Gambian food And Local recipes

Gambian food

A few words from our head chef, Famara.

*Cooking local food has been my passion since I was a small boy. I could see the delight it gave my friends and family and from that moment I was sure all I wanted was to be a top-class chef*

I use only the best high-quality ingredients in my open-view kitchen sourced locally or grown in our garden to craft memorable dining experiences just for you! Join me on a journey of culinary discovery, where flavour and taste become an adventure.

Welcome to my restaurant, where the magic comes alive!

Meet The Rest Of My Kitchen Team

Buba – Trainee Chef

Fatou – Chef

Kebba – Chef

Gambian food, what´s it like?

Gambian food recipes are full of flavour and usually a little spicy. Like Domada, a peanut and chilli stew, Yassa, a mustard and onion sauce and Benachin, which is similar to Paella. Traditional food in Gambia uses the freshest seasonal produce. 

Fruit and vegetables are bought from neighbouring farms or grown in our gardens. Bread comes in two styles. Choose from either Tapalapa, which is a heavy filling bread, perfect for toasting or Sen Fur which is a light, French-style baguette.

At Footsteps, we follow the Gambian way. Our fresh vegetables and delicious herbs are mostly grown by Sainey, who manages our on-site organic garden. Fruit comes from the trees growing within the lodge and fresh bread is delivered by the local baker to our open-view kitchen every morning.

Whatever your food tastes you’re going to love Gambian food and drinks while staying at Footsteps. Our chefs are experienced professionals who can cater for food allergies, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian and of course meat-eaters too!

Lunchtime is a chance to try a Gambian classic dish with rice or one of our European daily specials. Gambian food recipes are typically rich and spicy but can be cooked to European tastes. Whether it’s Domoda (thick and tasty peanut sauce), Benechin (flavoursome savoury rice with fish or meat) or Yassa (Onion sauce with a lemony kick), you are sure of a delicious, authentic treat. One of our specials is Soso beans, black-eyed peas in a rich tomato garlic chilli 

Local and International cuisine

Food and drinks at Footsteps are available all day every day from our bar/restaurant & open-view kitchen.

We offer a choice of light snacks, Gambian classic dishes as well as your International favourites.

Now, doesn’t that sound tempting?

Take a sneak peek at this short video to see what to expect from Famara and his team!


After a great night’s sleep find tea, coffee, and fresh local juices waiting for you at the bantaba.

Then choose from our healthy food options of fresh local fruits, smoothies, muesli, and homemade jams

Enjoy a traditional English breakfast of local eggs, bacon, and sausages with grilled tomatoes, your perfect start to each morning while on holiday.


Available from noon till 4 pm, we offer a varied selection of Gambia food including Vegan and Vegetarian. 

Filled baguettes, light bites such as hummus and olives, and salads. If your appetite needs a little more satisfaction we serve homemade quarter-pounder burgers

Picnic lunches can be arranged on request.

Take a sneaky peek at our new 2024 lunchtime menu
Lunch time menu- Gambia


Each evening we present a three-course a la carte menu. We offer a choice of two starters, three main courses and two desserts.

All menus serve vegetarian, meat, fish, and European and Gambian food from which to choose.

Starters & desserts £4

Main course £7 – £10

Local Gambian food recipes to try at home

Here is some Gambia local cuisine for you to try 😋 For vegetarian versions of these Gambian recipes just leave out the meat and add a few more veggies.

First, let’s try the national dish of The Gambia, Yassa!


  • 1 fish or any meat, cut into pieces
  • 3 chillies, diced
  • 6 large onions, diced
  • 4 Maggi cubes
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • 10 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Now make it

  1. In a bowl prepare the marinade by mixing all the ingredients together bar the oil. Crush the Maggi before adding it to aid in the mixing.
  2. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight preferably.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan.
  4. Fry the chicken one piece at a time until golden brown and set aside.
  5. Add marinade and juices back to the pan along with the chicken.
  6. Simmer for 45 minutes, the chicken should be cooked throughout & the onions soft & yellow.
  7. Serve with white rice.


  • Dried black-eyed beans
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 4 diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 oz tomato paste
  • 3 oz (85 g) of cheese (any)
  • Diced chilli (add to your taste)
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Now make it

  1. Pre-soak beans for 1-2 hours.
  2. In a frying pan, heat your oil and add the diced onion. When onion is beginning to soften add the chilli and minced garlic. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomato puree and diced tomato. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add black-eyed beans and a half cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Present as the picture above topped with cheese and fresh basil.


  • Fish or meat
  • 500 ml of peanut oil
  • 200 grams carrot & aubergine
  • 1/2 cabbage
  • 3 chillies
  • 500 grams rice
  • 1 large onion
  • 100 grams tomatoes
  • 1-litre water
  • 2 bay leaves & 2 Maggi cubes

Now make it

  1. Deep fry meat and set aside
  2. Add onions, tomatoes & cayenne to hot oil
  3. Add water, Maggi cubes, chillies, bay leaves & veg
  4. Simmer for 30 mins
  5. As veg cooks, remove & keep warm
  6. Add rice to pan & stir well
  7. Bring to a boil & then reduce to simmer for 25 minutes
  8. season with salt and pepper
  9. Serve as above

Domada Ingredients

  • 2 cups of peanut butter ( homemade is best )
  • Half a kilo of meat or chicken
  • 2 hot chillies ( Kani are best )
  • 2 large onions ( Chopped )
  • 1 kg fresh tomatoes ( Tinned works too )
  • 1 tablespoon of pureed tomato
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Half a medium white cabbage
  • 1 medium butternut squash cubes into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 lemon and 1 lime juiced
  • 2 Maggi cubes
  • A quarter cup of oil
  • Enough water to cover and simmer

Now make it

  1. In a large pan, heat the oil and brown the meat and onions.
  2. Once brown add the pureed tomato and cook for 3 mins.
  3. Add vegetables, chillies, garlic and Maggi.
  4. cover with water and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and add some water to the peanut butter until the paste thins.
  6. Add the paste to the cooking pot and stir.
  7. Simmer for an hour.
  8. If the sauce gets too thick just add some more water.
  9. Serve with rice.

Tapalapa Ingredients

  • Wheat flour 800 g
  • Corn flour 100g
  • Millet flour 50g
  • Baking yeast 1 teaspoon
  • Baking powder 1 teaspoon
  • Salt 2 teaspoons
  • Sugar 1 tablespoon
  • Coldwater 0.6 litre
  • A small cup of water

Now make it

  1. Mix all flour, yeast and baking powder
  2. Add salt to the cold water and dissolve
  3. Slowly add the salted water to the flour mix, kneading constantly.
  4. Kneading is finished when an elastic dough is formed.
  5. Leave the covered dough in a dark place for 1 hour.
  6. Separate dough into equal pieces ( approx 250 g each )
  7. Roll into baguettes.
  8. Cover and leave to rest for 1 hour in a dark place.
  9. Score each baguette with 3 lines.
  10. Dissolve sugar in your water and paint each baguette.
  11. Add bread to a hot oven ( 200 degrees C )
  12. Bake for 35 minutes remove and allow to cool before eating.

A/ We won’t be beaten on price.

B/ If you find a better deal, we’ll price match & discount it by 5%.

C/ Book your next Gambia vacation today with no deposit, nothing to pay until one month before travel & a full refund guarantee up to 2 weeks before travel.

"Simple as ABC", start planning your holiday today with Footsteps Eco-lodge!

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