Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Exploring Senegalese Cuisine at Teranga (Boston, MA)

Tucked in Boston's South End is an OG Senegalese restaurant called Teranga. Teranga means hospitality in wolof, a Senegalese language. The restaurant first opened in 2009 and closed down temporarily but reopened in December. I've only had Senegalese food once before and didn't remember much, since it was a long time ago, so I welcomed the chance to give it another try at Teranga.

We started with some Fataya. These are similar to samosas, or pastels, basically a fried dough pie filled with minced meat and vegetables. The ones at Teranga are served with a sriracha aioli.
The fatayas are common street food in Senegal, and it is thanks to a big Lebanese presence and influence!

Next, we had some nems. Yes, these are Vietnamese fried spring rolls. What am I doing eating Vietnamese food in a Senegalese restaurant?
As it turns out, there's a big Vietnamese influence in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, due to all the expat laborers there! Nems (sometimes also called rouleau de printemps - literally, "spring rolls") are very common there. Who knew!

Next, we had some attieke, which is a couscous made of cassava root. This was prepared simply with onion, mint, tomato, and served with lime. Simple yet perfect!

Marie-Claude, the chef/owner of Teranga, recently got a supplier who can provide her with Senegalese seafood, so she'll be bringing more seafood and fish dishes on the menu, like this mullet that is topped with some sea urchin.
Most of the dishes also incorporate a garlic paste called nokkos. I tried the nokkos on its own and understood why they want to put it on everything!
For dessert, we had some Senegalese beignets (Beignets Dougoub) and a spoonful of thiacry / chakery.
These donuts or beignets are made with millet instead of wheat flour, and the beignets are light and fluffy. I really enjoyed these!

Thiacry is a sweet millet couscous dish with milk and raisins, another great option to finish your meal.
Teranga also serves some cocktails made with fresh fruit juices and an African/Senegalese liquor.

Teranga Supreme (fresh ginger juice, lime, passionfruit, bissap (hibiscus), sake, and Cana - which is an African liquor).
Because they use fresh ginger juice, this drink had quite a kick to it.

A common way for the Senegalese to drink their Cana is with Punch de Coco (freshly grated coconut, Cana, milk, clove)
This was sweet and very easy to drink. Dangerous. I'm not sure what the alcohol percentage of the Cana is, but it seems pretty strong ...

I thought my dinner at Teranga was both delicious and enlightening. I didn't know much about Senegal and Senegalese cuisine before, but from the dinner and talking to the owner, Marie Claude, I learned a lot about the other cultural influences that are present and help shape Senegalese cuisine. Teranga is also known for their lamb dishes, which I look forward to returning to try.

1746 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 266-0003
Teranga Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital