Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Food from Mauritania

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine

Embarking on a culinary journey through Mauritania reveals a captivating tapestry of flavors and cultural heritage. The food from Mauritania, influenced by North African, Sub-Saharan African, Middle Eastern, and Berber traditions, offers a delightful fusion of tastes. From beloved traditional dishes to tantalizing street cuisine, Mauritanian food is a treasure trove of mouthwatering delights that showcase the richness of its food culture. Let’s dive into this diverse and vibrant world of the food culture of Mauritania.

Top Ingredients of Mauritanian Cuisine

In the food of Mauritania, a rich tapestry of flavors is woven together through the skillful combination of various ingredients. Here is a list of the most commonly used ingredients that form the essence of Mauritanian culinary traditions:

Rice food from Mauritania

Millet: A staple in Mauritanian cuisine, millet is often used to make dishes like “Thiéboudienne” or “Thiébou Yapp,” a flavorful one-pot rice and meat dish.

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Lamb

Lamb: Lamb is a favorite meat in Mauritania and is a key ingredient in many traditional dishes, including grilled skewers, stews, and tagines.

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Spices food of Afghanistan

Spices: Mauritanian cuisine relies on a mix of spices and seasonings like cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper to enhance the flavor of their dishes.

Dates Food of Iraq

Dates: Dates are a common ingredient and snack in Mauritania, adding a natural sweetness to both savory and dessert dishes.

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Okra

Okra: Okra is frequently used in Mauritanian cuisine to thicken soups and stews, creating a unique and satisfying texture.

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Onions and Garlic food of Afghanistan

Onions and Garlic: These two ingredients are fundamental to Mauritanian dishes, providing a robust and savory base for many recipes.

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Peanuts

Peanuts: Peanuts are often ground into a paste and used to make a rich and flavorful sauce called “Nététou” that is used in various dishes.

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Fish

Fish: Given its coastal location, fish is a significant part of Mauritanian cuisine, and grilled or stewed fish dishes are popular along the coast.

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Tamarind

Tamarind: Tamarind is used to add a tangy and sour flavor to sauces and marinades in Mauritanian cooking.

food from Mauritania

Couscous: Couscous is a common side dish in Mauritania, served with a variety of stews and sauces, often made with vegetables, meat, and spices.

These ingredients, combined with the influence of regional herbs, vegetables, and other local produce, contribute to the diverse and flavorful tapestry of Mauritanian cuisine.

The Diversity of Mauritanian Cuisine

Mauritanian cuisine boasts a captivating variety of flavors and dishes that reflect the nation’s rich history and cultural diversity. Influenced by North African, Sub-Saharan African, Middle Eastern, and Berber culinary traditions, Mauritanian food offers a unique blend of ingredients and techniques. One of the most renowned dishes is Thieboudienne, a flavorful fish stew prepared with rice, vegetables, and a tomato-based sauce. This dish epitomizes Mauritanian hospitality and is often served at celebratory events.

Another beloved Mauritanian specialty is Chakhchoukha, a hearty and spicy dish made from broken-up bread, lamb or beef, and a tomato-based sauce. The dish is cooked in a traditional clay pot, adding to its authenticity and flavor. The heartiness of Mauritanian cuisine is exemplified in its grilled meats, prepared with various spices and marinades. Grilled lamb, chicken, and beef kebabs are popular choices, offering a delightful blend of flavors.

Mauritania’s love for stews is evident in Marakh, a rich stew made with tender pieces of meat, vegetables, and a variety of spices, often served with couscous. For a vegetarian option, Tijéne stands out, featuring a flavorful mix of vegetables, legumes, and aromatic spices.

Satisfying the sweet tooth, Mauritanian cuisine presents delightful desserts like Lekhal, a sweet, date-filled pastry that is commonly enjoyed during festive occasions. The diversity of Mauritanian food is further exhibited in its regional specialties, with each area showcasing distinct recipes and culinary techniques. Whether indulging in the flavors of Thieboudienne or savoring the comforting taste of Chakhchoukha, exploring the variety of Mauritanian cuisine is an adventure in cultural richness and gastronomic pleasure.

While visiting beautiful Mauritania, you can try all of the best recipes from Mauritanian cuisine. We have available a wide range of Tours in Mauritania that you can choose to visit the country and experience its culinary delights.

Best Foods in Mauritania

Mauritania’s best foods offer a delightful array of dishes that tantalize the taste buds with their rich flavors and cultural significance. While it’s challenging to single out a definitive list of the “best” foods, some dishes stand out as particularly beloved and iconic in Mauritanian cuisine.

Mauritanian cuisine is known for its creative use of spices, such as cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, chilies, saffron, black pepper, and dried mint for its rich and flavorful dishes. The result is a harmonious blend of aromatic spices and vibrant herbs that make Mauritanian food truly exceptional.

Most famous Mauritanian foods

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Thieboudienne

Thieboudienne: Often considered the national dish of Mauritania, Thieboudienne is a flavorful rice and fish stew. It features long-grain rice cooked with a variety of vegetables, including carrots, eggplants, and cassava, as well as fish (typically whitefish or grouper). The dish is seasoned with spices and often served with a spicy tomato-based sauce, creating a delicious and hearty meal.

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Chermoula

Chermoula: Chermoula is a popular Mauritanian marinade and sauce used in many dishes. It consists of a blend of herbs and spices, including coriander, garlic, cumin, and paprika, mixed with olive oil and lemon juice. Chermoula is commonly used to marinate grilled or roasted meats and fish, adding a burst of flavor to Mauritanian cuisine.

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Boulette

Boulette: Boulette is a popular street food in Mauritania, consisting of deep-fried balls made from ground fish mixed with herbs and spices. These flavorful fish balls are often served with a spicy dipping sauce, making them a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Food from Mauritania: Savor the Best of Mauritanian Cuisine Yassa

Yassa: Yassa is a Mauritanian dish known for its tangy and spicy flavor. It typically features marinated chicken or fish, cooked with onions, mustard, lemon juice, and a variety of spices. The result is a mouthwatering and aromatic dish that’s enjoyed with rice or couscous.

These renowned Mauritanian dishes showcase the richness and diversity of the country’s culinary heritage, making them popular not only within Mauritania but also among food enthusiasts around the world.

Mauritanian Desserts

Mauritanian desserts offer a delightful conclusion to a satisfying meal, showcasing a blend of sweet flavors and delicate textures. These desserts are deeply rooted in Mauritanian culture and are often enjoyed during celebrations, festivals, and special occasions. Some popular Mauritanian desserts include:

Nouat na Sah: This is one of Mauritania’s most cherished desserts, especially during Eid celebrations. Nouat na Sah is a creamy vermicelli pudding made with milk, sugar, and a medley of nuts like peanuts, cashews, and dates. The combination of luscious milk and the richness of dried fruits makes it an indulgent treat.

Lentah: A beloved sweet treat, Lentah consists of deep-fried dough soaked in honey or sugar syrup, resulting in crispy, twisted shapes that are delightfully sweet and sticky. It’s a popular choice during Ramadan and other festive occasions.

Ruz Bel Hleeb: Similar to rice pudding, Ruz Bel Hleeb is a creamy dessert made with ground rice, milk, sugar, and fragrant cardamom. It is often garnished with chopped peanuts, cashews, or hibiscus petals, adding a lovely nutty and floral touch.

Makarouna: Although Makarouna has origins in the Middle East, it has become a favorite in Mauritanian cuisine. Layers of phyllo pastry are filled with ground peanuts and sweetened with honey or sugar syrup, creating a delectable and flaky treat.

The culture behind Mauritanian cuisine

Mauritanian cuisine is deeply rooted in tradition, hospitality, and community, reflecting the rich history and diverse cultural influences of the country. It combines elements from North African, West African, Arab, and Berber culinary traditions. Food holds significant cultural importance in Mauritania and plays a central role in social gatherings, family events, and religious celebrations.

Hospitality is a fundamental aspect of Mauritanian culture, and sharing food with guests is a cherished tradition. When visitors come to a Mauritanian home, they are warmly received with a variety of delectable dishes, symbolizing the host’s generosity and the desire to make their guests feel welcome. Meals are often communal affairs, with everyone gathered around a shared platter, emphasizing the importance of unity and solidarity in Mauritanian culture.

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Nouakchott, Nouadhibou

Embark on a gastronomic journey through Nouakchott, Nouadhibou, and Atar, and delve into the enticing flavors that have been lovingly cultivated and celebrated for generations. Let the traditional dishes of each city unveil the vivid palette of Mauritanian cuisine, beckoning you to relish the unique treasures of these extraordinary regions.

Within the enchanting realm of Mauritanian gastronomy, each locale contributes its own unique flavors and culinary customs. Let us set forth on an expedition to Nouakchott, Nouadhibou, and Atar, and uncover the delightful distinctions in their customary fare.

The variations in dishes from each Mauritanian city can be attributed to a blend of factors, including geographical influences, historical legacies, and the dominant ethnic groups residing in each vicinity. Mauritania’s diverse topography, characterized by deserts, coastlines, and savannas, has shaped the availability of specific ingredients and farming practices in different areas. Consequently, this has led to disparities in the types of dishes that have evolved within each city.

Nouakchott’s Thieboudienne showcases fragrant rice paired with succulent fish, vegetables, and a flavorful tomato sauce, embodying Mauritanian hospitality. Nouadhibou’s Mechoui elevates the art of slow-roasting lamb, infusing it with a medley of spices for a delectable culinary experience. Atar’s Couscous Mauritanien offers a unique twist on the classic dish, combining couscous with tender meat and a richly spiced broth, tantalizing the taste buds with bold flavors.

For instance, in Nouakchott, as the capital and a melting pot of cultures, the culinary landscape is more diverse, influenced by a fusion of traditions from various regions. Nouadhibou, situated near the coast, has culinary influences from the sea and neighboring nations, resulting in distinctive dishes like Mechoui. In Atar, the Moor ethnic majority shapes the cuisine, resulting in a savory and aromatic culinary tradition exemplified by Couscous Mauritanien.

When comparing the three cities, Nouakchott offers a wide array of dishes influenced by its cosmopolitan character, Nouadhibou spotlights seafood and coastal flavors, and Atar entices with savory spice blends. Each city presents its own culinary identity, enriching the intricate and diverse tapestry of Mauritanian cuisine.



Commencing our culinary exploration in Nouakchott, the capital city of Mauritania, we are welcomed into a vibrant food scene that reflects the country’s diverse cultural influences. The city offers a blend of traditional Mauritanian dishes and international flavors. As we venture through bustling markets and street food vendors, the aroma of freshly baked bread and grilled meats fills the air. Nouakchott’s food culture is a fusion of flavors, presenting a wide variety of dishes to satisfy every taste.

Famous food from Nouakchott

  1. Thieboudienne: A flavorful rice dish cooked with fish, vegetables, and a unique tomato-based sauce, embodying Mauritanian hospitality.
  2. Mafé: Tender meat stew made with peanuts and served with rice, a staple comfort food in Mauritania.
  3. Couscous: Steamed semolina granules served with a rich vegetable and meat stew, a cherished traditional dish.
  4. Accara: Deep-fried black-eyed pea fritters, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, often enjoyed as a snack or appetizer.
  5. Caldo: A hearty soup featuring various vegetables, meat, and spices, a comforting and filling meal.
  6. Dates with Milk: A sweet dessert made by soaking dates in milk, a simple yet delightful way to satisfy your sweet tooth.



Continuing our culinary journey to Nouadhibou, a city known for its diverse gastronomy, we find ourselves immersed in the flavors of traditional Mauritanian cuisine, with a focus on seafood and hearty rice dishes. Nouadhibou’s cuisine embraces bold flavors and a strong emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, making it a distinct culinary experience.

Famous food from Nouadhibou

  1. Arroz con Pescado: A seafood-infused rice dish with a medley of fish and shellfish, flavored with aromatic spices and herbs.
  2. Mauretanian Seafood Stew: A rich and savory stew featuring various seafood, tomatoes, and peppers, a coastal delicacy.
  3. Grilled Fish: Freshly caught fish grilled to perfection, served with a side of spicy sauce and vegetables.
  4. Boulette: Fish balls made from ground fish and spices, often enjoyed as a snack or appetizer.
  5. Papaya Salad: A refreshing salad made with ripe papaya, lime juice, and a hint of chili for a delightful contrast of flavors.
  6. Nouakchott Sweet Tea: A sweet and minty tea served in small glasses, an integral part of Mauritanian hospitality.

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