Home » Chadian cuisine: Tankoul, a mythical sauce at the heart of Sara culture ~ dorsouma235

Chadian cuisine: Tankoul, a mythical sauce at the heart of Sara culture ~ dorsouma235

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Chadian cuisine: Tankoul, a mythical sauce at the heart of Sara culture ~ dorsouma235

Tankoul, also known as long sauce, is an iconic sauce in Chadian cuisine. But its history is not limited simply to its culinary preparation, it is above all a story of a love encounter between a sauce and a people.

The Chadian artist N2A in front of his Tankoul before his concert in Bobo Dioulasso in Burkina Faso. Credit: N2A Teguil

The secrets behind this sauce

The preparation of this sauce is a delicate and almost mystical process. The women authorized to prepare it must respect above-average hygiene. The sauce consists of two distinct parts: the first part, called the hot one, is a pre-sauce and spicy reserved for mature women. This pre-sauce contains ingredients such as dried eggplant, processed “Djongdong”, sorrel fruit, néré fruit “Ndi” and other conventional spices. Everything is mixed with meat or smoked fish from domestic farming or fishing, to create a concentrated pre-sauce.

Some ingredients for preparing the long sauce. Credit: Fimike

The extraction of the slime, only by young nubile girls

The second part, called the cold, is the extraction of the glue necessary for the synthesis with the first part. The glue comes from the stems of an exotic plant called “Nyiar”. Its extraction should only be carried out by nubile young girls between seven and ten years old who have never known a man, nor their first menstruation. The young girl who has the honor of being chosen must fulfill the conditions of hygiene and innocence as previously mentioned. She must knead the stems of the plant with tact and skill to squeeze out the goo into a cup.

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Understand the preparation process in video

The appointment at each event

Finally, the pre-sauce is mixed with the glue to give the Tankoul sauce. This sauce is often served with black, glistening and graceful shea oil. It is reserved for major dowry events. The sauce is also comforting in times of sadness.

Tankoul sauce served with black shea oil. Credit: Mrs. Amina Priscille Longoh

However, eating this sauce requires quite an art. Some even claim that the “@” character, so dear to computers, was born from the way of eating this sauce. In short, no celebration or major event worthy of the name takes place in Sara country without the majestic Queen Tankoul leaving her mark on it.

Tankoul sauce is a synthesis of different flavors and textures, the innocence and maturity of the Sara man and a sauce. It is a sauce that has a history, a cultural significance and a unique taste that everyone must experience at least once in their life.

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