A wide variety of vegetables and fish can be used, making ceebu jen an extremely versatile dish. Also spelled thieboudienne, tiéboudienne, thiep bou dien, cep bu jën.
4 to 6 servings
- Whole fish (or fillets, see variations), cleaned — about 2 pounds
- Parsley, finely chopped — 1/4 cup
- Hot chile peppers, finely chopped — 2 or 3
- Garlic, minced — 2 or 3 cloves
- Salt and pepper — to season
- Peanut, red palm or vegetable oil — 1/4 cup
- Onions, chopped — 2
- Tomato paste — 1/4 cup
- Stock or water — 5 cups
- Carrots, cut into rounds – 3
- Cabbage, cut into wedges — 1/2 head
- Pumpkin or winter squash, peeled and cubed — 1/2 pound
- Eggplant, cubed — 1
- Rice — 2 cups
- Salt and pepper — to season
- Lemons, cut into wedges — 3
- Rinse the fish inside and out with cool water and pat dry. Cut three diagonal slashes about 1/2 inch deep in each side of the fish. Mix the chopped parsley, chile peppers, garlic, salt and pepper and stuff the mixture (called roff) into the slashes on the fish.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high flame. Brown the fish on both sides in the hot oil and remove to a plate.
- Add the chopped onions to the hot oil and saute until cooked through and just beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and about 1/4 cup of water and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the stock or water, carrots, cabbage, pumpkin and eggplant and simmer over medium heat for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through and tender. Add the browned fish and simmer for another 15 minutes or so. Remove the fish and vegetables and about 1 cup of the broth to a platter, cover and set in a warm oven.
- Strain the remaining broth, discarding the solids. Add enough water to the broth to make 4 cups and return to heat. Bring the broth to a boil, stir in the rice and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and tender.
- Spread the cooked rice in a large serving platter, including any crispy bits (the xooñ) sticking to the bottom of the pan. Spread the vegetables over the center of the rice and top with the fish. Finally, pour the reserved broth over all. Serve with lemon wedges. Ceebu jen is traditionally eaten with the hands from a common serving dish.
CEEBU JEN VARIATIONS
- Fish: You can use whole fish or fish fillets. Any firm white-fleshed fish works well. If using fillets, try marinating the fillets in the parsley mixture (roff) instead of using it as a stuffing, then add the roff to the sauteing onions. Most Senegalese also add small amounts of smoked, dried fish (guedge) and fermented snails (yete) to ceebu jen. They add an incomparable, smoky flavor.
- Vegetables: Use any vegetables you have on hand. Try yams, cassava, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, okra or bell peppers. You can use any hot chile pepper for heat, but Scotch bonnet peppers come closest to those used in Senegal.
- Ceebu Yapp (Beef with rice and vegetables): Marinate 2 pounds of stewing beef in the roff mixture for at least 1 hour. Brown the meat in the hot oil and set aside. Brown the onions and roff in the oil, then stir in the tomato paste as indicated. Add the stock or water and return the beef to the pot, but don’t put in the vegetables yet. Simmer the beef for 1 to 1/2 hours. Then add the vegetables and 8 to 10 shelled hard-boiled eggs and simmer for 45 minutes. Continue with the recipe as indicated.
- The fish, vegetables and rice can also be served separately in the Western style.
Algerian Bouzgene Berber Bread with Roasted Pepper Sauce
Prep 20 m
Cook 20 m
Ready In,40 m
- Preheat your oven’s broiler. Place red bell peppers and tomatoes on a baking sheet, and roast under the broiler for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally. This should blacken the skin and help it peel off more easily. Cool, then scrape the skins off of the tomatoes and peppers, and place them in a large bowl. Remove cores and seeds from the bell peppers.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the jalapenos and garlic, and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and transfer the garlic and jalapeno to the bowl with the tomatoes and red peppers. Using two sharp steak knives (one in each hand), cut up the tomatoes and peppers to a coarse and soupy consistency. Stir, and set sauce aside.
- Place the semolina in a large bowl, and stir in salt and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Gradually add water while mixing and squeezing with your hand until the dough holds together without being sticky or dry, and molds easily with the hand. Divide into 6 pieces and form into balls.
- For each round, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Roll out dough one round at a time, to no thicker than 1/4 inch. Fry in the hot skillet until dark brown spots appear on the surface, and they are crispy. Remove from the skillet, and wrap in a clean towel while preparing the remaining flat breads.
- To eat the bread and sauce, break off pieces of the bread, and scoop them into the sauce. It will slide off, but just keep reaching in!
Prep 15 m
Cook 25 m
Ready In 2 h 10 m
- In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup warm water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
- Place flour in a large bowl, and stir in salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the corn oil and yeast mixture. Add the remaining water in small amounts until you have a soft moist dough that can be handled. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead for at least 5 minutes. Return to the bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Deflate the risen dough, and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball with a rolling pin so it is oval shaped, about 6 inches long, and 1/2 inch thick. Use a fork or dull knife to draw three lines on the top of each loaf. Place the loaves on a baking sheet. Mix together the egg and remaining tablespoon of water; brush the tops of the loaves with the mixture. Sprinkle caraway seeds over the tops, if using.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until the loaves are shiny and golden brown.
Black Glutinous Rice Porridge
Prep 15 m
Cook 30 m
Ready In 45 m
- In a saucepan bring water and pandan leaf to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pandan leaf and stir in brown sugar and white sugar. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and remove from heat.