Senagal traditional dish, Thieboudienne or chebu jen, made from fish, rice and tomato sauce
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5 from 1 vote

Humble, One-pot Thieboudienne

The magic of thieboudienne lies in bringing people together to experience Senegalese hospitality, teranga. When you make this simple, flavorful fish-and-rice dish, don’t forget to invite your loved one over for a global feast.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Main Course, Mains
Cuisine: West African, Senegalese
Keyword: thieboudienne, cebu jen
Servings: 8
Author: Prachee


For the Fish Stuffing

  • 3 medium-sized white fish cut in large pieces
  • 1.5 cups parsley roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bouillon cube shrimp or fish
  • 1 quarter onion diced
  • habanero pepper

For the Rice

  • 3 cups broken jasmine rice
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 cassava
  • 2 onions
  • 1 cabbage small or medium
  • 1 eggplant large
  • 2 cups tomato paste
  • 2-3 bouillon cubes shrimp or fish
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2-3 habanero peppers
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • water
  • salt to taste


  • To begin your thieboudienne, start by prepping your fish and vegetables. Clean and cut your fish in large pieces and start piercing two or three holes in the flesh with a knife. The filling will be stuffed in these holes. Do not prick the skin of the fish.
  • For the vegetables, cut them into big pieces. Clean and peel the carrots, cut them in half only if needed to fit in the pot. Quarter the eggplant, as well as the peeled cassava. Clean the cabbage and cut it into quarters as well.
  • For the fish stuffing, start by making a garlic paste in the mortar and pestle. To this, add parsley, onions, habanero pepper, and finally bouillon powder. Keep grinding as you add new ingredients to achieve a paste-like consistency.
  • Fill the knife cuts in the fish with this stuffing. Shallow fry these pieces till brown on all sides. Take them out of the pan and let it rest.
  • In the same pan, add onion and fry until translucent. To this, add the tomato paste and mix it well. The color of this mix will turn somewhere between red to brown. 
  • Once the paste is properly fried, add crushed garlic. Let the garlic turn golden before you add the peppers. You can crush the habanero peppers in a paste or roughly chop them.
  • Add the vegetables to this mix. Add water so the vegetables are almost covered and stir in bouillon cubes. Cover the utensil with a lid and let the vegetables cook for 10-15 mins on medium-high heat. Stir the pot through the process, if necessary.
  • When the vegetables are close to done, add the fried fish to the pot. Let it sit till the vegetables are properly cooked.
  • Once done, pick the fish out and let it rest. Next, pick the vegetables and place them in a separate dish.
  • Let the pan with the gravy be on heat. To this, add rice which has been soaked for about 15-20 minutes. Stir it well, put the lid on, and let the rice cook properly.
  • Once your rice is done, it is time to serve. This is a dish that brings people together and is supposed to be served in a way to reflect that. Start by taking a large hollow plate or a bowl.
  • Start by plating the rice as the deepest layer in the bowl. Over this, add a layer of burnt rice, if any. Place the vegetables and fish over this as the final layer.
  • Enjoy with friends and family.
    Senagal traditional dish, Thieboudienne or chebu jen, made from fish, rice and tomato sauce


  • If you are sensitive to heat, you can swap the habanero pepper for a milder pepper or use suitable amounts of paprika instead. You can also use ghost pepper, or more habanero peppers if you like more concentrated heat.
  • The recipe recommends for broken jasmine rice but if you cannot find that, use any variety of broken rice as the recipe traditionally requires it.
  • Once you get comfortable with the recipe, you can easily use the vegetables you like along with, or instead of, the ones mentioned in this recipe.
  • Cassava might take longer to cook than the other vegetables. We recommend adding it first and letting it cook in the pan for a few more minutes. You can do this for all the vegetables that take longer to cook.
  • Maggi cubes or bouillon cubes are popular in several West African dishes. However, if you are finding it difficult to get them, use concentrated broth instead.