Sudanese cuisine

Not to be confused with Sundanese cuisine.
A woman cooking in Sudan
Location of Sudan

Sudanese cuisine is varied by region, and greatly affected by the cross-cultural influences in Sudan throughout history. In addition to the influences of the indigenous African peoples, the cuisine was influenced by Arab traders and settlers during the Ottoman Empire, who introduced numerous spices, such as red pepper and garlic, as well as Levantine dishes. Egyptian, Yemeni, Indian, and Ethiopian influences are prevalent in the eastern part of the country.

A wide variety of stews exist in Sudan, often paired with a staple bread or porridge. Further south, fish dishes are popular.

Sudanese food in the north is simpler, whereas foods further south reflect the influence of surrounding areas, such as the Yemeni influenced mokhbaza (banana paste) of Eastern Sudan.

Ful medames is the national dish of Sudan. A popular variation of this dish is Shahan ful, which is more popular in neighboring countries of the Horn of Africa.


Appetizers include Elmaraara and Umfitit, which are made from sheep's offal (including the lungs, liver, and stomach), onions, peanut butter, and salt. They are eaten raw.[1]


As for beverages, the Sudanese have several distinct beverages that are made from some fruits that are grown in Sudan, such as Tabaldi, Aradaib, Karkadai (hibiscus tea, served hot or cold), and Guddaim.

Coffee is a popular drink consumed in Sudan. The strong Sudanese coffee is served from a special tin 'jug' with a long spout, known as a jebena. The coffee is sweetened and often spiced with ginger or cinnamon, which is drunk from tiny cups or glasses. Tea, including different fruit teas and herbal teas, such as kakaday (hibiscus tea), is also popular.

In Ramadan (the Islamic fasting month), one of the signature drinks is Hilumur, which is made from corn flour and spices. Other beverages consumed during Ramadan include Aabrai Abiyad and Nashaa, which are also made from corn flour.

Alcoholic beverages

Sudan is governed under sharia, which bans the purveying, consumption, and purchasing of alcohol. Being lashed 40 times is the penalty for breaking the prohibition on alcohol.[2] Former Sudanese President Gaafar Nimeiry enacted sharia in September 1983, marking the occasion by dumping alcohol into the Nile river.[3] Araqi is an alcoholic gin made from dates, which is illegally brewed in defiance of sharia.[2] Araqi brewers in Sudan's continue to be productive despite sharia.[2]

Breads and porridges

A woman making Kissra



There is a type of cake called bisbosa, which is quite similar to standard cake, but it is a little different. It is made from semolina soaked in syrup. There are numerous types of sweets called pasta, which are rolled in a certain way and dipped in a honey mixture. These dishes are both influenced by the Turkish cuisine. Madada is a very popular dessert, which is part of the Sudanese cuisine. This dessert is made using helba (fenugreek paste) and milk sweetened with sugar. Kabaz is a type of cookie that is dipped in sugar. Ajwa is another type of cookie, which is also dipped in sugar, but it is stuffed with dates. Peanuts can be prepared into delicious macaroons, known as Ful Sudani. In the east, the most popular dessert dish is Moukhbaza, which is made from banana paste. This dish is greatly influenced by the Ethiopian and Yemeni cuisines. In the west, each tribal group has adopted different forms of foods that are basically very simple to produce. Examples include milk and dairy products, which are a fundamental component to the majority of the Sudanese people, since most of them are cattle breeders.


Salaat Jazar (carrot salad) is a popular salad in the Sudanese cuisine. Another popular salad is Salaat Zabidi (yogurt salad), made from various vegetables, such as carrots, tomatoes, lettuce or spinach, and cucumbers, which are then cut in dice-sized pieces and poured in yogurt. Salaat Aldokwa is also popular, which is quite similar to the yogurt salad, but the only difference is that aldokwa is poured instead of yogurt.

Soups and stews

Several stews, including Mullah, Waika, Bussaara, and Sabaroag use Ni'aimiya (Sudanese spice mix) and dried okra. Miris is a stew made from sheep's fat, onions, and dried okra. Sharmout Abiyad is made from dried meat, while Kajaik is made from dried fish.[1] Stews are regularly eaten with a sorghum porridge called Asseeda or Asseeda Dukun. In Equatoria, Mouloukhiya (a local green vegetable) is added to the Asseeda.[1]

Sudanese soups include Kawari, made from cattle or sheep hooves with vegetables, and Elmussalammiya, made from liver, flour, dates, and spices.[1] A distinct ingredient that is not well known in the west is Dukhun. It is used in preparing stews and a thick porridge called Aseeda Dukhun. A stew called Sharmout Abiyad, which is cooked with dried meat, is often served with the Aseeda. Another form of stew often added is Kawal, which is made from a mixture of some plants' roots that are left to leaven and dried afterwards.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Sudanese Food, Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan, Washington, DC
  2. 1 2 3 Fleming, Lucy (April 29, 2010). "Sudan's date-gin brewers thrive despite Sharia". BBC News. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  3. iPad iPhone Android TIME TV Populist The Page (1984-01-23). "Sudan: Hearts, Minds and Helicopters". TIME. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  4. Gibna Bayda (white cheese)
  5. Comparison of Quality of Sudanese White Cheese (Gibna bayda) Manufactured with Solanum dubium Fruit Extract and Rennet

Further reading

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