Shakshuka Brunch and Sorghum Beer on the Shores of Lake Tanganyika

Fisherman on Lake Tanganyika, Mishemba Bay, Za...

Fishermen on Lake Tanganyika. Wikipedia


Kajaga Beach, in front of the compound. A fisherman is tending to his boat and nets

During the war-years of the 1990’s we enjoyed this Sunday brunch with our friends at our Project compound on the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika, Burundi, where we have had goats, chickens, ducks, a donkey (the only donkey in Burundi, brought from Tanzania), horses, vegetable gardens, fruit trees, honey-bees, rice plots – coming either from our own compound, from our nearby village, or from the surrounding area.


Rice plot/paddy near the compound owned by a local farmer, from whom we buy our rice. It is processed in a local, family run mill. The hills of the Congo are in the background, rising up from Lake Tanganyika


Kajaga Beach Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a North African and Egyptian egg-based dish that features various combinations of fillings, eggs, and hot sauce. I’ve adapted my Egyptian recipe to incorporate local ingredients and cooked in the Burundian way.

For 2 persons – expand as required:

2 medium potatoes [from our own gardens]
2 medium tomatoes [from our own gardens]
1 small onion [from our own gardens]
4 eggs [from our own, free-range chickens]
1 T. palm oil [hand-pressed in the village]
¼- ½ t. tarragon
¼ -½ t. oregano
Home-made pilipili (hot sauce) – add to eggs to your taste


1. Scrub potatoes but don’t peel, place whole in boiling water until partly cooked
2. Put tomatoes in same pot as potato for several minutes – until skin is soft enough to remove
3. Chop onion
4. Peel skin from tomatoes and chop into a small bowl
5. Cut potatoes into slices into a small bowl
6. Scramble eggs very lightly in a small bowl with a bit of water
7. Add tarragon, oregano, salt and pepper to tomatoes and mix
8. Add salt and pepper to potatoes and to eggs, and mix
9. Heat palm oil until it clarifies
10. Fry onions until soft
11. Add tomatoes and cook gently a few minutes
12. Add potatoes and continue cooking gently until cooked through
13. Add eggs – mix and cook gently, pushing egg back into the mixture
14. When set on the bottom, turn the mixture over in the fry pan and continue cooking until done to your choice

We eat this with all/some of the following, which come from our own gardens, the village, or from the central market:

• Fruit salad of tree-ripened mango, papaya, banana, marakuja fruit, orange and pineapple
• Salad of tree-ripened avocado, tomato, cucumber, carrot, cabbage and onion
• Home-made goat-milk yogurt, from our own goats
• Baguettes or croissants or:
• Home-made whole wheat bread; flour a mixture of Sorghum, Corn meal, Millet, Rice
• Village-produced goat cheese
• Home-made thick tomato sauce — or ketchup or pili-pili ho-ho (local hot-hot sauce)
• Fresh, home-made juice of the marakuja fruit
• Freshly-ground Burundi coffee or Burundi tea
• Fresh, hot goat’s milk from our own goats – for coffee & tea
• Village honey from wild bees

If brunch continues towards noon:

• Finish off with some ice-cold Premus or Amstel – which are excellent lager beers made in Bujumbura – or:
• If you are planning a long siesta in the afternoon, try some ice-cold, village-made banana wine mixed with soda water, or village-made sorghum beer [powerful stuff!]


RiceUniv-Men drink beer

Enjoying sorghum beer. Source: Rice University


About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-General, Agriculture, Cuisine, Food, Social Life, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Shakshuka Brunch and Sorghum Beer on the Shores of Lake Tanganyika

  1. Yolanda says:

    Where do you get the goat cheese?!? I am living in Bujumbura and would love some – And will probably try that recipe soon!


    • dianabuja says:

      Yolanda – Self-made, from our own goats! There is no other source of goat cheese in Burundi – although several sources claim their white cheese is goat cheese it may have 10-20% of goat milk, and the remaining is cow milk. There are no remaining dairy goat herds in the country. Hum, think I’ll do a blog about that, and about why it is that most of tropical Africa has meat – not dairy goats. Thanks for helping me think of this. And enjoy the recipe!


      • Yolanda says:

        Aw! You got my hopes up – my mouth was watering at the thought of goat cheese…
        I have a friend up at Burasira who was wondering about dairy goats, etc, so I will look forward to that blog!
        Do you have any good recipes to take advantage of mangoes being in season?


  2. dianabuja says:

    Rachel – as for the wheat bread, folks really make up their own combinations, depending on what is available, but having enough good, gluten-based flour for the bread to ‘work’. I like a rice-sorghum-millet-brown flour mixture, with some corn meal, too. Just experiment!!!


  3. dianabuja says:

    Maria – thanks, as for the ‘localness’ – one of the paradoxes of being rated the ‘poorest country’ (or sometimes, 2nd or 3rd poorest)is that ‘local’ – ‘organic’ – ‘fresh’ are part of that package, a topic that I will do a blog about (soon).


  4. maria v says:

    i love the sound of this dish – its goodness lies in the freshness and localness of the ingredients


  5. rachel says:

    So interesting…I can’t wait to try this. Can you share info about the wheat bread. Such an interesting flour mixture with the sorghum, etc.


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