Sumbala or Soumbala is made out of seed from the Parkia Biglobosa. Parkia what? (I can imagine your faces, hahaha). Another name for the tree is Néré, which is easier to pronounce; and it has a growing range extending to 19 countries such as Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). Sumbala is a spice with a strong odor. Even though it has been present in Ivory Coast, I found out about the sumbala dish, when a member of my family had an elevated blood pressure and the dietitian advised to eat more sumbala. My sister Abiba, from Burkina Faso, was the one assigned to make the dish. While cooking, the smell was not very pleasant , but the taste…so delicious that it will make you forget the silverware and make you use your hands. My sister had 2 recipes, either she mixed the sumbala with the rice, or she mixed it with the sauce with plain rice on the side. Well for this recipe, I decided to make 2 in 1 by combining the recipes.

Sumbala can reduce your blood pressure. It is also a good source of calcium, potassium, phosphorus and a tiny amount of Vitamin C. Dear blood pressure, in case you wanted to rise, I just want to let you know that I am coming with this sumbala dish!

Well, let’s go in the kitchen.


Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: West African
Keyword: lafri, soumbala, soumbara, sumbala
Servings: 2 people
Cost: $


  • 10 oz rice
  • 5 oz sumbala powder
  • 10 oz meat beef, i chose oxtail
  • 2 tbsp grounded dry fish
  • 1 ` tbsp grounded dry shrimp
  • 8 okras
  • 4 eggplant
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 hot pepper
  • Water


  • Fry the meat into oil until brown.
  • In a meantime, remove okras and eggplants' extremities and slightly split the eggplants halfway.
  • When the meat is brown enough, add onion, tomato, eggplant, okra, hot pepper and 2 cups of water.
  • When the sauce boil after 15 mins, remove onion and tomato to crush.
  • Add it back to the sauce.
  • Add salt, pepper and 2/3 of the sumbala.
  • In a meantime, cook the rice into water.
  • Mix the rest of the sumbala with the grounded fish and shrimp.
  • When the water is almost gone, dig a hole in the middle.
  • Put the sumbala mixture in the middle and close with rice.
  • When the rice is ready, mix it so the sumbala will be mixed to the rice.
  • After 25 minutes, the sauce will become heavy and it will be ready.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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