Mauritanian Cuisine


The cuisine of Mauritania includes the culinary practices of the West African nation of Mauritania. Historically, what is now Mauritania, has been influenced by Arab and African peoples who have lived in and traversed the "stark" landscape marked with Sahara desert dunes in caravans.


There is overlap with Moroccan cuisine in the north and Senegalese cuisine in the south. French colonial influence (Mauritania was a colony until 1960) has also played a role in influencing the cuisine of the relatively isolated land.

Alcohol is prohibited in the Muslim faith and its sale is largely limited to hotels. Mint tea is widely consumed and poured from height to create foam. Traditionally, meals are eaten communally.


Traditional dishes include:

Thieboudienne (Cheb-u-jin), a coastal dish of fish and rice, which is considered the national dish of Mauritania. It is served in a white and red sauce, usually made from tomatoes.

Mchoui, whole roasted lamb

Spiced fish

Rice with vegetables

Fish balls

Dried fish

Dried meat


Goat stuffed with rice

Camel (unusual)(made from Dromedaries)

Caravane cheese

Yassa poulet, chicken rotisserie with vegetables served over french fries or rice. It is originally a Senegalese dish from the Wolof and Pulaar tribes.

Mahfe, goat or camel meat in a peanut, okra and tomato sauce. It is served over rice and can also be made without meat (for vegetarians).

Yassa fish

Hakko, leaf sauce with beans over couscous

Lakh, cheese curds or yoghurt with grated coconut served over sweet millet porridge



Bulgur wheat with dried fruit

Maru we-llham, meat with rice and vegetables

Mauritanian terrine

Camel Chubbagin

Cherchem, Mauritanian lamb couscous

Fish pastry

Mauritanian vermicelli

Harira, Mauritanian soup dish

Mauritanian pepper steak with coconut


Leksour, Mauritanian pancakes with meat and vegetable sauce

Avocado pudding

Bonava, a lamb stew

Maff, meat and vegetables in a peanut-based sauce

Roselle syrup (Sirop de Bissap)

Al-Ach, chicken, beans and couscous


Mint tea

Zrig, camel milk (made from Dromedaries)

Avocado smoothie

Baobab fruit drink (Jus de Bouye)