meat also play a major role in most popular dishes.
Most Popular Liberian Dishes
Rice is a staple ingredient of Senegalese cuisine, as are ingredients such as cassava, fish, bananas, citrus fruit, sweet or regular plantains, coconut, okra and sweet potatoes. Stews flavoured with habanero and scotch bonnet chillies and accompanied with fufu are also popular among the people of the country. Potato greens are another important ingredient that is widely grown and eaten.
Baking is one of the most popular cooking methods in Liberia. Some of the popular baked goods include cornbread, sour bread, rice bread, banana bread and cakes.
So without further ado, here are the absolute must-try traditional dishes of Senegal along with recipes for you to try for youself.
Fufu is a dough-like starchy food that includes cassava, yams, or plantains. All these ingredients are boiled, pounded and then rounded into balls. This Liberian delicacy is generally served along with sauces or consumed with stews (which are prepared using meat, fish or vegetables).
The traditional way of consuming this dish is to pinch a little bit of the fufu off in one’s right-hand fingers and shape it into a round ball. It is then dipped in the soup before eating.
Apart from Liberia, fufu can also be found in countries throughout West Africa such as Nigeria.
Liberian Peanut Soup
Liberian peanut soup is traditionally prepared using a mixture of peanuts, herbs, spices and meat (including beef or chicken). Other ingredients include chicken stock, onions, bell peppers, celery, hot peppers, dried fish (optional), potatoes, okra and peanut butter.
Usually consumed hot, Liberian peanut soup is generally served for lunch. This dish can be eaten as it is, but some people can also be seen accompanying it with a side of cooked white or brown rice.
Liberian Cabbage Stew
Cabbage stew is a dish prepared using a mixture of cabbage, chicken, Maggi cubes, meat tenderizer, beef, tomato paste, black pepper, chicken bouillon, onions and vegetable oil.
One can serve this dish along with boiled yams, plantains, potatoes, rice or any other preferred starch on the side.
Liberian Rice Bread
Liberian rice bread is prepared by beating the rice in a mortar using a pestle. The rice flour is then mixed with other ingredients such as ripe mashed plantains, butter, eggs, baking soda, sugar, salt, water and grated ginger.
Liberian rice bread is similar to banana bread and is typically served with coffee or tea. Usually included in the starter course, this dish is known to be a visitor’s favourite when compared to all the other local bread varieties.
Liberian Chicken Stew
Liberian chicken stew is typically prepared using chicken pieces, shrimp, green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions and chicken stock. Other ingredients used to flavour the dish include garlic, ginger, hot peppers, and parsley.
This dish is full of complex flavors and is traditionally made only for special events. This is because meat is considered to be rather expensive for the average Liberian household. People often eat Liberian chicken stew along with white rice on the side.
Dumboy is a dish prepared by peeling and then boiling fresh cassava, with the fibres in the centre already taken out. The boiled roots are then transferred to a large mortar and beaten using a heavy pestle. In the end, the mixture is then shaped into balls.
Dumboy is considered to be the national dish of Liberia and is known to be especially prized by the Mano, Gio, and Bassa people of the country. Before consuming, meat stock or hot pepper soup is added on top of the dish, along with some vegetables.
Collards and Cabbage
Collards and Cabbage is prepared using chopped collard greens and cabbage, onions, red pepper, black pepper and pieces of bacon. It is very healthy and nutritious, along with being flavorful at the same time. It is packed with vitamins, calcium, manganese and dietary fiber.
One can also enhance the flavour of collards and cabbage by adding chicken, beef or shrimp. The dish is usually accompanied by fried plantains or rice on the side.
Torborgee is a Liberian stew prepared using torborgee beans and palm oil. The flavor of the dish is often improved by adding dried meat like chicken, pork or fish. Generally spicy and bitter in flavor, torborgee is thick in consistency.
This dish is typically related to the Lorma people living in the Lofa County, in north-western Liberia. It is considered to be a traditional staple dish made in the Liberian homes and is generally consumed with rice. There are many different variations of torborgee that use other ingredients as a substitute for beans. Some of them include pepper, bitter-ball, water-greens, fever-leaf or cassava.
Jollof rice is a rice dish that is generally prepared using long-grain rice, tomatoes, onions, spices, vegetables and meat. All the ingredients are cooked in a single pot, and the recipes and ingredients may vary across different areas.
The dish is known to have originated in the 14th-century Senegambia region in West Africa. It is believed that during this time, this area was governed by the Jolof Empire, and when the Jolof people immigrated to different regions of West Africa, they also took their rice dish along.
Apart from Liberia, jollof rice is also widely consumed in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.