Thiebou Dieunne, Senegalese fish stew

This article is also available in: Italiano

After having been in Syria and Uzbekistan, it’s time to go further south, to discover one of the main dishes of the Senegalese tradition: the Thiebou Dieunne, legendary fish stew. Recipe taken from “Feast” by Anissa Helou, which we thank once again for the opportunity.

Ingredients for 4 people):

For the gremolata:

  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • 150 g of parsley, discarding the lower stems
  • 1 small onion (100 g) cut into 4 parts
  • 1 tablespoon and a half of Aleppo pepper
  • Finely chopped black pepper

For the fish:

  • 4 whole or bream groupers, scaled and gutted
  • Sea salt


For the sauce:

  • 60 ml of vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion (150 g) finely chopped
  • 1 small green pepper cut into thin strips
  • 200 g of tomato sauce
  • 2 medium tomatoes (200 g) transformed into puree
  • Sea salt
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
  • Black pepper cut up


  • 2 medium slices of green cabbage
  • 2 small turnips, peeled and divided into 4
  • 4 eggplants (200 g in total), cut lengthwise
  • half white pumpkin, peeled and cut into medium pieces
  • 1 small cassava root, about 7.5 cm long and cut into medium pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut lengthwise into medium pieces
  • Salt
  • Black pepper cut up
  • 100 g of okra, cut
  • 1 teaspoon seedless tamarind paste
  • 200 g of bomb rice, rinsed and wet for 30 minutes in lightly salted water
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
Directly from Feast


  • To make the gremolata: in Senegal it is normally made with mortar and pestle, however it will be easier to put everything in a food processor. Put all the ingredients there and beat them until you have a coarse mix of spices
  • To prepare the fish: caress the fish inside and out with kitchen paper, at this point rub it lightly with salt, both inside and outside. Make two diagonal slots on the side of each fish and put the gremolata inside. Put the fish on a large plate and spread the remaining gremolata on it. Let it marinate while you prepare the sauce
  • To make the sauce: heat the oil in a large skillet at medium temperature. Add: onion, green pepper, puree and tomato puree and stir for a minute, or lower the temperature and cook, stirring regularly, for about 15 minutes, or until onion and tomato have become soft and the tomato sauce will have
  • Add 625 ml of water and salt to flavor and mix better. Raise the temperature of the sauce to medium-high and let it boil gently for 30 minutes, until you see the oil rise to the surface.
Thiebou Dieunne
  • Add by mixing the Scotch bonnet, the fish sauce and the black pepper to the sauce, then slide the fish into the sauce and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until it seems done. At this point carefully remove the fish from the serving dish and keep it warm
  • Add: cabbage, turnips, aubergines, white pumpkin, cassava and carrot to the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Resume boiling by lowering the temperature to low and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Add okra and tamarind paste and cook for another 5/10 minutes
  • With a fluted spoon transfer the vegetables to the serving dish. Sprinkle the sauce over the vegetables and fish. Keep both hot by covering them with foil while you cook the rice.
  • Put the sauce back in the pan at medium temperature. Drain the rice and simmer on a low heat with the sauce. Bring the sauce to the boil, at this point reduce the temperature to low and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the rice to the serving dish. Leave the fish in the middle and arrange the vegetables on the rice. Serve hot and with lime slices.

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