This bouillie recipe (peanut butter rice porridge) uses simples pantry staples to form a truly satisfying breakfast. The nuttiness of the peanut butter melds with the creaminess of rice to create this unique dish from Central African Republic, which is particularly delicious served with caramelised banana.
Overview of Central African Republic
Since starting this challenge, we have been amazed by how many African countries have already popped up. At first, we assumed it must be because a lot of these countries begin with one of the first letters of the alphabet. Then we remember that there are 54 countries that make up the continent of Africa. This means a quarter of what we are cooking in this challenge will be African cuisine. So really, it makes a lot of sense.
Central African Republic is a landlocked country in central Africa (would you ever had guessed?) with a population of 4.7 million. Sadly, the country has been the scene of an ongoing civil war since 2012 and is also one of the poorest countries in the world. The country’s poverty is reflected through the simplicity of the cuisine and reliance on staple foods.
History of Central African Republic Cuisine
The native crops of Central African Republic include starches such as millet, rice and sorghum. These make up the staple foods of the country which are served with most meals. There are also many crops that have been imported into the country, including maize, cassava, peanuts and sweet potatoes.
A variety of both native and imported fruit and vegetables form an important part of Central African Republic cuisine. The most common sources of protein consumed are peanuts, fish and insects. Meat is fairly scarce, however chicken, goat and wild game are eaten throughout Central African Republic. Because meat isn’t super common in the Central African Republic, the food is a little more vegetarian-friendly than other African nations.
Popular Central African Republic Dishes
- Egusi- a flavourful sauce consisting of onions, tomatoes, chili and oil, seasoned with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. The sauce is traditionally thickened by a flour made of pumpkin seeds.
- Makara– a popular fried bread made from cassava flour, often sold on roadside stands.
- Spinach stew– A stew that comes in many different variations, often containing ingredients such as peanuts, onions, peppers and other various vegetables.
- Fufu– A staple food in many countries across central and west Africa. It consists of cassava and plantain flour pounded into a doughy ball which is served on the side of many dishes.
- Chikwangue– Similar to fufu, chikwangue is a paste of pounded cassava is steam-cooked inside banana leaves.
- Bouillie– A porridge made from rice, peanut butter and sugar.
The Bouillie Recipe in the Making
We’ve really been going on an exploration of the different types of porridge they have in Africa in this challenge. First, we had spiced coconut porridge from Angola. Then it was the orange caramelised banana porridge from Benin. Now, we’ve tried peanut butter rice porridge, or bouillie as they call it in Central African Republic.
We are thankful that peanuts are a staple food in many African countries as they are a big staple in our household. A lot of protein in our diet comes from this humble legume. We are particularly big peanut butter fiends. We are also peanut butter snobs. There is no denying that we have judged many a person for A. claiming smooth peanut butter is better than crunchy (in our books, it’s not up for debate- crunchy wins every time) B. opting for sub-par peanut butter.
In New Zealand, we have many great peanut butter brands but our die-hard favourites are Pic’s and Fix and Fogg. If you haven’t tried either of these brands we suggest you get your hands on some ASAP. In our humble opinion as PB enthusiasts, peanut butter should contain nothing but peanuts and salt. All of the peanut butters that contain sugar and preservatives taste like trash in comparison.
Anyway, enough of the nuts ranting and back to the bouillie. Although we’ve made a lot of oat-based porridges in our time, this was the first time making a rice-based number. The rice and peanut butter combination definitely make for a hearty breakfast, and its great if you are after something filling. You can also have it for dessert as a rice pudding, although we personally like to save our dessert stomachs for really indulgent treats.
How to make Boullie
This peanut butter rice porridge is seriously simple to make. It comes together in about 17 minutes, including prep time, in 3 easy steps.
- Bring rice and water to a boil then reduce to simmer for 13 minutes.
- Make peanut butter mixture by combining remaining ingredients.
- Add peanut butter mixture to rice porridge and simmer for another few minutes.
- Caramelise banana (if making) and serve on top of porridge with extra peanuts.
Ingredient notes for Bouillie
- Peanut butter- As you can probably tell from the above rant, we are rather specific about our peanut butter. We used a natural crunchy peanut butter that contains nothing but salt and peanuts. However, if you do want a smoother texture for your porridge, go ahead and use smooth peanut butter (we won’t judge too much).
- Maple syrup– Traditionally in Central African Republic, bouillie is sweetened with white sugar. However, we opted to make our recipe a little healthy by using maple syrup. You can sub for any sweetener you’d like.
Serving suggestions for Bouillie
Although bouillie has a lot of flavour in itself and could be served as is, our favourite part of porridge is the toppings so we couldn’t resist adding a few. We topped ours with caramelised bananas (which you can find a recipe for here), roasted peanuts for crunch, and more peanut butter (we don’t believe it possible to have too much PB).
- 1/2 cup white rice, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/8 cup boiling water
- Caramelised banana
- Roasted peanuts
- Peanut butter
- Add rice and water to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and leave simmering for 13 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine peanut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla essence and boiling water in a small bowl.
- Once rice has simmered for 13 minutes, add in peanut butter mixture and stir. Simmer for a few more minutes or until rice is tender. Add in more water if mixture is becoming too dry.
- Serve hot or cold with caramelised banana, roasted peanuts and more peanut butter.
Recipe Inspired by Global Table Adventure
For more recipes from Africa:
- Cocada Amarela Recipe (Spiced Coconut Porridge)
- Mahjouba Recipe – Savoury Algerian Crepes
- Beninese Caramelised Banana Porridge