Having dinner with the locals – ResiRest – The Gambia

I love this!! Having contact with the local community of the country which I am exploring. And what is even better? Eating together, spending time together and what made it even better this time? We went out shopping for the food and I cooked the food myself with the locals!!

I got this great experience from ResiRest and I ofcourse made an appointment right away!!

I was being picked up late in the afternoon by Bakary to get some groceries at the local martket. We would make Domoda, the National Dish of The Gambia. One of the products of The Gambia are peanuts and this is the mayor part of this dish!!

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

Having dinner with the locals

ResiRest – The Gambia

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

We went into the market to get some herbs, spices, vegetables and fish. I must honoustly say that the fish I saw on the market wouldn’t be bought by me. I saw flies on them and I started to wonder how long they were there….without being cooled.. After the fish was carefully cleaned I got it in a bag to carry with me.

I got this bag and put it in between my legs in the car.. After some minutes I saw flies going there and hear them buzzing in the bag…

Hmmm… this was going to be really a local experience!!

We entered the place Bakoteh where Bakary lives. Bakoteh is about a half an hour drive from Bijilo where my hotel is. I was introduced to the friends of Bakary. I got in the local life really quick and was offered a chair! They were all sitting in front of a shop, the shop that belonged to a friend of them. The friend sold oil, for cars. Just hanging in front of the shop... seeing all the other villagers passing by .. They were sitting and drinking the famous local mint tea!

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

After this great moment we went on to the compound where Bakary’s sister lives. I would make the Domoda with his two sisters. A twin called Adama and Fatou.

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

The house was part of a row of 4 houses, it was parted from the streets with a fence. In front of the houses were big doors. Not a great view from the nice porch they have. This was mostly used to hang the laundry. For the rest the place was not used for much else.

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

Having dinner with the locals

Ingredients Domoda

We soon started to clean the fish, vegetables and placed all the ingredients in front of us. What is in the national dish Domoda? I wrote it down quickly in my little book I always carry while traveling: pepper, union, garlic, tomato, spring union and green pepper (paprika). Fish, potato, bitter tomato and sweet potato and ofcourse the peanuts!! 

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

My job was to make the pepper, union, garlic and tomato (without the pits and soft inside) to a nice paste in the wooden huge pounder. It was kind of difficult for me and well…you do start feeling your arms in the end. I saw one of the girls working too and their technics are so much better!! She was pounding the spring union and green pepper, she was standing up and had a good rythm in which she was pounding.. Where I missed my goal a lot she was precize and so ready a lot quicker 🙂

After this we started to bake the fish. They washed it good and all the prints of the flies were gone…and after I dropped the fish in the hot and sizzling oil I decided that this was going to be a good and healthy meal! After 10 minutes baking it was ready and was put to the side for a minute.

Having dinner with the locals

Cooking in an open air kitchen!!

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

The peanuts were already made into a sauce with some water, this needed to cook for a while. After some minutes the tomatopaste, the two pastes we made with the pounder weree added, parts of the bitter tomato, sweet potato in parts were added and this needed to cook for at least an half an hour.

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

By the way…did you notice how we are cooking? Everybody is using charcoal still, there is hardly any gas or electricity. They have little, easy to use devices for it, they can take the small ones everywhere. You see them walking the streets with them to make minttea where eveer they are 🙂

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

Cooking on Charcoal

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

While the Domoda was cooking we went back into the area, exploring the surroudings. We passed a school, the cousin of Bakary was attending this school and Bakary told me his brother was here often too. It was a boarding school and so lots of kids were sleeping here too.

Having dinner with the locals

 Bakoteh, The Gambia

Bakary bought me an orange, as an appetizer, eating in the streets. You see it a lot… I can’t do it.. 🙂 Juice dripping down everywhere!! It is a great and hygienic way of eating the fruit though!

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

But how do ou like that view on the bakery shop?

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

Again we went to his friends, hanging on the sidewalk in front of the shop! And then it was time to go make pictures!! We had fun doing that… especially when I mentioned that one of the guys probably had smoked some weed….and I am a cop 🙂

Having dinner with the locals – ResiRest – The Gambia

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

When we got back home the dinner was served! The driver that picked me up at the hotel was here also and together we had a delicious dinner. It was served as they normally do on a big plate and we ate out of that togehter, sharing our food. I do love that way of sharing your food and eating together!!

I loved my time here!

Eten bij de lokale bevolking - Bakoteh, The Gambia

I really liked the Domoda and making it myself too. But I definitely loved the fact that Bakary took me with him into his neigbhourhood, made me feel part of his life for a while!!

How Local Can You Go?

Did you already see this clip? It is in Dutch…but you’ll get the picture 🙂

Do you want to book a trip like this too? There are a lot of destinations where ResiRest has locals that would share their world with you!! Check their site at ResiRest and plan your local experience!!

Having dinner with the locals – Bakoteh, The Gambia

Did you like this blog? Will you share it?

It would make me happy 🙂

Want to read more about my trip in The Gambia?

Cycling to the Fish of Tanji – The Gambia

Or how about these:

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How a Pilgrim spend a Day on the Camino

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Walking the 1000 Steps of Haifa – Israel

Did you thought about going on a roadtrip?

I did a 3 day trip and loved it!

Roadtrip: National Park Eifel – Germany

I hope you enjoy this beautiful world as much as I do!!

Jacomijn is a police officer from The Netherlands who loves to show you how to travel the world Safe, Healthy and Active!! Safe and Healthy Travel is a MUST!

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