Fish abound in Chad's lakes and rivers. The most common fish is the Nile perch, called capitaine in Chad. Other fish include eel, tilapia and carp. Balbout (a mud-dwelling catfish) is caught at the beginning of the rainy season. Fish may be dried, salted, or smoked before they are sold. Salanga (small dried or salted fish) and banda (larger smoked fish) are popular among Chadians and are exported to Cameroon and Nigeria.
Peanuts are a popular snack and are eaten raw or roasted. Other snacks include corn (roasted or boiled) and fangasou (fried donuts made of millet or wheat flour). Fangasou is also popular for breakfast. In some places, skewered roasted meats in a hot, spicy sauce are sold on the streets, accompanied by French bread. Carcaje is a sweet drink made from hibiscus leaves. It is often sold in markets in small plastic bags.
Okra is very popular in Chad and is used as the base of a sauce called gumbo.
Chad has several geographical zones reflected in the diet like this: in the South, the diet is dominated by roots and tubers (cassava, sweet potato, yam) and by white sorghum; in the Central South, the diet is based on sorghum (red and white) and on rice; in the Central part, the diet is based on sorghum (red and white) and millet; in the North, the diet is based on millet and dates. Boule is a main staple made from millet and water. As a complement to the different sorghum's and roots and tubers, which serve to prepare the staple paste, a sauce with vegetables, meat, or fish is served. Cattle or camel rearing also dominates the country.
The evening meal is the most important meal of the day. It is served on a large plate set in the middle of a mat. People gather around the plate and seat themselves on the ground. Generally, men and women eat separately.
In the south, people enjoy beer brewed from millet. It is called billi-billi when it is made from red millet and coshate when it is made from white millet. Spirits made from distilled millet alcohol are known as arki. Gala beer is also manufactured in Chad.
Kwanzaa is a special dish in Chad, eaten during the holidays.