Gambian Benachin recipe

pot of chicken and rice called Gambian benachin

The Gambian word benachin means “one pot,” which refers to the way of cooking food in a single pot over a roaring fire.

The word benachin comes from Wolof language, spoken by the third largest ethnic group in the Gambia. Here is the recipe for Gambian Benachin.

Ingredients for Gambian Benachin

  • 1lb long grain rice
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 fresh tomatoes (blended)
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 2 cups of canola oil
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • Chicken or beef
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 clove of garlic (chopped or blended)
  • 1 knob of ginger (blended)
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Black pepper powder to taste
  • Salt to taste

Instructions for Gambian Benachin

1. Season meat with salt, black pepper, garlic, and some lime juice. Refrigerate for a minimum of one hour.

2. Measure 4 cups of rice. Rinse rice 3-4 times to get rid of the starch. Set aside for later.

3. Fry meat in canola oil until browned. Set aside. If you need to, pour out oil until you have one cup left. 

4. In the same cooking pot, stir in onions and bay leaves and saute for 2 mins.

5. Pour in the blended tomatoes and continue frying until tomatoes are slightly dry.

6. Add the tomato paste and continue stirring for at least 5 mins.

7. Add the garlic, ginger, black pepper, stock cube, seasoned salt, chicken broth, mixed vegetables, fried meat, salt to taste and water proportionate to the rice size (1:2 ratio – 1 cup of rice:2 cups of water). Cook for 15 minutes.

8. Once it starts to boil, add rice. As the rice begins to cook, it soaks up the liquid. Stir from bottom to top so the rice doesn’t stick. When the liquid is almost soaked up in the rice, lower the temperature to low.

9. Cover the pot, and allow to cook until rice is done (about 30 minutes)

Serve and enjoy your Gambian Benachin!


About Rachel Lacayo
Rachel Lacayo is from The Gambia, West Africa. She is a proud mom of two to her 7-year-old son Spencer, and her 5-year-old daughter Marielle.. She is an aspiring elementary school teacher.