Welcome to the heart of West African cuisine! Benin, nestled on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, boasts a rich culinary heritage steeped in tradition and flavor. One of its most beloved dishes is Sauce Gombo, a tantalizing blend of fresh vegetables, savory meats, and aromatic spices that dance together in a symphony of taste.

Originating from the Fon people of Benin, Sauce Gombo is a staple dish often enjoyed with rice, fufu, or cassava. Its vibrant colors and bold flavors reflect the diversity of ingredients found in the region, making it a true celebration of West African gastronomy.

In this recipe, we'll explore the authentic preparation of Benin's Sauce Gombo, guiding you through each step to create a dish that will transport your taste buds to the bustling markets of Cotonou or the tranquil villages along the Ouémé River. So, gather your ingredients, prepare your pots, and let's embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Benin.


  • 500g fresh okra, chopped
  • 400g meat (beef, chicken, or goat), cubed
  • 300g fish (tilapia, catfish, or mackerel), cleaned and cut into chunks (optional)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons palm oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground crayfish
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried shrimp (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried fish (optional)
  • 2-3 cups of water or broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chili peppers (optional, for extra heat)
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped (for garnish)


1- Heat the palm oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic, and sauté until golden and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.

2- Add the cubed meat to the pot and brown on all sides, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes.

3- If using fish, add the fish chunks to the pot and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned.

4- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, ground crayfish, dried shrimp, and dried fish (if using). Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5- Add the chopped okra to the pot, along with 2-3 cups of water or broth to reach your desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and chili peppers (if using), to taste.

6- Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes, or until the okra is tender and the flavors have melded together.

7- Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the sauce is too thick, you can add more water or broth to thin it out.

8- Once ready, serve the Sauce Gombo hot, accompanied by steamed rice or pâte. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley for a burst of freshness.

9- Enjoy this delightful taste of Benin's culinary heritage with family and friends, savoring each spoonful of this comforting and nourishing dish.

Nutritional Values:

Sure, here's an approximate breakdown of the nutritional values for the ingredients listed:

Fresh Okra (500g, chopped):

  • Calories: 150
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Fiber: 10g


  • High in fiber, which aids digestion and promotes gut health.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, which support overall health and immune function.

Meat (400g, cubed) - Beef:

  • Calories: 960
  • Protein: 104g
  • Fat: 60g
  • Iron: 12mg


  • Excellent source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Rich in iron, which is important for oxygen transport in the body and preventing anemia.
  • Provides essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, zinc, and selenium, necessary for various bodily functions.

Fish (300g, cleaned and cut into chunks) - Tilapia:

  • Calories: 315
  • Protein: 69g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: 1.5g


  • High in protein and low in saturated fat, making it a heart-healthy protein option.
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health, reduce inflammation, and support brain function.
  • Good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, iodine, and selenium, essential for overall health.

Ripe Tomatoes (2):

  • Calories: 50
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Vitamin C: 40mg
  • Vitamin A: 1000IU


  • Excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports immune function and skin health.
  • Rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may reduce the risk of certain cancers and promote heart health.

Large Onion (1):

  • Calories: 60
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Fiber: 3g


  • Contains antioxidants and sulfur compounds that may help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Good source of vitamin C and fiber, which support immune function and digestive health.

Garlic (3 cloves):

  • Calories: 15
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Contains allicin, a compound with potent medicinal properties that may help boost immune function and lower blood pressure.
  • Rich in antioxidants, which help protect against cell damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Palm Oil (2 tablespoons):

  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 28g
  • Saturated Fat: 14g


  • Contains tocotrienols, a type of vitamin E that may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Provides vitamin A, which is important for vision health and immune function.

Tomato Paste (2 tablespoons):

  • Calories: 30
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Concentrated source of lycopene and other antioxidants found in tomatoes.
  • Adds rich flavor and color to dishes without adding significant calories or fat.

Ground Crayfish (1 tablespoon):

  • Calories: 25
  • Protein: 5g
  • Fat: 0.5g


  • Good source of protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.
  • Adds savory flavor to dishes and enhances their nutritional profile.

Ground Dried Shrimp (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 10
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Provides protein and essential amino acids necessary for various bodily functions.
  • Adds umami flavor to dishes and enhances their overall taste.

Ground Dried Fish (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 10
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health and brain function.
  • Adds depth of flavor to dishes and enhances their nutritional value.

Water or Broth (2-3 cups):

  • Calories: 0
  • Varies depending on type and quantity used.


  • Essential for hydration and maintaining proper bodily functions.
  • Can add flavor and nutrients to dishes when used as a cooking liquid.

Salt and Pepper:

  • Negligible caloric value.

benefit: Enhance the flavor of dishes and contribute to taste satisfaction.

Fresh Chili Peppers (optional):

  • Calories: Negligible
  • Varies depending on quantity and type used.


  • Contains capsaicin, a compound that may help boost metabolism and reduce inflammation.
  • Adds heat and flavor to dishes, enhancing their overall taste experience.

Fresh Cilantro or Parsley (for garnish):

  • Calories: Negligible
  • Varies depending on quantity used.


  • Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin K and vitamin C.
  • Adds freshness and brightness to dishes, enhancing their presentation and flavor profile.

These values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the specific type and brand of ingredients used.


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