Rwanda – Sardine Roast (Dagaa)

by Alkased Mamim

Such a tasty yummy dish from Tutsi people, Sardine roast is all people favorite, especially when you speak about lake sardines. In Rwanda we have rivers that provide at large these sardines, others are modern sardine fishing as well as imports from Tanzania and Burundi.

Rwanda is a country in east Africa bordering Tanzania to it’s east, Burundi to the south, D.R.C of Congo to the west and Uganda to it’s north part.

Tutsi people will prepare sardine roast by boiling with salt and some oil, without additional of any other ingredients, however since the introduction of other nutritional ingredients like carrots, tomatoes, nuts and spices, the dish has a varieties of cooking methods.

Sardine are prepared and cooked in many ways, you can see on the picture, they are fried from raw (without sun-dried process). Many likes them at this state because it’s not only about taste but also they stay longer. The only disadvantage about it is that they take time and resources to prepare; you need a lot of frying oil and garlics for preservation.

Another style is by sun-drying them; this again may keep them for a longer time and it’s cheap, only uses your manual effort to pack after drying.

Today we will cook the most cooked dish in our country, sardine roast (also known as Dagaa). Welcome to this best served meal from Tutsi people, the tribe of Rwanda.


  • 1/2 kg of sardine
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 1 garlics
  • 1 lemon/vinegar
  • peanut
  • 7 small okras
  • 1 green pepper
  • 3 small green tomatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oil

Cooking steps

  • Chop onions, carrots, green pepper, tomatoes and half-cut green tomatoes as well as okras. Grin garlics to smooth paste.
  • Clean sardines to remove stones and sand powder, if you use fried sardines, then skip this step to third step.
  • Wash well sardines and dry, add salt and garlics, mix well.
  • Fry sardines under low heat to make them look alike as fried ones, put aside to dry excess oil.
  • In another pot, add oil and start to fry onions and okras for 4 minutes.
  • Add green tomatoes, green pepper and carrots, keep fry until okras are tender.
  • Add tomatoes, sardines and salt, cover top and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Mix all the ingredients, add 3 tea spoons of peanut and mix.
  • Add a piece of lemon and mix well. Add soup if you like soup, then cook for 5 minutes.
  • Our cuisine must be ready to be served.

Enjoy with family and friends. Here in Rwanda we normally take it with stiff porridge.

Sardine roast with greens
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