Independence Day

April 4 is Independence Day in Senegal. This holiday celebrates the day, when Senegal and French Sudan merged to form the Mali Federation in 1959. The Portuguese landed on the Senegal coastline in the 15th century. European powerful countries competed for trade area of Senegal, till France finally gained control over it in 1677. The French missioners introduced Christianity to Senegal and in the 1850s slavery was abolished. Senegal and the French Sudan formed the Mali Federation on April 4, 1959. The federation became totally independent from France on June 20, 1960 after long-lasting negotiations. The Mali Federation existed only for two months, due to the leaders of the Sudanese Republic in the federation mobilized the army. The Sudanese leaders retaliated, that caused a tense stand-off between the nations and withdrawal of Senegal from the federation. Although officially Senegal gained independence on June 20, 1960 the holiday is celebrated on April 4, on the anniversary of foundation of the Mali Federation.

Poulet Yassa

Poulet Yassa


Serves 4

  • 1 Chicken cut in 8 pieces
  • 8 onions sliced
  • 2 red chili peppers sliced (no seeds or white pith)
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cider or rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Savoy cabbage sliced (small)


Add the first 7 ingredients in a glass bowl and give a good stir, marinate for 2 to 24 hours. When marinade is done take the chicken out of the bowl, dry off and BBQ or brown in peanut oil 5 minutes per side. Keep chicken warm on a plate, then take onions from the marinade and saute’ in same pan as chicken until soft, add the marinade and chicken and cabbage to onions  and simmer until chicken is done. You may serve this with rice or cous cous.

Try with:

Bissap or Red Rooster  Gewurztraminer      A la votre !