Djibouti was once occupied by France and the flavors are noticeable, as are Indian spices, and of course, the traditional food of the countries that border Djibouti are also featured – Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, and Yemen.
The people from Djibouti were originally pastoral and nomadic, a lot like their Somalian cousins. Their palettes prefer the taste of meat such as goat, lamb, or camel rather than fish or seafood, despite having a rich coastline.
One of the traditional foods of Djibouti that everyone has to try is Fah-fah. Fah-fah is a stew made with vegetables, chilies, and meat. Usually, you’ll find the meat used is goat but it could also be lamb or camel.
It’s stewed for quite a while to ensure the meat is tender and served as a kind of broth. It’s a little salty and spicy but incredibly delicious. Fah-fah is traditionally served with canjeero, which is a spongy bread similar to injera you’d find in Ethiopia which is lovely to soak up the delicious sauce with.
Skudahkharis is pretty much Djibouti’s favorite lamb stew and is one of their national dishes. Skudahkharis is usually served during Eid al-Adha and the stew is made without vegetables but with lamb, rice, and spices instead.
It’s traditionally served with lamb but don’t be surprised to find it with fish, beef, or chicken in there instead. You’ll usually get some Laxoox on the side, a kind of flatbread like Injera from Ethiopia but it can also come with a butter sauce and dyed rice.
Sambussa, also known as samosa, is probably a dish you have heard of as it’s available pretty much everywhere in the world these days. In Djibouti, sambussa is usually made with onions, vegetables and meat all rolled up in delicious pastries and deep-fried.
They are the perfect snack while you’re traveling around Djibouti and are pretty much available anywhere. You can also have them as an appetizer before your main meal and are often served with a veggie tomato or spicy pepper sauce.