International Cooking: Food from Chad

This was another difficult country. My Reddit post about food from Chad didn’t get any responses and it was hard to find dishes (and decent recipes for them), but I did what I could.

Chad is located between North and Central Africa. It is named after Lake Chad, which is the second-largest wetland in Africa. The country is home to many different ethnic and linguistic groups, with the official languages being Arabic and French, and the majority religions Islam and Christianity.

Chad was inhabited for thousands of years before the French conquered the country in 1920. French occupation lasted until 1960, when Chad obtained independence. A series of conflicts followed, and the country is still not particularly stable today. It is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world.

This was another difficult week since I didn’t get any responses to my Reddit post. That didn’t really surprise me because it’s a very small subreddit, but I was still hoping for a little input.

What Do People Eat in Chad?

Many Chadians grow their own food, which will typically include a range of fruit, vegetables, and grains. Some of the most common staples are okra, cassava, rice, millet, and sorghum.

A range of meat is consumed when available, as well as termites and crickets. However, fish is the main protein source throughout the country. Dairy isn’t common in southern Chad, but is considered a staple in the north.

Millet and sorghum are commonly served with most meals, often in the form of porridge or bread. There are even snacks and desserts made from these grains, so they are very popular!

What I Made

Scroll down to read about other popular Chadian dishes I didn’t make!

La Bouillie (Rice Porridge)

La Bouillie

La bouillie is a porridge usually made from either millet or sorghum, but it can also be made from rice, which is what I did. It’s flavored with peanut butter, sugar, and buttermilk, which gives it a slightly sour taste. I used a little lemon juice instead of buttermilk, which was suggested as an alternative in the recipe I used. I found this to be kind of… odd. It wasn’t exactly bad but I think I would have preferred it without the lemon (or any kind of sourness).

I used a recipe from Virtual Chad.

Jus De Fruit (Fruit Smoothie)

Jus De Fruit

This is a pretty basic fruit smoothie, which is popular in Chad. It is made with milk, mango, sugar, ice, and cardamom. You can use just about any fruit instead of the mango, with orange, pineapple, guava, and papaya being the most commonly used in Chad. This was delicious of course!

This was another recipe from Virtual Chad.

Jarret De Boeuf (Beef Stew)

Jarret De Boeuf

This is a popular beef stew which can have a variety of vegetables depending on who makes it. I used chuck beef, carrot, celery, onion, tomato, garlic, cilantro, and chili. I loosely followed a recipe which I won’t link here because it wasn’t well-written. Basically, I browned the meat, then started cooking the vegetables, added the meat back with some stock, and simmered until done (about 2 hours). I added the cilantro at the very end.

This was quite good, but definitely not the best beef stew I’ve ever eaten.

Kissar (Sour Semolina Pancakes)


I had a lot of trouble just trying to find a recipe for kissar, because it seems there’s something else similar with a similar name and I was getting the two conflated a lot. I think nearby African countries that make the same thing sometimes spell it slightly differently too, which did not help.

Ultimately, I decided that these are supposed to be a crepe made from semolina or rice flour, yogurt, and yeast. The mixture sits overnight to ferment, which give it its sour taste. Then sugar is added just before cooking.

I’m pretty sure my mixture was much thicker than it was supposed to be, because the directions were telling me to pour it and I had something like a thick cake batter that wasn’t going to pour easily. I also think I was supposed to end up with crepes, rather than pancakes. But I’d read a lot about these in my quest to work out what recipe to use, and came across posts from other people doing a cooking challenge just like me. They were having trouble with the crepes falling apart. So I decided to keep my batter thick because I felt it would hold together better if I made pancakes rather than crepes.

I halved the sugar amount, because although these can be served for breakfast, they can also be served as a side dish, and I was serving them with the jarret de boeuf. Even so, they were still a little too sweet. I don’t think I really liked the sourness either, but it’s apparently a flavor that is popular in Chad when also considering the flavor of the la bouillie.

If you want to try these, I used the recipe from Food Fare Recipes.

  • Bangaou – a lamb and sweet potato stew, typically flavored with ginger, onion, garlic, and tomatoes.
  • Daraba – a stew made from okra, peanut butter, tomatoes, and a variety of vegetables.

Final Thoughts

This was another light week, but the next few are looking to be pretty busy! The food from Chad I did make was all right, but my favorite ‘dish’ was the jus de fruit.

Next week, I will be cooking food from Chile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Flavor Vortex © Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.