Burkina Faso Culinary

Burkina Faso Culinary


Millet, sorgho and corn are the basis of traditional Burkinabe cuisine. Also known from neighboring countries are root vegetables (potatoes, jams, sweet potatoes, manioc), eggplants, beans, rice and plantains, as well as wild vegetables and wild plants.

The Burkinabe cuisine is considered to be easy, many recipes do not exist. Nevertheless, the selection of local dishes today is colorful and diverse. The national dish is the Tô (“Saghbo” in Mooré), a rather tasteless, dumpling millet porridge(often also corn porridge). It is consumed by the rural population in the morning, at noon and in the evening, 7 days a week. You eat with your right hand. The Tô gets its taste from around 50 different sauces, in which the hand-formed dumplings are dipped before consumption. Baobab leaves or okra pods (gombo) give the sauces a viscous consistency. Bones (from beef, sheep, goat, chicken) with leftover meat and lots of fat as well as vegetables, tomatoes or hibiscus leaves often swim in the sauce. Sauces made from peanut butter are also common. Fried plantains as a side dish are called ” Aloco “. “Attiéké” is based on cassava. Babenda is a type of local spinach dish.

Dishes that are also popular: Riz au gras(Rice with tomatoes, onions and pieces of meat), riz sauce, ragout d´Igname (ragout over tubers), spaghetti with tomato sauce.

Meat (lamb, beef, goat) and poultry (“chicken” or “pintate”) are easy to find cooked in sauce or grilled. They often require good gums. Meat that is unusual or taboo for Europeans (dog, snake, monkey, crocodile, rat…) is usually not served.

In the evening, grilled smells from all corners determine the atmosphere of the larger cities. Those who can afford it can sit down in a “maquis” or a buvette on the roadside in the evening and order SO.B.BRA, Flag or BRAKINA (bottled beers) and grilled food. Brouchettes (meat skewers) are out. There remains poultry (e.g. “poulet télévisé “or ” poulet bicyclette “= grilled chickens rotating behind glass panes). Ouagadougou is supplied with around 40,000 live chickens every day. In the evening, the consumer pays around 2,750 F CFA (more than € 4) for a poultry that he cooks, Fried, grilled or dry in garlic.

Fish with mayonnaise dressing and onions is currently particularly popular. The demand for fish in the 2 million metropolis of Ouagadougou is now so high that its own waters and those of neighboring countries are no longer sufficient. Fish is imported from China frozen in cartons.

Pork is eaten more in the south. “PF” means ” Porc au Four ” in culinary terms”. It means pork with skin and fat from the oven, which is eaten by a toothpick with plenty of allspice.

Gibier (venison), eg antelope meat, there are only hunting season near the national park.

Who does not want to get involved in these tastes, should stay in Ouagadougou, which has plenty of restaurants of international standard.


In Burkina Faso there is hot seasoning. Typical spices are allspice, chilli and soumbala (fermented seeds from the Néré tree). Soumbala is sold as a black ball in the markets and gives off the typical market smell.

Fruit and desserts

The “Fruits du Faso” (fruits of the country) include mangoes, papaya and goavias. Citrus fruits, bananas and pineapples come from the rainier south. Excellent strawberries are grown in the dry season. Dégué is the name of a type of local sugared yogurt with millet flour.


According to a2zgov, traditional drinks are also available in Burkina Faso. The millet water, ” Zoom-Koom “, which is made from millet flour and enriched with ginger or lemons, if available, serves the guest as a welcome drink. The taste is good, the biological purity mostly depends on the origin of the water.

Typical juices for Burkina Faso are ginger juice, tamarind juice (jus de tamarin) and bissap, which is made from hibiscus (roselle).

The beer traditionally made from Sorgho is called “Dolo” or in the local language “Raam”, “Daam” or in the West “Niam”. It is brewed by “dolotières” (millet beer women). You scoop it up with a “calebasse” (pumpkin bowl) in a “dolotier” (straw hangar or “cabaret”) from a “canarie” (large clay vessel) and let the calebasse go around. It doesn’t taste any other way.

Palm wine is common in the south. Black distilled schnapps should be left out of all tastings.

International soft drinks that are industrially filled in returnable bottles are known as “sucrerie”. A lot of bottled beer is drunk in Burkina Faso. The local breweries SO.B.BRA (formerly SO.VO.BRA) and BRAKINA (formerly BRAVOLTA) can look back on a long tradition. They brew according to Bavarian recipes and are now part of the Castel Group. The ocher-colored ” flag ” has become the discontinued model and is only bottled in small bottles. Beaufort, Castel, Guinness and often Heineken are offered in many restaurants.

Coffee is drunk as a soluble “Nescafé” and tea under the brand name “Lipton”.
Mineral water in plastic bottles is called “Lafi” or “Jirma”.

Burkina Faso Culinary