My perfect Mali lunch

My perfect Mali lunch starts ten minutes’ walk from the office, at a little restaurant run by a Togolese lady.  On the menu: riz gras (rice cooked in beef stock with tomatoes), beans with a delicious sauce that looks like red pesto and tastes like heaven, and sweet fried plantain.  Occasional sightings of rats near the kitchen have not been enough to put me off yet.

Lunch

For dessert, it’s a toss-up between Malian yoghurt which, completely unexpectedly, is the most delicious yoghurt I’ve ever tasted, or mangoes – in season at the moment and for sale on every street in Bamako.

Mangoes for sale

And after lunch – a tiny glass of attiya, sweet green tea which gets poured over and over again from glass to teapot before it’s ready to drink.
 

Attiya

 Bon appetit!

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