What Food Do the People of Djibouti Eat?

The people of Djibouti eat spicy dishes, such as a vegetable stew called "yetakelt w'et" and a boiled beef soup called "fah-fah," or "soupe Djiboutienne." They also eat rice and lentils. The national dish of Djibouti is "skoudekharis," which is a mixture of rice, tomatoes, onions and lamb or chicken.

The cuisine of Djibouti combines elements of French, Middle Eastern, Arab and Asian cooking. It is also heavily influenced by Ethiopian and Somalian cuisine. One food the people of Djibouti share with many of these nations is "injera" bread. Also known as "canjeero," "lahooh" or "lahoh," it is a sourdough flatbread made from the gluten-free grain of teff grass. Djiboutians use injera as an edible scoop for meat and vegetables.

Fried or grilled meat or fish is typically served with each meal. Common meats include goat, sheep and camel. Side dishes are often topped with hot "berbere" sauce or "nitter kibbeh" butter sauce. "Halva" is a sweet treat eaten during festive events. Because Djibouti is a predominantly Muslim nation, Islamic people there do not eat pork or consume alcohol. Most men and some women, however, chew the leaves of qat, a narcotic plant known to either stimulate or calm users.