An African Tale of Lemon and Onion

It’s “Friday Fun”, the day where I get to blog about what I dig that is non-MC book related. Feeling hip as I write these words. The funny thing is, what I dig happens to be occasionally chewable.

Have you ever had African food?

Not long ago I made the following recipe for friends: a Senegalese Chicken Yassa (courtesy of Diana’s Kitchen). I cooked the yummy vegetarian version in the past as well and used seitan. Extra-firm tofu works well too.

Senegal is located here (image courtesy of http://www.pbs.org/):

Chicken Yassa is a national delicacy and popular well outside Senegal’s borders. I wish I knew what “Yassa” means in Wolof, one of Senegal’s dialects, but another translation reads (African) Lemon Chicken.

The above recipe is easy to follow and has the potential to make any purse and belly happy. Here are a few tips which I think up it even more:

-If you’re using chicken, let it marinate overnight. If you’re using firm tofu or wheat gluten, a few hours will do.

-Use “real” Dijon mustard. By real I mean no substitute such as honey mustard or anything else that adds an additional word to “Dijon mustard.” According to your taste, be generous with the mustard and the lemon juice. The onions and the carrots tend to considerably tone down the sourness of the dish.

-I suggest adding chopped garlic when you broil the marinade in the pan.

-I skipped the habanero pepper, but used olives filled with jalapeños. Only you know how much heat you can take.

Estimate that it could take about two hours if you’ve never cooked it before, not including the chicken or substitute marinating.  Serve with Jasmine Rice. Et Voilà, you’re ready to embark on a flavorful exploration of Senegal. 🙂

Edited 12/19: this is a healthy recipe, in that you end up not using most of the fat required for the marinade. 🙂

Now, if I may ask: what is your favorite dish from over the world?

Note: Thursday’s Tip and Friday Fun will go on a virtual vacation on Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1. They will resume on Jan. 7.

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About Nathalie Mvondo

Nathalie Mvondo lives in Northern California and studies anthropology and nutrition. She is a writer and a blogger.
This entry was posted in Food, Friday Fun and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to An African Tale of Lemon and Onion

  1. Anna says:

    Sounds like an interesting dish! I'm kind of a lazy cook but this sounds easy enough that I should be able to handle it. I'll probably try it with tofu. Thanks for the recipe!

    Like

  2. Nathalie Mvondo says:

    You're welcome Anna. I hope you will the cooking process and experience. Let me know how it went if you wish… 🙂

    Like

  3. shimes06 says:

    I grew up in a family where every fee months we'd have 'theme' dinners. We'd pick a country and everyone in the family was required to find authentic dishes and prepare them. We'd also try and decorate the house to that theme. We did so many countries! I'm going to start with my kids! And our first adventure will be Russia. But when we get to Africa I will use this dish!My fave cultural meals are usually Greek!

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  4. Nathalie Mvondo says:

    Stac, aren't Mediterranean meals fabulous? 🙂 I enjoy the thematic idea. I lived a in co-op housing, and my housemates and I had country-theme dinners once a month for a while. It was neat. I also recommend you try a couscous, once. It's complete with a full service of mouthwatering veggies, not much fat, just delicious.

    Like

  5. Edna says:

    Hi Nathalie, Your recipe looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing the variations of it–we love to eat vegetarian style but we must also cook gluten free because of our daughter’s dietary requirements. All 3 versions sound delicious. Can’t wait to try cooking 2 of them! 🙂

    Like

    • Edna, thank you so much for stopping by. What a website you have! I particularly enjoyed the cover of New Moon, and the painting of the Changing Fish. One day I’ll have to ask you for you get your inspiration… 🙂

      Like

  6. Laura H. says:

    Owoo, what a terrible thing to read when I’m hungry.

    Next time I thaw some chicken, I’ll make sure there’s a lemon handy. 🙂

    Like

  7. Chery says:

    That looks FANTASTIC!! I am going to have to try it. I love trying different things, but I always resort to the tried and true stuff. I grew up on meat and potatoes – true Irish food!! With an inkling of German – which I don’t like at all!!!! So that equals BORING. Your dish looks superb.

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  8. I am so trying this! Thank you. So glad I found your blog through the Comment Challenge. I just know I’m going to learn so much here. 🙂

    Like

  9. Akoss says:

    I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook this.
    Thanks a lot for sharing. 🙂

    Like

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