National Dish of Niger Djerma Stew
|(3 ½ lb.) chickens (cut into parts)||3|
|medium onion (sliced)||1|
|clove garlic (minced)||1|
|Roma tomatoes / 2 cups tomato puree||5-6|
|dried thyme||1 ½ tsp.|
|curry powder||¼ tsp.|
|crumbled bouillon cubes||1 tbsp.|
|cups sliced carrots||1-2|
|Chopped parsley leaves||3 tbsp.|
|peanut butter||2 ½ tbsp.|
|cup oil||¼ - ½|
Djerma Stew is the official dish of Niger. It can be made with meat or without. Traditionally, if a meat version is being cooked, chicken is usually the meat of choice. In Niger, rice is the main staple and many stews like Djerma are eaten with it.
Directions for Preparing Djerma Stew
- Wash the chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven pot and add the chicken.
- Fry the chicken until brown on all sides.
- Create a tomato and seasoning mixture by blending together the fresh tomatoes, onions and garlic, then add this to the chicken and stir well.
- If using tomato puree, add the onions to the chicken and brown, then add the puree and garlic.
- Add the smoked paprika, curry powder, bay leaf and crumbled bouillon cubes.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Cook the chicken for about thirty (0:30) minutes or until it is tender.
- Add two cups of water to the stew, then add the parsley, carrots and chives.
- Cook for five (0:05) minutes until the carrots are tender.
- Remove a cup of liquid from the stew and whisk with the peanut butter in a separate bowl.
- Pour this peanut butter and sauce mixture back into the pot.
- Allow the stew to simmer until thick.
- Adjust the salt and pepper, then remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Serve Djerma Stew over steamed rice
Meals in Niger usually start with colorful salads made from seasonal vegetables. Typical Nigerien meals consist of a starch (rice being the most popular) paired with a sauce or stew. The stews are usually made with vegetables because meat is very scarce. The starches eaten most often are millet and rice. Staple foods include millet, rice, cassava, sorghum, maize and beans.
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