Djiboutian cuisine

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Djiboutian cuisine consists of a mixture of Somali, Afar, Yemeni and French cuisine, with some additional Asian and Indian culinary influences. Meals are typically halal. Several popular dishes feature seafood and meat, including the Fah-fah spicy boiled beef soup.


Breakfast is an important meal for people in Djibouti, who often start the day with some style of tea. The main dish is typically a pancake-like bread called lahoh, which might also be eaten with a stew or soup. It is similar to the Ethiopian injera, but is smaller and thinner. A side-dish of liver, goat meat, and diced beef cooked in a bed of soup or jerky, may also be served. Three pieces of lahoh are often eaten along with honey, ghee, and a cup of tea.

Lunch and dinner[edit]

Camel meat and rice, a popular dish in Djibouti

Lunch (qado) is often an elaborate main dish of stew (maraq), which come in a variety of styles and flavors. Rice is often served with meat and/or a banana on the side. In Djibouti City, steak and fish are widely consumed. Pasta (baasto) is frequently presented with a heavier stew than the Italian pasta sauce, but is otherwise served in a similar manner as the rice. Grilled meats are frequently eaten with the pasta.

Canjeero is a staple of cuisine in Djibouti.

Djiboutian cuisine is commonly prepared using a lot of Middle Eastern spices, ranging from saffron to cinnamon. Spicy dishes come in many variations, from the traditional Fah-fah or Soupe Djiboutienne (spicy boiled beef) to the yetakelt wet (spicy mixed vegetable stew). Popular side dishes are lentils and rice, which are typically covered with sauces such as the hot berbere or the buttery niter kibbeh.

Snacks and sweets[edit]

A plate of sambusa (samosa) snacks

Sambuusa, the Somali version of the triangular samosa snack, is commonly eaten throughout Djibouti during the afur (iftar). The local variant is spiced with hot green pepper, and the main ingredient is often ground goat meat or fish. Xalwo (pronounced "halwo") or halva is a popular confection served during special occasions, such as Eid celebrations or wedding receptions.

Garoobey is one of the staple dishes of Djibouti. An oats porridge, it is prepared by soaking oats in milk, and is flavored with cumin or cumin powder. Bajiyos are a regular fixture at the table and in street shops, particularly when it is time to break the fast during Ramadan. They are part of the four essential elements of the Djiboutian afternoon tea. Fruits such as mango, guava (seytuun), banana (moos) are also eaten throughout the day as snacks.


A dabqaad incense burner

Djiboutian people traditionally perfume their homes after meals. Frankincense or a prepared incense, which in countries in the Arabian Peninsula is known as bukhoor, is placed on top of hot charcoal inside an incense burner or censer. It then burns for about ten minutes. This keeps the house fragrant for hours.