Cheebu jen, the national dish of Senegal, is prepared in two principal versions: red and white. The first, colored and enriched by tomato sauce and palm oil, is more common; this afternoon it was my good fortune to find the second. Like many Senegalese restaurants in New York, Fouta maintains a rotating lunchtime menu and serves both versions, though never on the same day.
My plate ($11) sported a wan-flavored portion of tilapia (and a much-needed half-lime), a tender quartet of eggplant, cabbage, cassava, and very sweet carrot, and the obligatory fearsome hot pepper. But it was the moist, broken grains of rice — insinuated, I believe, with chicken stock — that made the meal.
Fouta Halal Food
1762 Westchester Ave. (St. Lawrence-Commonwealth Aves.), Soundview, Bronx