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Sudanese Food – Traditional Dishes from Sudan

Sudanese Food – Traditional Dishes from Sudan

Photo: Antony McAulay/Shutterstock

Want to know more about Sudanese food? Here’s a list of traditional dishes from Sudan and more information about the Sudanese cuisine and culinary history as well as common ingredients and an introduction to each dish. 


Dura is a staple food in Sudan made of cooked maize and millet. It is most commonly eaten in the arid regions of Sudan and can be served along with vegetables or as a stew. When dura is made as a stew, some typical ingredients include peanut butter, meat, onions, and various spices. 


Aseeda is a type of porridge that is made from flour, salt, and water. Various kinds of flour can be used, such as wheat, corn or sorghum. It’s basically the Sudanese version of polenta, and it’s often served with mullah (stew).


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Ful Medames

Ful medames is a popular stew made of cooked fava beans that is believed to have originated in Egypt, although it is very popular in Sudan as well, and even considered to be Sudan’s national dish. The primary ingredients for the stew are fava beans, cumin, and vegetable oil only.

There are also additional ingredients that are sometimes added to enhance the flavor, such as garlic, lemon juice, chili pepper, and various herbs. Additionally, there is also a similar version called Shahan Ful which is typically served and eaten for breakfast.


Kajaik is a Sudanese fish stew that is quite popular with origins traced back to South Sudan. It consists of dry fish and can be eaten together with porridge with some additional margarine to enhance the flavors.

It is particularly common in South Sudan due to the abundance of rivers of lakes. 


Kisra is a common type of fermented bread that is eaten all over Sudan. It’s a flatbread, similar to Ethiopian Injera and it is made from sorghum flour. It’s a staple food of Sudanese people and it is typically eaten together with various kinds of stews. 

The traditional way to make kisra in South Sudan includes greasing the pan with a cow’s brain, which is quite fatty. Sorghum flour and water is mixed together and left for 12 hours at least. After that, some all-purpose flour and more water are added before the thin batter is put on the pan.

Woman making Kisra bread from Sudan

Photo: Mohamed Elfatih Hamadien / CC BY-SA

Miris (Stew)

Miris is a traditional stew from Sudan that is made with sheep’s fat, which adds rich flavors to the dish along with vegetable stock. Some of the main ingredients in Miris are cassava, okra, and onions. 

The stew is traditionally cooked and boiled over an open fire in a large frypan or pot.

Goraasa be Dama

Goraasa be Dama is another traditional stew in Sudan that is cooked over an open fire and served over a kind of flatbread, called Goraasa. The main ingredients to make Dama include beef (cut into smaller pieces) and onions, tomatoes, garlic, bell pepper as well as cardamom, black pepper, and oil. 

Umfitit and Elmaraara 

Umfitit and Elmaraara are some of the unique dishes from Sudan and remains popular throughout the country. They both consist of sheep offal, such as stomach, liver, and lungs which are typically mixed with peanut butter, salt and onions. 

These dishes are usually served and eaten raw, and most Sudanese people eat this as an appetizer or smaller bite. For foreigners, this might take some time to get used to and it can certainly be unusual for your taste-buds.


Moukhbaza is a famous dish when it comes to Sudanese food, with origins in the eastern part of the country. It’s a dish that is quick and easy to make with ripe bananas and chili peppers being the only ingredients. 

Simply blend peeled bananas that are ripe until you get a smooth paste, then take the chili pepper and put the banana paste inside and enjoy.

Kawari (soup)

Kawari is a popular soup that is quite easy to make where all ingredients are tossed into a large pot or pressure cooker. The main ingredient of Kawari is hooves from sheep or cattle that are cooked until tender.

The spices used are typically green chilies, ginger, salt, whole black pepper, cinnamon sticks, cloves, coriander, cardamom as well as garlic and vinegar.

Elmussalammiya (soup)

Elmussalammiya is a traditional soup from the northern part of Sudan, similar in spices to Kawari. It’s rich in flavors and typically include liver, flour, dates as well as various vegetables.

The soup is cooked in a large single pot with a wide array of spices such as cloves, coriander, cardamom, ginger, chilies, garlic, and cinnamon sticks. 

Sudanese Cuisine in short

The cuisine of Sudan varies depending on the region and what’s available. The Sudanese bread, known as Kisra is commonly eaten across all of Sudan as well as beef, due to a large number of cattle. 

The central parts of the country offer the most diverse Sudanese food options, as this is home to many different ethnic cultures. Moreover, Sudan is strictly a Muslim country, and thus both alcohol consumption and eating pork is strictly prohibited.

A woman cooking food in Sudan

Photo: Dominik HES / CC BY-SA 3.0 CZ

Common ingredients in Sudanese food

Some of the most common ingredients in traditional food from Sudan include peanut butter, onion, banana, okra, corn, wheat flour, fava beans, and various kinds of meat, where beef and lamb are most common. 

What do Southern Sudan People eat?

South Sudanese cuisine shares some similarities with the cuisine of Sudan, such as Kisra, Aseeda, Ful medames which are commonly eaten in both countries. The staples of Southern Sudanese food are grains (corn and sorghum), potatoes, vegetables, legumes, okra, and fruit.

The most common types of meat in South Sudan are goat, mutton, chicken, and fish. The majority of the local dishes are simple with few ingredients. 

What is the main staple food of Sudan?

Kisra and various stews with dried meat and dried onions are the main staple foods of Sudan. Dried okra and Asseeda (porridge) are common as well.

What do people in Sudan eat for breakfast?

Kibda is a popular breakfast dish in Sudan, which is basically chopped liver that has been fried. Many Sudanese people across the country also eat various variants of ful for breakfast. 

What is your favorite food from Sudan? Leave a comment below!

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Saturday 21st of August 2021

This was helpful. Heh, I am doing a project.