From the Kitchen: Chorah gerte

I love all the Gambian breakfast porridges that my sisters typically cook for Sunday morning breakfast. Here’s a look at what the Jolas call “chorai” (pronounced with a long I). A more universal Gambian term for the dish is “Chorah gerte.”

The preparation for this meal is quite intense, not unlike any other Gambian food. The night before, the rice and peanuts must be vigorously pounded. It’s hard to explain how you know when it’s been sufficiently ground together because my sisters say “you just know when the pounding is finished,” although I could not really tell myself. Let’s just say that the pounding takes place for up to an hour.

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This is a serious workout!

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This is how it looks raw “when you just know the pounding is finished.”

The next morning, the mixture is boiled and then simmered for about an hour, or once again “until you just know when it’s finished.”

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Boil the ground rice and peanuts.

Add sugar. Add lots of sugar if you are Gambian. When there’s enough money, extra flavor is also added. Add water to peanut butter so that it is liquid and then mix that with baobab fruit. Then, drain the mixture from the fruit seeds and add it to the porridge for a tasty morning meal. Yum!

Chori!

Chorai!

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Ready to eat!

–JDF