meet the fulani chef
Fatmata Binta was born and raised in freetown Sierra Leone to first generation Sierra Leonean Fulanis of Guinean descent. She describes herself as the Fulani Chef, a classic nomad. She has traveled to several continents and has worked with many African chefs.
She’s also been featured on several TV shows and media outlets across the African continents. She is now based in Accra, Ghana where she is building a rich culinary experience through her Fulani traditional dining pop ups. Her vision is to promote Fulani culture through food, bring people closer and to promote african cuisine to the world.
About Fulani Cuisine
“ Fulbe “ is the preferred self-name of the group, the Hausa term the “Fulani” or “Hilani” or pulbe.
The Fulani tribe is found in the western part of West Africa, from Senegambia, to Chad in the east (some groups reaching as far as the nile river in the countries of Sudan and Ethiopia). The largest concentrations are however, found in Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso and Ghana.
Their cuisine is mainly derived from cattle such as yogurt, milk, butter and meat. Also porridges groundnuts, starches like sorghum, Fonio, corn, and local rice they call “Nyiiri” which they eat with leafy soups called “Haako” made from onions, peppers, vegetables and sun-dried root vegetables dishes.
They believe in self sustenance and as such you will find many of them cultivating vegetables and crops in their back yards which they call “ Soontureh“. They also produce their own organic fertilizer by digging a pit which they call “ngieka laiedi” in their yard where they throw away vegetable peels and ashes from the fire place.
As nomads, most of their food is sun-dried and for on the go, they store their food in mud clay cellars called “konkoru” where they spread the sun-dried ingredients on a rack they call thaagal
There is a beauty based on the cultural norm of sharing food which makes Fulani cuisine and dining interesting, you mainly eat in one big bowl and you have to use one hand to hold the bowl while eating, you don’t talk when you have food in your mouth, meat is shared by elders and food should never go to waste. The Fulani follow a code of behavior which consist of qualities of hospitality, discipline, prudence, wisdom, modesty, and respect for each other. Over 90 percent of Fulani’s are muslims.
Fulani women, in their spare time make handcrafts including engraved gourds, knit, dye cloth and make beautiful covers for calabashes known as Mbeedu and baskets.