11 Traditional Food In Sudan - Updated 2021

traditional food in sudan

Civilization and its culture are based on its ever-increasing and ever-accumulating heritage. The food habits also find its roots in such a civilization. Sudan is no different. One can find central Sudan to be the most diversified and colorful in its cuisine. Apart from their basics, they also let distinctive cuisines to flourish. The variety comes from the various trade relations and invasions that Sudan went through. The Syrian and Arab traders brought Mediterranean influence in the Sudanese food during the rule of Turkish emperors. Their major contribution was to bring red pepper and spices like garlic, pepper and many more. They also brought some famous recipes of meatballs and pastries along with innumerable vegetables and fruits, which the Sudanese people didn’t even know about. Such cultural invasion and diversification lead to Sudan’s wide-ranging cuisine. You would notice that it keeps changing with each region. The food you find in the north is different from the southern variety. This is due to the cross-cultural influence throughout its past. If you take interest in the country, and visit, you must start with their culinary delights. Here are some of the most loved Sudanese delicacies. When you visit Sudan, do make time for the traditional food in Sudan.

1. Kuindiong (sweetened semolina)

Sütlü irmik tatlısı
Source: Photo by user E4024 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Sweetened semolina is also known as kuindiong. This is a traditional dessert prepared by the Dinka people in South Sudan. The main ingredients of kuindiong are yogurt, milk, semolina, sugar, and butter. When the semolina turns pale and a bit nutty in color, it is removed from the heat and topped with milk before serving.

2. Moukhbaza (paste of mashed bananas)

mashed banana
Source: Photo by user Joel Kramer used under CC BY 2.0

In the east of Sudan, people savor the most delicious local cuisine Moukhbaza. This is made up of banana paste or mashed bananas. The eastern palate is quite inclined towards the Ethiopian tastes and cuisine. Milk and dairy products are an essential part of the food in the east.

3. Kisra (flat bread made from sorghum flour)

Kisra mtabbga (Tunisie)
Source: Photo by user Nafaa used under CC BY-SA 2.0

With the passage of time, Kisra has become the main dish in central Sudan. It is the main staple of the Sudanese people. Kisra is basically a type of bread, that is made from corn. It is accompanied by a stew. The stew is prepared from dried meat, dried onions, spices, and peanut butter. Milk and yogurt are also added for flavor.

4. Dura (cooked maize and millet eaten with various vegetables)

Editor’s note: There’s no photo available at the time of writing

Dura is the staple food for the people living in the arid and the semi-arid region of Sudan. This area accounts for almost an average of the two-third cereal production in the whole of Sudan. Dura is normally eaten with a stew. This stew is made of dried meat, dried onions, spices, and peanut butter.

5. Asseeda (Sudanese porridge)

Editor’s note: There’s no photo available at the time of writing

Aseeda is the Sudanese form of polenta that is usually served with the mullah. Mullah is basically the local name for stew in Sudan. Aseeda looks very similar to oatmeal, and is served on all special occasions in Sudan. It has high nutrition content. The main ingredients are rye flour and water. This is usually prepared and served during the month of Ramadan, wedding celebrations and other religious occasions.

6. Elmaraara (sheep offal appetizer)

Editor’s note: There’s no photo available at the time of writing

This is one kind of Sudanese appetizer. This is made from sheep lungs, liver and stomach. Peanut butter, onions, and salt are also added to the main ingredients. Every Sudanese meal is coupled with appetizers and stews. They form the major part of a Sudanese meal. The most liked appetizers in Sudan are elmaraara and umfitit.

7. Umfitit (Sudanese appetizer)

Source: Photo by user Temesgen Woldezio... used under CC BY-SA 2.5

Umfitit is an appetizer that is served in Sudan. The main ingredients of Umfitit are sheep lungs, liver and stomach. Apart from sheep lungs, liver and stomach, peanut butter, onion, and salt are also added. This is eaten raw. Peanuts play a crucial role in the Sudanese kitchen. They are a must ingredient for any Sudanese food. They are responsible for providing taste, texture, and flavor.

8. Gourrassa (wheat-based flat bread)

traditional food in sudan | gourrassa (wheat-based flat bread)
Source: Photo by user

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Wheat flour is still the staple food for the people of the Sudan who make use of it in making Gourrassa. It is made up of wheat and baked in a circular shape. You can change the thickness and size change according to your need. This is popular and the main dish of the people living in North Sudan.

9. Kawal (fermented Cassia obtusifolia leaves)

Beef stew
Source: Photo by user Robin DeGrassi fr... used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Kawal is a form of stew. This is made from a mixture of roots that are left to ferment and dried afterward. It is meat substitute from fermented Cassia obtusifolia leaves. This is basically eaten by certain tribes from Sudan as a substitute for meat. The protein content of kawal is not more than 20%. There are several different stews apart from Kawal such as mullah, waika, bussaara, ni’aimiya, which are the most loved stews. Stews are generally eaten with porridge. People add local vegetables to the latter.

10. Kajaik (cooked dried fish)

Source: Unsplash

Kajaik is a popular stew dish of South Sudan. The southern region has many rivers and lakes. The main food of this region is fish. Kaijaik is made of dried fish. It is commonly added to porridge, and at times natural margarine is also added. Porridge is common throughout Sudan. Kawari and elmussalammiya are the most loved Sudanese soup. Kawari is made from hooves of cattle or sheep with vegetables whereas elmussalammiya is made from liver, flour, dates and many spices.

11. Ful medames (fava beans dish)

Ful medames
Source: Photo by Flickr user kmf164 used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Ful medames is known as the national dish of Sudan. It is a delicious fava bean dish usually served with boiled eggs and bread and is typically eaten for breakfast. During Ramadan, ful medames is consumed before sunrise in preparation for fasting. It is a nutritious food with high protein content, and it is also suitable for vegetarians.

A deep walk through the traditional Sudanese food

Sudanese food is highly inspired by the colonial rule. The next important ingredient in a Sudanese kitchen is porridge. It is a starch. It is normally made from millet, wheat or corn flour. Porridge is obvious for enhancing the taste of vegetables and meat. Dry fruits also have an important role to play. Inspired from the middle east, Sudanese food is incomplete without cardamom and apricots. Pay a visit to Sudan and get inspired by its diversity. The Sudanese cuisine is wide-ranging. It changes with the change in the region. The food you find in the north is different from the south and so on. This is due to the cross-cultural influence throughout the past. Pay a visit to grab some of the delicacies of the city.

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