Cookbook:Gambian Mbamba Soup

Gambian Mbamba Soup
CategorySoup recipes

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes

Mbamba soup is a flavorful and aromatic Gambian dish made with dried fish and a variety of vegetables. It is a nutritious soup that is known for its rich taste and comforting qualities. Mbamba Soup is often enjoyed with rice or served as a side dish. It is a beloved part of Gambian cuisine, showcasing the use of local ingredients and traditional cooking methods.






  1. Soak the dried fish in water for at least 30 minutes to rehydrate it. Once rehydrated, remove the bones and break the fish into smaller pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the palm oil or vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until they become soft and translucent.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, ground ginger, ground paprika, and ground cayenne pepper to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  4. Mix in the diced pumpkin or squash, sliced okra, and diced eggplant. Ensure that the vegetables are evenly coated with the spice mixture.
  5. Add enough water or broth to the pot to cover the vegetables and create a soupy consistency.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the soup to simmer for about 30–40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  7. Gently add the deboned and rehydrated dried fish pieces to the soup. Be careful not to break them apart.
  8. Continue simmering the soup for an additional 10–15 minutes, or until the fish is heated through.
  9. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and additional spices if desired.
  10. Serve hot with rice or as a side dish to accompany other main dishes.