15 Traditional Sudanese Food In Sudan To Try

Please note that some posts may contain affiliate links. We may earn a commission should you choose to purchase using these links but at absolutely no extra cost to you.

Located in Northeast Africa, Sudan is known for seamlessly blending African tradition with the Mediterranean world. While the country is often on the news for unfortunate reasons, did you know this fact about Sudan? It is the third largest nation in Africa. As such, it comes as no surprise that the country also features a rich culinary culture with an array of Sudanese food.

What Is Special About Sudan Food

Sudan has experienced different multicultural influences over the years, most notably the influence from the Middle East. You will find that many Sudanese foods are similar to dishes in Middle Eastern cuisine. 

Cumin, garlic, cinnamon, and cardamon are common ingredients in Middle Eastern cuisine that are also used locally. 

Meat and bread are typical foods in Sudan; the country grows most of the crops they use for food preparation. There are so many delicacies in Sudan you cannot exhaust. 

National Food Of Sudan

Ful Medames (Fava Bean Stew)


Ful medames is the undisputed national dish of Sudan. This Sudanese food is popular breakfast food in the country and other North African countries and is considered to have originated in Egypt.

Ful medames is made of fava beans seasoned with local spices and vegetables and is enjoyed nationwide in Sudan. It is a hybrid meal that can be viewed as a mix of bean dip and bean salad.

It is often prepared in large quantities and traditionally served out of a jug. This is one Sudanese food you must try to explore the African culture. Usually, ful medames is enjoyed by dipping and scooping with flatbread like gurasa and kisra.

Famous Traditional Sudan Food

Asseeda (Porridge) 

This is a popular porridge meal in Sudan cuisine that many suggest dates back to the 10th century. It’s a simple dish made from flour and water; it resembles oatmeal but is different. It is a typical food at ceremonies and special occasions in the country. 

You can enjoy asseeda alone, but for the best experience, pair it with other flavorful stews or soups in Sudan.

Shaiyah (Sudanese Pan-Fried Meat)


Shaiyah is a traditional Sudanese food originating from her sister country South Sudan. It is a particularly popular dish among meat lovers. 

Shaiyah can be made from lamb, beef, or goat meat, and although you can have this food anytime, locals typically enjoy it during special occasions.

When there’s a family gathering, they slaughter animals and some portions of the meat are reserved for shaiyah. This pan-fried meat is often chopped into bite-size cubes, and cooked to melt easily in the mouth.

This Sudanese food offers a robust flavor as the meat is garnished with herbs and spices before preparation.

Typical Breads In Sudan Food

Gourassa Or Gurasa (Sudanese Flatbread)


Gourassa is a traditional Sudanese food that originated in the country and is popular in other African countries, albeit with a different name. This food is a pancake-like flatbread with a spongy texture, similar to Eritrean injera. The people love bread, and gourassa is one of the few special bread in Sudanese cuisine. 

This food tastes neutral by itself, so you want to consume it with other Sudanese foods and stews. It is often paired with other foods and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; such is its versatility.

Kisra (Sudanese Bread)


Kisra is another popular food in Sudan that originated from the country and is also a staple part of the Chad and South Sudan cuisine. This is a thin fermented bread made from wheat or durra (sorghum). 

Kisra is a daily Sudanese food that everyone in the country loves. Like other fermented breads, it is best enjoyed when paired with savory stews and soups. You can find variations of this food in many African countries, but Sudanese kisra is unique as it’s thinner than other variations. 

On your next trip to Sudan, try kisra with any of the many stews in Sudan.

Soups And Stews In Sudan Food

Kajaik (Fish Stew)


If you are looking to play it safe for your first food in Sudan, then kajaik is the way to go. A popular Sudan dish made with freshwater fish, it is more prominent in South Sudan cuisine due to the country’s proximity to many lakes. 

In fact, Kajaik originated from South Sudan and has crept its way into Sudanese cuisine. The freshwater fish is dried before it is cooked with vegetables and local spices to create this delicacy.

Kajaik is best enjoyed when paired with bland dishes like gurasa, kisra, and asseeda. 

Dama Be Potaatas (Beef And Potato Stew)


A traditional beef and potato stew originating from the country, this simple yet delicious food in Sudan is made with beef, potato, and tomato paste. 

The dish gets its flavor from other ingredients like onions, cardamon, and cinnamon. This stew has a form of potato porridge, making it a versatile dish. You can enjoy it alone or eat it with other foods like rice and bread.

It can be easily found in restaurants across the country, so be sure to give this rich and savory dish a try.

Mullah Robe (Sudanese Lamb And Yogurt Stew)


Mullah Robe is a special Sudanese food inspired by the Arabs and has been a staple in the country’s cuisine since the era of the ottoman empire. Robe means yogurt in Arabic and is a major component of this stew. 

This stew has a nice taste and flavor bolstered by spices like garlic, cumin, and red chili pepper. Many use dried okra as a thickener in this mullah, although some locals favor peanut butter. 

There are many meat stews in Sudan, but if you want something unique, mullah robe is the stew for you. This is one savory Sudanese dish you can never get enough of.

Kawaari (Sheep Hooves Soup)


While it can sound peculiar to foreigners, Kawaari is considered one of the best soups you can have in Sudan. It originated in the country and is popular in other African countries. 

The main ingredient of this soup is sheep hooves, although it can sometimes be substituted for cattle hooves. This soup is rich in flavor and taste due to the presence of many spices like cinnamon, coriander, and garlic.

Kawaari is usually served with bread and tomato salad. You should try this delicacy on your next trip to Africa if you want to try something rather unique to the region. 

Snacks And Street Food In Sudan 

Ful Sudani (Peanut Macaroons)

Ful Sudani is a gluten and dairy-free snack, making it a go-to option for those looking for gluten-free foods in Sudan. While the origin of this snack is not exact, it’s believed to have come from somewhere between Sudan and South Sudan. 

This is a treat cherished mostly by kids in the country. It is made with peanuts and vanilla, giving it a creamy and nutty flavor.

Salata Tomatim Bel Daqua (Tomato And Peanut Butter Salad)

Salata Tomatim Bel Daqua is a popular salad dish in Sudan, and is also a simple yet healthy side you can have for lunch. It originated in the country, but you can find variations across Africa. 

This dish combines peanut butter with fresh tomatoes, onions, pepper, and parsley. Some locals add lime juice to the peanut butter before coating their salad. You can enjoy this Sudanese food alone or with other main dishes. 

Tamia (Sudanese Falafel)


Tamia is a replica of the Middle East falafel and has a similar appearance. The name in Sudanese means “a little piece of food,” which is exactly what this Sudanese food is. 

Vegetarians would enjoy this fulfilling dish in Sudan as it consists of vegetables and legumes. Tamia is made from chickpeas, red lentils, fava beans, and black-eyed peas. 

You can enjoy these deep-fried balls as a side dish with rice and lettuce or by themselves. The addition of cumin, garlic, coriander, and lemon juice gives it a distinct flavor you will love.

Sweets, Desserts, And Pastries In Sudan Food 

Kuindiong (Sweet Semolina)


Sudan split into two different entities in 2011, Sudan and South Sudan. Therefore, there are many staple foods in Sudan cuisine that originated in South Sudan, and Kuindiong is one such dish.

Kuindiong is one of the sweetest foods in Sudan; it is considered more as a side dish than a main dish. The sugary treat is made from semolina, butter, milk, sugar, and yogurt. It is one Sudanese food that can definitely satisfy your sweet cravings. 

Moukhbaza (Mashed Banana Paste)


Moukhbaza is a dish inspired by Ethiopian cuisine. But it is claimed to have originated in eastern Sudan, where this food is very popular. Moukhbaza is made from mashed ripe bananas mixed with breadcrumbs and honey.

This dessert in Sudan is flavorful and is a staple part of the Sudanese food culture. It is usually eaten with kisra or gurasa, two of the country’s national bread.

Iconic Drinks In Sudanese Cuisine

Karkade (Sudanese Hibiscus Tea)


Karkade is a healthy herbal tea that is particularly famous in Egypt and Sudan. In fact, many consider it the most popular drink in Sudan.

This tea is made from the infusion of crimson calyces of the hibiscus plant and packs a punch of health benefits. This tea can be enjoyed both hot and cold, and it’s a popular drink during the summer months in the country.

Sudanese claim that this tea can be used as a refrigerant to lower body temperature, which is why it is considered a summer drink. 

This red tea has a nice flowery flavor, and locals add drops of lime juice to their tea to take the flavor to another level. You can get this tea from street vendors and in different eateries. 


Discovering Traditional Foods In Sudan

Sudanese cuisine is one for the adventurous, and if you love to revel in multicultural gastronomy, there is no better place to enjoy such an experience than in Sudan. The diversity in Sudanese foods makes them incredibly exciting to explore. 



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

More Adventures


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


other stories