Every morning, the stillness of the morning would be broken by the boats of the fisherman on the Niger. It was a primitive style of fishing. All they had were nets and their long poles to guide and push their boats. They caught mainly Nile Perch or capitaine (in French) which was the fish that was always featured on our menu.
Capitaine was usually served grilled or stewed. It's a thick, white, firm-fleshed fish. It seemed a bit on the oily side but soaked up the flavours well. Sometimes, I thought I detected a hint of muddiness that's prevalent in our river fish but it wasn't overwhelming.
This was one of the local dishes I tried. It was chunks of lightly browned capitaine stewed in a chunky tomato stew with a sprinkling of herbs. It arrived at the table piping hot and I burnt my mouth in my eagerness to try it. It was delicious! The tomatoes made the stew slightly sour but it was thick, chunky and full of large pieces of fish to savour. I do miss it...maybe I should try my hand at cooking it!