The Sacred Coffee of Amadou Bamba

In a modern country like Senegal, there is a long-standing tradition of coffee. Even today, we drink Touba coffee everywhere, a recipe created in the late 19th century by Sheikh Amadou Bamba, a spiritual and charismatic leader of the Sufi Mouride Brotherhood, which is said to have introduced the use of coffee to the country. Touba coffee is flavoured with cloves and jarr, known as Guinea pepper; it has a strong balsamic taste and, according to its inventor, it also has medicinal properties. The historical and political relevance of the figure of Bamba meant that his coffee became a symbol of identity and belonging for the African community, so Touba coffee is almost exclusively popular with the Senegalese. Touba coffee is served in all Tanganas, the street cafés of the suburbs, as a perfect example of local street food: sparsely furnished with benches and tables, they also serve food and are very busy 24 hours a day. Westerners prefer the filter coffee of French tradition or instant coffee, to be enjoyed in one of the rare surviving colonial venues, such as the famous Safari Bar in Saint Louis.

The recipes
Touba Coffee
Senegalese coffee with spices
For every 100 g of still green robusta coffee beans
10 g jarr pods (Xylopia aethiopica)
10 g cloves (optional)
4 tablespoons of coffee blend with spices
800 ml water
Sugar to taste

Toast the coffee beans with the jarr pods together in a metal frying pan, and add cloves if desired. When they turn a beautiful, even dark colour, let them cool and crush them in a mortar or a coffee grinder. Bring the water to a boil and, meanwhile, put four tablespoons of the coffee blend with the spices in a gauze filter on top of a jug. When the water is boiling, gently pour it over the filter and let it all go through. Repeat this two or three times, adding plenty of sugar between each stage, and serve the coffee piping hot.

Sandwich or filled baguette
Senegalese chicken-stuffed baguette
1 chicken breast, diced
1 clove of garlic
½ crumbled stock cube
½ teaspoon of pepper
1 hot chilli pepper (optional)
Peanut oil
1 baguette
Mayonnaise or butter (optional)
3 tomatoes
1 onion
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
½ lemon, squeezed

Flavour the chicken with pepper, garlic, chopped chilli, and the crumbled stock cube. Stir well and let the mixture rest for a while. Prepare the sauce with the deseeded tomatoes cut into cubes, add them to the chopped onion and season with the mustard and lemon juice. In a frying pan, heat the peanut oil and when it is hot, brown the chicken. Then cut the baguette in half, spread with mayonnaise or butter, stuff with the sautéed chicken, add the tomato sauce and serve with a glass of hot coffee.