Traditional African Food Recipes: Top 6 Favorite Dishes

Rich in flavors and aromas, African cuisine is one of the most interesting and intriguing in the world. It’s a real culinary incursion, with a wide array of tastes and surprising flavors.To make and serve these wonderful meals, you will need: African spices, produce and traditional African dishes.

Here are some of the most popular African dishes:

• Jollof Rice

Jollof rice is perfect when you want to surprise your guests with a delicious meal, which it is easy to prepare, enough for everybody, and has that exotic twist you don’t find in your everyday dishes. It is also rather cheap to make, as you won’t need sophisticated ingredients. And when you think that everything goes in one single pot, you know this is a fast way to serve a meal when people knock on your door unannounced. So do check out the recipe here.

Traditional-African-Jollof-rice-in-a-pot-recipe

• Piri Piri Chicken

If you love chicken and you want to try it in a different manner, the Piri Piri chicken dish will be perfect for you. Don’t worry, as it does not require ingredients that are too hard to find. The chicken is basically marinated in a mixture of spices, vinegar, and lemon juice, quickly browned, and placed in the oven until the flavors enter the chicken and the meat is done. Just see it for yourself here.

Traditional-South-African-Piri-Piri-Chicken-recipe

• Bunny Chow

Bunny Chow is the perfect comfort food when you need to chase away hunger and enjoy a delicious dish. It is a dish that is common in Africa as a street dish, so it is not complicated at all to prepare at home. And when you think that you can eat it with your hands, you know that it will be scrumptious. Don’t hesitate to try it out, because you will end up loving these flavors. Diversify your menu with this recipe here.

Traditional-Bunny-Chows-African-recipe

• Egusi Soup

Although this is called a soup, it is not a very liquid dish. It resembles more with a stew that bathes in a generous and delicious sauce. The soup is made using a particular ingredient, which is the egusi, something similar with pumpkin seeds, but with a very different taste. You should find this ingredient in markets with African products or Indian goods, although in Indian markets, it may come under the name of “charmagaz”. The soup also contains spinach, meat, tomatoes, onions, and various spices, so it is quite filling. Just take a look at the recipe here.
Traditional African Egusi Soup food recipe

• Cape Breyani

The Cape Breyani dish, also known as biryani, biriani, or other forms, can be cooked in various forms, although the main recipe remains. The dish consists in meat, rice, lentils, and various vegetables, and spices. The meat that is mostly used is chicken, but mutton and other meat will also be used. It is a highly flavored dish, due to the turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, cumin, and other spices that are added. Also, do be prepared to eat something spicy, because hot peppers are a part of the recipe as well. See recipe here!

African food recipe Chicken Breyani

• Nyama na irio

Nyama na irio is probably one of the most appreciated dishes in Africa, due to the amazing tastes and textures that are captured in the recipe. The base of this dish consists in mashed potatoes, which are mixed with peas, corn, butter, pepper, and salt, so we can say that this is another way to serve mashed potatoes. This base is served with bits of meat and covered in delicious gravy. Are you ready to taste it? Here is the simple recipe of this dish.

 

 Nyama-na-irio-steak-and-irio-kenya

 

Kenyan Cuisine Facts and History

In 1496 when the Portuguese arrived on the coast of Kenya they came along with maize, bananas. Pineapple, chilies, peppers, sweet potatoes and cassava from the newly discovered Brazil.

They also brought oranges, lemons, and lime which came from India and China. They also introduced animal like, pigs to Kenya. Hilma, which is a small clan from North Africa, introduced cattle herding, which is known as pastoralism. Cattle are used to give meat, milk, butter and blood. Europeans who later colonized Kenya brought with them white potatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
 

Kenyan Cuisine Food Recipe

Kenyan Cuisine Menu

 

The menu purely uses native spices and local ingredients making the cuisine have unique personalities. The cooking gives you a taste of different flavors cooked in healthy dishes. Different cultures offer these dishes. Everywhere you visit, you will discover the ethnic heritage of Kenya in their local food. Let’s have a look at the menu of most popular dishes.

Breakfast

 

A cup of Hot Tea (Chai)

Everybody loves breakfast. It gives you the energy to start the day. In Kenya, we know how to go about it. A cup of tea (chai) is a Kenyan classic for breakfast. It is a mixture of processed tea leaves with plenty of fresh milk and sweetened with sugar to taste. It is served hot with Chapati or Mahamri. Also, a full meal like sweet potatoes, yams, arrow roots or bread can be a great accompaniment to hot tea.

Lunch

 

Spiced Cooked Rice
It is also known as pilau. It is a combination of carefully cooked rice with a mixture of different spices. For example, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, garlic and Ginger. You are free to add anything to the rice including meat to satisfy your expectations. It is served hot with beef stew or vegetable salad. Its sweet aromatic smell makes you hungrier.

 

Snacks

Samosas

It is a typical Kenya snack though its origin is India. It is a triangular shaped pocket made up of pastry wrapper which has spiced minced meat or vegetables in it. It is usually deep fried in super hot oil until it turns golden brown. These sweet samosas are available everywhere from the streets to the restaurants.

Kenyan Doughnut, which is commonly known as Mandazi
It is a deep frying dough, which smells delicious when it is ready. It is soft when it is hot, and you can comfortably take it with a cup of hot tea (chai).

Dinner

 Ugali (cornmeal staple)

A stiff, starchy porridge known as ugali is the staple food for most ordinary Kenyans. It is a product of corn flour. To prepare it you add corn flour to boiling water. Heat the mixture while turning the paste with a wooden spoon until it turns into a dense block of cornmeal dough. When it is ready, most Kenyans present it in a ball shape. It is served hot with different types of stews like meat stew, fish, and vegetables. Sukuma Wiki (Kales) and beef are the ordinary stew that mostly accompanies it.
 
Kenyan-meat-recipe-cuisine-food

Christmas Holiday Menu

 

Nyama Choma (Roasted Meat) which is a Pride of Kenyan Food.

Nyama Choma includes different types of animal roasted meat. The most common are goat and beef meat. But chicken (Kuku Choma) and fish (Samaki Choma) are also varied choices. It is referred as the pride of Kenyan food because it can bring different groups together, especially during Christmas to share while having fun. You can choose to spice the meat before you roast it and have a kachumbari with you. Christmas in Kenya is never complete without Nyama Choma.

Chapati

It is a flat round dough made of flour which is fried in a pan using a lot of oil. It is usually soft and moist. It is unique because it is a treat to eat. It can be served hot with beef stew or cabbage. Chapatis are considered as Christmas holiday menu because Kenyans cook them occasionally.

Most Popular Dishes in Kenyan Cuisine

 

Collard Greens or Kales are popularly known as Sukuma Wiki
Sukuma Wiki is one of the Kenyan popular vegetable dishes. It is a green leafy vegetable which is so nutritious with vitamins. To prepare it you just have to cook it with oil and mix it with diced tomatoes and onion. Add a pinch of salt to taste. It is so sweet when it is served hot. You can combine it with ugali or rice.

Kenyan Hot Stew

Kenyan hot stew can include different types of meat. Chicken stew, beef stew or any other edible animal stew like fish is some of the examples. The meat stew most of the time is mixed with various base vegetables ingredients like carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and cucumbers. With Kenyan Stew, you are free to add any spice of your choice.

Kenyan Kachumbari

It is a mixture of raw diced tomatoes, onions, chili peppers, coriander, cucumber and salt to taste. It has its natural flavor and aroma when combined. Mostly it is used as a side salad that accompanies almost every dish from Nyama Choma (roasted meat) to cooked rice.

Most Used Ingredients

 

Kenyan cuisine mainly uses fresh foods rather than processed ones. They come from a wide range of resources including countryside, lakes and the remarkable Indian Ocean. The resources provide the readily available vegetables, fruits, and meats. Some of the common fresh vegetables are kale, cabbage, tomatoes, beans, potatoes, avocados and other leafy greens. Typical meat used is beef and goat meat.

Fish, chicken, and mutton are also available, but they are a little bit expensive compared to beef and goat meat. Mangoes, oranges, pineapples, bananas, pawpaws, and pears are some of the tropical fruits that are cheap, plentiful and shared on most of Kenyan tables though it depends on with the season of the available fruits. Other ingredients in almost every typical Kenyan dish and recipe include rice, corn meal, wheat and millet flour. Not forgetting Kenyans are avid tea drinkers, so hot beverages such as Kenyan tea and coffee are not left behind when serving the meals. Cool beverages like soda, juice, domestic and international beers are mostly available in hotels, pubs, and entertainment spots.
 
Kenyan-Food-Cuisine-Recipes


Travelling Foodie

 

For travelers do not make a point to miss Nyama Choma in Kenya. Mostly the local people eat goat and beef barbecue, but there is also the availability of chicken and fish. You will readily find this grill at any major festival place or popular dining spots like restaurants.

Tilapia, a freshwater fish which is found in the inland lakes in Kenya it is so popular and tasty. When you visit the coast sides of Kenya, you will be welcomed with the sweet aroma rice, which is known as Biryani, seafood mixture, and fresh coconut milk.

There is a broad range of international and national restaurants in Kenya. Especially in Nairobi and Mombasa town. They readily provide buffet meals which are cooked exceptionally. Sometimes game meat such as zebra and antelope meat are served to the travelers. If you have not visited Kenya, know that you are missing out!

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Are you from Kenya ? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on Kenyan ethnic food.

Susan Kaptich

South African Cuisine – What Do They Eat in South Africa

 South African Cuisine Facts and History

The cuisine in South Africa is also known as the “rainbow cuisine”, due to the large number of influences coming from other cuisines. Besides traditional African cuisine developed by the local tribes, parts coming from the Asian and European cuisine compose today’s cuisine in this part of the world.

South African Cuisine

From a historical point of view, the cuisine of South Africa had two major local groups that contributed in the highest degrees to the development of the traditional cuisine. One of the largest group is the Bantu-speakers, which were growing crops, like pumpkins, beans, and various vegetables, and raised animals, like cattle, sheep, and goats. The Khoisan was another important group for the development of the traditional cuisine, this group being hunter-gatherers, eating game meat, wild tubers and other available vegetables.


South African Cuisine Menu

• Breakfast

It is considered that the English colonies influenced the way breakfast is served in South Africa a lot. This is why you will see coffee and tea served in the morning, with a lot of sugar, being accompanied by toast with cheese, or jam, a very hard type of cookie called rusk, bread with butter, or a hot-dog type bun. But, fried eggs with bacon or sausages are also common, together with sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, and broiled tomatoes. So the breakfast is quite generous.

Lunch

 

In South Africa, lunch is served around 1 p.m. and it consists in a wide diversity of dishes, according to preferences. All kinds of meats can be used in the recipes, chicken or fish being quite popular, together with a large array of vegetables. Bunny chow, which a loaf of bread filled with curry, made out of lamb, mutton or chicken, chips and beans, with plenty of gravy. Various stews are also prepared, meat being used a lot in the South African cuisine, together with vegetables. A typical stew is the tomato bredie, which is made with lamb and tomatoes.

• Snacks

 

Snacks will often contain meat because, as mentioned before, people in this region love meat, and will use it with every occasion. Thus, a much-appreciated snack is Kapana, which consists in barbecued meat cut in bite size pieces, improved with salt and spices, being eaten just like this. Biltong, another snack consisting in meat, being a piece of dried meat that resembles jerky, is also highly appreciations. It is made out of beef, which is the most sought-after meat, but also from ostrich, chicken, and even game. If you are more courageous, you can try “walkie-talkie”, which are deep fried chicken feet or heads, served on the side of the road, especially in areas with a lot of workers.

 

Dinner

Dinner resembles lunch very much, various foods and dishes being served during this moment of the day. In fact, the dishes served for lunch and dinner are interchangeable, depending on availability, so it is not a strict rule to be followed. Dinner is usually served around 7 or 8 p.m., dishes containing meat also being present, although it is not unusual for vegetable-based dishes to be eaten as well. For instance, chakalaka is a relish made from vegetables, which is served simply with bread, stews, curries, or pap, which is porridge made from maize. Chakalaka is made out of beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and some curry paste. Meatballs, chicken pie, and pumpkin pap can be served for dinner.

• Desserts

Milk-based tarts and the Malva pudding are quite popular in South Africa, as desserts. The milk tart contains a pastry crust that is filled with a creamy paste. The filling contains milk, eggs, sugar and flour. The Malva pudding is considered to have Dutch origins, and it contains milk, flour, sugar, and apricot jam, being served with custard or ice-cream, or both. Koeksisters is another appreciated dessert, which is a dough twisted in rolls and deep dried, and soaked in syrup. Guava ice cream, coconut ice, chocolate crunchies, and soetkoekies, which are spiced cookies with almonds.

• Drinks

Tea and coffee are popular drinks during the day. Mageu is another popular drink, made out of fermented mealie pap, or maize meal. It tastes like yogurt mostly, the varieties found in stores being flavored like yogurt as well. Fruit juices are also appreciated, being served usually unsweetened. Among alcoholic beverages, beer is one of the most popular one, followed by wine and some spirits varieties.

South African Cuisine Food

Holiday Menus

 

• Christmas

Christmas is South Africa is celebrated much like in any part of the globe, with caroling in the Christmas Eve, enjoying the Christmas tree and leaving stocking for Santa, and going to the Church in the morning. It is also a reason to spend time with family and friends, serving dishes turkey or duck roast, even beef, cooked with fine spices and nuts, and served with yellow rice, vegetables and raisins. Because the weather here is quite warm during this period, because South Africa is in the southern hemisphere and Christmas takes place in the summer, people will enjoy a barbecue, or “braai”, which is a type of social grill, where they will cook more meat.

• Easter

 

Easter is another period of the year when special dishes are prepared. The Cape Malay pickled fish is usually served during the Good Friday, together with hot cross buns. Lamb is highly appreciated and served in various manners, like roast, spring rolls, stew, even served as a fancier kebab. Chicken, beef and fish can also be served, together with desserts like chocolate truffles, cheesecake, and other desserts containing chocolate.

Most Popular Dishes

 

• Bobotie – a dish with meatloaf, raisins and baked egg on top, served with yellow rice, coconut, sambals, slices of banana, and chutney;
• Mala Mogodu – something similar with tripe, served with hot pap, a maize porridge, and spinach;
• Potjiekos – a traditional stew made with meat and various vegetables, which are all cooked in cast-iron pots over hot coals;
• Vetkoek – balls made out of dough that are deep-fried, and stuffed with meat, snoek fish, or jam.

Most Used Ingredients

 

• Meat / Fish: beef, chicken, lamb, seafood, snoek fish;
• Veggies: onions, tomatoes, beans, garlic, chili;
Fruits: coconut, guava, banana, lime, grapes;
• Other: maize, wheat flour, rice, milk, spices.

Street Food – What to eat when you travel to South Africa

 

If you are traveling through South Africa, the biltong and droewors are two common foods that can be taken on the go, as they don’t need refrigeration. Biltong is something similar to jerky, and droewors is a type of air-dried sausage. Boerewors are another type of sausage served on the streets, made out of pork or lamb, and a mixture of spices, and cooked on the barbecue. Bunny chow is another type you can serve at food stalls, being tasty and easy to eat. A common street food in South Africa is fish and chips, something you may be more familiar with.

 

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Are you from South Africa? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on South  African ethnic food.

Abba Chipo

West African Cuisine – What Do They Eat in West Africa

West African Cuisine Facts and History

In West Africa, most people chose to grow their food, each family member having a particular task in this process, some taking care of the garden, while others manage the livestock. A typical meal in this part of Africa consists in starchy foods, accompanied by meat, fish, or vegetables and spices.
 
West African Cuisine Recipe

The different people that came to settle here from all over the world also had their imprint on the development of the local cuisine. Chili peppers and tomatoes were brought to West Africa by the Europeans, which together with corn, peanuts, plantains and cassavas, became a very important part of the West African cuisine.
The French, British and Portuguese colonies also influenced the West African cuisine, but not in such a significant degree. In spite of the cultural mix and the presence of colonies in West Africa for so long, the cuisine here remained very much in the same way it was since its beginnings.

West African Cuisine Menu

• Breakfast

In West Africa, breakfast is rather simple, bread and pastry products being mostly consumed. Beignets are eaten in the morning, dipped in “bouilli”, which is a sticky and sweet liquid that is derived from corn. Eggs are also consumed rather often, although an omelet here may not be as you are accustomed with, as it may contain beans and sardines. Puff puffs can also be served, being a donut like dessert, with a cup of tea. This dish is also considered to be a sweet treat, as the dough from which they are made is sweet, shaped in small balls, and deep fried, powdered sugar being added optionally.

• Lunch

During noon, West Africans like serving something more consistent. The dishes prepared for lunch can contain cassavas, sweet potatoes, rice, yams, and various greens. Stews are also served, with starchy dishes, made out of groundnuts, chicken or various other meats, and vegetables. Soups are appreciated as well, a few examples being the thick groundnut soup, boiled yam palm soup served with steamed vegetables, or a soup made out of peppers, cocoyam and boiled yam.

 

• Snacks

 

You will be surprised to see that most snacks here are deep fried. Puff puffs, mentioned earlier, can also be mentioned as a snack, as these bite-sized donuts are sold on the street, for hurried and hungry passersby. Plantain chips are another type of snacks, made from unripe plantains, cut in thin striped and fried in oil. These are not sweet, being more a salty and crispy snack. Banana fritters will be seen everywhere, being consumed a lot throughout the entire West Africa. You may also find the cassava fritters, as another variety of this deep-fried snack. Chin chin is another sweet and crispy snack, made out of dough in which milk, butter, sugar, eggs, flour and nutmeg as used as ingredients.

• Dinner

Dinner is very similar to lunch, similar dishes being served in the evening as well. Dishes with rice, potatoes, greens, and meats are served. The starchy foods are not absent, because they accompany stews or very thick soups. Yam porridges, made with tomatoes, peppers, and oil are also served. Fish is also used and served for diner, in soup dishes, stews, or simply fried.

• Desserts

Puff puffs will have to be on this list as well, as it is an incredibly appreciated sweet treat. Candied coconut balls are also a type of dessert you will find in West Africa. They are made from coconut pieces that are shaped in balls after being mixed with a thick caramel sauce. The lime cake is also popular in West Africa, being made with sugar, butter, eggs, flour, baking flour, lime juice, and chopped peanuts, but only optional, if you like something crunchy in it.

Chakery is another lovely West African dessert, made out of couscous, with a creamy consistence, much like a pudding. Milk, vanilla, and cream is used for preparing this dish, besides couscous, together with nutmeg and pineapple, in some occasions, for a sweet and exotic touch. Fresh fruits salads are often eaten as dessert as well, because fruits are highly available in West Africa.

• Drinks

The ginger drink is quite popular in West Africa, as a non-alcoholic beverage. It contains, besides ginger, lime, peppercorns, and a bit of sugar. It can be served hot or cold, according to preferences. Pineapple, lemongrass, or other ingredients may be added to this drink made from ginger, as variations of the recipe. Beet made from millet is consumed, as an alcoholic beverage, together with palm wine, which is served sweet and less fermented, or sour.

Holiday Menus

 

• Christmas

For Christmas, West Africans take the time to prepared delicious dishes with meat, buying chickens, goats and cows from the market, in preparation of this event. Jollof rice will be served, with stews made from meats, boiled beans and fried plantains. A rice pudding can be also served, with meat stews, according to area. Soups are also prepared, being made from meat, or fish, and served with fufu. Palm wines or imported wines are drunk as alcoholic beverages among men, while women and children have soft drinks.

• Easter

Easter is another moment of the year when special dishes are prepared, like a dessert made from rice formed in balls and sweetened with baobab juice, or a dish made from bean puree and fish stew, both served during the Good Friday. Frejon is also served during this period, being a puree-type dish made from mashed beans, with coconut milk and sugar. It is served with a fish stew made from tilapia filets, although other fish may also be used, tomatoes, red peppers, onion, garlic, minced ginger, jalapeno pepper, and palm oil.
 
West African Cuisine


Most Popular Dishes

 

• Fufu – it is a starchy dish, in the form of a thick paste very similar to dough, made out of cassava, or yams, which can also be combined with cocoyams, plantains, or even cornmeal. It is used instead of bread, with a variety of foods.

• Jollof rice – the basic ingredients are rice, tomatoes and tomato paste, red pepper, onions and salt. This dish can be served in a variety of ways, according to preferences, meats and vegetables being often added.

• Groundnut stew – it is probably one of the most popular types of stews, since the colonial period. Besides the sauce made from groundnuts, this stew also contains tomatoes, chili and peppers, considered the West African trinity, chicken, beef or mutton being added as well.

Most Used Ingredients

 

• Meat / Fish: chicken, beef, fish;
• Veggies: tomatoes, peppers, chili, onions, spinach, cassava, yams, plantain;
• Fruits: pineapple, bananas, limes;
• Other: beans, millet, corn, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg;

Street Food – What to eat when traveling to West Africa

If you are traveling through West Africa, you will be delighted to try one-pot beans and plantains, stuffed in bread, a delicious street food served here. Suya is another type of street food, consisting in spicy skewered beef, served on a stick, hot, and with fresh onions and tomatoes. And do not forget about trying out freshly fried puff puffs.

 

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Are you from West Africa? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on West African ethnic food.

Abba Chipo

 

Horn of Africa Cuisine – What do They Eat in the Horn of Africa

Horn of Africa Cuisine Facts and History

The Horn of Africa is a peninsula located in the north-east of the continent, right next to the Arabian Sea. It got its name from the fact that seen from up above, this region resembles the horn of a rhino. Four countries are found in the Horn, and these are Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti.

Horn Africa Cuisine
The cuisine of this area is renowned for being one of the most ancient cuisines in the world, especially the one found in Ethiopia and Eritrea. In the rest of the region, several influences can be found in the local cuisine, such as Persian, Arab and Indian influences. A custom in this part of the world, concerning food serving, is to serve food in one single dish for all the meal participants. Also, food is mostly served with the hand, without any other utensils.

 

Horn of African Cuisine Menu

Breakfast

Breakfast in the Horn of Africa is quite light, consisting in bread made like a pancake, served with tea or coffee, or even stew or soup. The stew is often prepared with the leftovers of yesterday’s dinner. A type of porridge, made with butter and sugar is also served in the morning. Also, fava beans can be boiled and mashed, and seasoned with onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, cumin, olive oil and yogurt, and served with bread that is dipped in this paste. Another popular dish would be a large pancake, made with flour and having a layer of eggs, served with honey. Besides tea, simple or milky, or coffee, yogurt is also consumed during the breakfast.

Lunch

Lunch is more consistent than the breakfast, containing pasta or rice, spiced with various condiments, like cumin, cloves, cardamom, and sage. The pasta is often served with a consistent meat stew and sauce, this dish having obvious Italian influences. Rice, on the other hand, is preferred to be served with bananas. Still, rice is also made with meat and vegetables, in the same pot. Cornmeal is also eaten, prepared with milk, butter and sugar, served with a hole in the middle where a type of stew is placed. Stews are pretty common for lunch, prepared with a wide variety of meats and spices. But dishes without meat are also consumed, such as dishes with lentils or spinach, seasoned with spiced and other vegetables, like onions, tomatoes, or garlic. Juices based on fruits are served as well, to wash the meal.

Snacks

Snacks are very much appreciated, so they are available in many varieties. For instance, the people in the Horn of Africa took samosa, a typical Indian snack, and made their own version, called sambusa. It is a snack made out of dough shaped in triangles, and filled with ground meat or fish in this area, and spiced with hot chili pepper. Kabaab is also another snack, consisting in a mixture prepared with potatoes, ground meat, onions, and vegetables, coated with flour and deep fried in oil. Backed bread pieces that resemble pretzels are also eaten as snacks, together with roasted barley, served in paper corns, popcorn, or fresh fruits.

 Dinner

Dinner is another important meal of the day, which is served in the evening, or even late at night, especially in Somalia. Here, dinners can be served up to 9 p.m., and even at 11 p.m. during Ramadan, as the people pray first and eat after. Cambuulo is one dish that can be served for dinner, using azuki beans, which can take up to 5 hours of cooking to obtain the desired tenderness. Also, for flavor, these beans are mixed with sugar and butter. Stews are also served, made with meat or just with vegetables, such as the one made with potatoes, green beans, green peppers, carrots and turmeric. Another dish would be one made out of cornbread, made with maize cooked in a clay oven, cut in small pieces and covered in sugar and sesame oil, and eaten with black tea.

Desserts

The halva is appreciated, being made out of sugar, cardamom powder, corn starch, nutmeg power, ghee, and peanuts occasionally. Jalaato, which is a dessert similar to popsicles, are frozen fruits with a stick in the middle. There is also a recipe made with milk and sugar. Different types of cookies, or buskud, cakes, or doolshe, or coconut mixed with sugar and served as a bar. Another preferred dessert is gashaato, made with sugar, coconut, oil, and cardamom. Also, nuts and sesame seeds are put together with the help of a caramel bed, resulting a delicious and crunchy bar.

Drinks

Coffee, tea and milk are commonly consumed. There is also a homemade beer, called sowa, made from roasted corn, barley, and other grains, being flavored with a leaf that is similar to buckthorn leaf. Honey wine is also a drink, being mostly used at weddings and other celebrations. In Ethiopia, there is atmet, a drink that is similar with egg-nog, but without alcohol. It is made with oat or barley flour, water, sugar, and clarified butter, which are all cooked together until the composition thickens.

 

Horn Africa Drinks

Holidays Menu in Horn Africa 

Christmas

Christmas in the Horn of African means plenty of food and time spent with family and close friends. Roasted meat is often consumed, because in this part of the world, it is a sign of appreciation when offering a piece of roast meat to someone. Such a dish is tibs, a dish frequently served during holidays and different celebrations, consisting in sautéed meat and vegetables, which can be mild or hot concerning the seasoning. It may be done with or without vegetables at all. The halva is an appreciated dessert for special occasions, together with the honey wine, as beverage.

Coffee Ceremony

In Ethiopia and Eritrea, this is a very important ceremony, when the making and serving the coffee can strengthen bonds between members of community. During this ritual, one can decline the coffee in a polite manner, receiving tea instead. Sweets and small snacks, such as peanuts, popcorn or himbasha, which is a type of sweet bread, are consumed during these occasions.

 

Most Popular Dishes

•    Wat – a stew made with onions, oil, turmeric or berbere, meat, split peas, and lentils. There is also a vegetarian version, containing potatoes, carrots and chard.
•    Injera – flat bread similar with a large pancake, which accompanies stews;
•    Hillbet – a thick paste made out of lentils, fava beans, or other legumes, served with injera;
•    Akelet – a thick porridge, made out of wheat flour, served with a hole in the middle where berbere and butter sauce are added, surrounded by yogurt or milk. Pieces from the dough are taken and dipped into this sauce.
•    Dorho – stew that is usually spicy and made with a whole chicken.

 

Most Used Ingredients

•    Meat / Fish: chicken, lamb, mutton, beef and fish;
•    Veggies: pepper, onion, tomato, potato, lentils, fava beans;
•    Fruits: coconut, banana, mango, guava, grapefruit;
•    Other: berbere, cumin, turmeric, sesame and sesame oil, rice;

 

Street Food – What to eat when traveling to Horn of Africa

One of the most popular street foods in the Horn of Africa is sambusa, a pastry shaped like a triangular pocket, filled with various ingredients, like spiced vegetables, or meat. Deep fried fava beans patties, with a sweet white sauce for dipping, are also an appreciated street food, together with the so-called Safari Plate, which is injera layered with chicken spiced with lemon and garlic, yellow cabbage, and red lentil stew.

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Are you from Horn of Africa? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on Horn African ethnic food.

Abba Chipo

East African Cuisine – What Do They Eat in East Africa

East African Cuisine Facts and History

East Africa consists in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. It is also known as the African Great Lakes area, due to the high number of lakes present in this part of the continent. The Rift Valley lakes, like Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Malawi, are some of the largest.

East African cuisine

The people in this area are accustomed to growing herds of animals, such as cattle, but also sheep, goats and pigs, so meat will be quite present in this cuisine. Still, you will be surprised to see that in some parts, where people still respect the ancient traditions, the blood and milk of the cattle will be consumed, but not the meat. There can also be felt some Arabic influences in the East African cuisine, due to the settlement of merchant from Oman and Yemen. The Swahili cuisine, found on the Swahili coast, reflects Persian influences the best. Spices like clover, cinnamon and saffron will be found in many recipes, together with pomegranate juice.

East African Cuisine Menu

• Breakfast

For breakfast, if you are in the African Great Lakes area, you will have backed bread, called chapati or ahooh, depending in which region you will be. This bread is served with various stews made out of vegetables, or a type of sour porridge, like the uji served in Kenya. Uji has as ingredients millet flour, corn flour, and sorghum flower sometimes, which are all combined and boiled. Ground cereals and sour milk can also be served for breakfast, being meals that are more commonly met at the nomadic tribes.

• Lunch

Being served mostly in the afternoon, the lunch is considered to be the most important meal of the day. This meal will be consistent, always containing rich starchy foods, made out of different tuberous plants, which are boiled and mashed. But rice is also used in some regions, white or brown, which is boiled, and served with vegetable or fish stews, or meat. Ground corn meals are also present, which are mixed with potatoes, the result being a different kind of starchy meals, such as ughali.

• Snacks

It is a common sight in East Africa, as in most African regions, to see street food stalls everywhere. People like meeting on the streets for chat, so food is present there as well, in case they feel the need for a snack. Such a snack can be the chipsi mayai, in Tanzania, which is a hot chip omelette. Samosa is another snack, borrowed from the Indian cuisine, which are pastry produces, in the shape of a triangle, filled with various ingredients, such as veggies, meats, or fish. Chapatis, a type of flat bread, served with various ingredients, or just plain with a cup of tea, is another snack that can be found almost everywhere. Also, there is a chance to find plantain chips as these food stalls, as this is a popular snack throughout the entire Africa.

• Dinner

Dinner is pretty much the same as lunch in East Africa, so consistent dishes will be served again. An example would be kuku paka, which is a chicken coconut curry, served with rice. Cambuulo is another dish, consisting in beans cooked with butter and sugar, served with rice or flat bread, according to preferences. Also, what East Africans eat for lunch today, can be served for dinner tomorrow, if there are any leftovers. Almost all meals for dinner are often served with veggies, salads or fresh fruits.

• Desserts

East Africans appreciate fresh fruits as dessert, but will also prepare various types of pastry products. Mandazi would be one example of dessert, being the East African version of doughnuts. It consists in dough made with yeast, coconut milk, spiced with cardamom and fresh coconut flakes. It is deep fried in oil, being best served warm and fresh, with a cup of tea. Pineapple salad is popular in Tanzania, consisting in fresh pineapple cubes, improved with a sauce made out of cream, honey and rum, and seasoned with fried cashew nuts and coconut bits.

• Drinks

Tea is a common beverage in East Africa, together with milk. As an alcoholic beverage, banana beer is quite common in this part of the African continent, because bananas are highly appreciated. Thus, it is only natural to find banana wine as well. Also, Uganda has “waragi”, a type of homemade gin.

Holiday Menus

 

• Christmas

Just like in the case of Christmas being celebrated anywhere else in the world, in East Africa it is a period in which you get together with family and friends. Goat meat is highly preferred during this period of the year, the most used cooking method being roasting. If you are celebrating this holiday in Uganda, Rwanda or Kenya, you should know that people prefer to eat the meat hot, right off the charcoal grill, in just one sitting. An interesting fact is that tribes like the Maasai and Kikuyu eat the goat after certain rules, as some parts of the animal are for boys, while others are for girls.

• Easter

Easter is another celebration in East Africa, when people go to Church for the specific service and return home to enjoy a rich meal. Chicken is most commonly used for these meals, stews being prepared that are served with rice. The starchy foods are also present, together with soft drinks and beer, and fresh fruits.

 

Most Popular Dishes

• Nyama choma – this means “roast meat”, very much appreciated by East Africans, and served with a starchy food and veggies;
• Nyama na irio – made out of mashed potatoes, beans, onions and corn, and served with spiced roasted meat;
• Sukuma wiki – prepared using kale or collard greens, which are cooked with spices and onions, this recipe being a preferred side dish for ugali, the East African maize porridge.

 Most Used Ingredients

• Meat / Fish: goat, fish, and chicken;
• Veggies: beans, onions, kale, plantain, potatoes, tomatoes;
• Fruits: bananas, pineapple, oranges, lemons, limes;
• Other: rice, maize, millet, coconut milk, spices curry

Street Food – What to Eat when You Travel to East Africa

Food stalls will be present on almost any street in East Africa, so you won’t have trouble finding something to eat if you travel here. In fact, it is the best way to get the local taste of this cuisine. Mahindi choma, or roast corn, is popular in East Africa, being a whole corn cob roasted on a charcoal grill. Egg pasua, or egg break, is a common street food sold in Kenya, consisting in boiled eggs with a salad made out of tomatoes and onions, to which pepper and lemon might be added. Mshikaki, which is slightly roasted marinated beef skewers, a very delicious food, slightly pricier than what you may normally find. Bhajia is another popular street food, consisting in potatoes slices which are dipped in a paste chose by the customer, then deep fried and served hot.

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Are you from East Africa? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on South African ethnic food.

Desta R.

Central African Cuisine – What do They Eat in Central Africa

I Central African Cuisine Facts and History

Central Africa is considered to be the territory between the northern Tibetsi Mountains and the southern Congo River, together with its rainforest basin and includes countries: Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, and Rwanda.  In comparison to other parts of Africa, this region was not too influenced by foreign cuisine, until the late 19th century. So we can say that here you may find one of the most authentic cuisine of Africa.

Central African Dinner

Of course, there were some exceptions as well, because the chili peppers, peanuts and cassava were imported back in the 16th century, becoming significant ingredients in this cuisine. But even so, most of the Central African cuisine is still mainly traditional, sticking to the old recipes and means of preparing food. Still, traditional does not mean a poor cuisine, because the diversity of dishes is quite staggering, food here being prepared in so many ways and using a wide variety of ingredients.

Most dishes contain starchy foods, like cassava, plantains, or fufu, which is a dish with the consistency of soft dough, usually made out of fermented cassava roots, all consumed instead of bread and accompanied by a variety of side dishes. These side dishes can be made out of grilled meats and sauces, or stews, mainly made out of vegetable ingredients. Chicken and beef are among the most preferred types of meat, although the Central African cuisine will also include crocodile, monkey, warthog, or antelope, served as occasional game meat.

Central African Cuisine Flat Bread

II  Central African Cuisine Menu

• Breakfast

If you are visiting Central Africa, you should know that for breakfast, you will eat things that are somewhat familiar. Eggs, fried or omelet, flat bread, sausages, juice, tea, porridges mainly made out of maize, fruits, and even meat, are part of the Central African breakfast. An example would be the one served in Ecuatorial Guinea, where bananas and coconut are plentiful. The bananas are cooked in citrus juices, butter, coconut and sugar, resulting a quite delicious breakfast.

• Lunch

Lunch is one of the most important meals of the day, so consistent foods will be served during this part of the day. A staple food, like fufu or other starchy foods are served together with grilled meats and sauces. You will see sauces present in many Central African dishes, as local people love a good sauce with their favorite food. Stews are also eaten for lunch, a typical stew being made with spinach, peppers, tomato, onions, chili peppers and peanut butter. Most stews have a wide array of vegetables, containing meat as well, if the recipe includes them. Soups are consumed as well, peanut soup being one example, also served with fufu, or palm butter soup. You will also find spicy meatballs and porridges, such as the one made using rice, peanut butter, lemon, and millet flour.

• Snacks

It is common to find all sorts of snacks being sold on the roads and streets of Central Africa. In the morning rush, not too many people get to have a proper breakfast, so they will take something on the go, in their way to work. Sandwiches, with vegetables or meat, Makara, which is a type of fried bread, barbecued meats, and a variety of baked foods, fruits and nuts are available as a quick snack to calm down hunger.

• Dinner

Dinner is very similar with lunch, the same starchy staple foods being present, served with vegetables or meat with sauces, or all of them. Stews are also appreciated, like the one made with chicken and cumin, or the one made with minced palm nuts, tomatoes, and peanuts, and occasionally chicken, called Muamba. Fish, the Nile perch most often, is found in some recipes, especially for the people in Bangui, because the city is near the river. The fish is cooked in palm leaves, with tomatoes and spices.

• Desserts

Rice with coconut milk is a much-appreciated dessert in Central Africa, also containing cinnamon and lemon zest. Variations of rice pudding will be found, as an alternative sweet treat, just like the sweet peanut butter rice. Pancakes, banana fritters, fruit salads, pies with bananas and dates, and sago pudding, a pudding made with sago, eggs, milk, custard powder, salt and sugar, are also popular desserts.

• Drinks

Drinks made out of hibiscus flowers, called karkanji, ginger beer, palm and banana wine, are the most popular drinks found in Central Africa. Still, one must have at least 18 years old to buy and consume alcohol in this region.

Central African Couple Cooking

II Central African Holiday Menus

• Christmas

For Christmas, Central Africans will celebrate by serving dinner with the family, preparing something more special than usual. Chicken meat is considered to be a high-quality meat, so it will be preferred in dishes more than any other meat. Vegetables and bread will also be present, together with a wide variety of fruits. Desserts are also served, flavored with coconut, cinnamon and citruses zest.

Other celebrations are the adulthood initiation of young people and weddings, when a rich feast is given, various dishes with meat and vegetables being prepared. Also, someone’s passing on is an important moment in the Central African culture, as spirituality is a large part of it, special meals being prepared with this occasion as well.

III Most Popular Dishes

Chichinga – goat meat that is barbequed and skewered;
Kanda ti nyma – spicy meatballs made out of beef;
Chikwangue – batons made out of manioc starch;
Shrimps – served with sweet potatoes or boiled yams;
Chicken and cumin stew – enhanced with tomatoes, onions and garlic;

IV Most Used Ingredients

Meat / Fish: goat, chicken, catfish, crayfish;
Veggies: cassava, plantains, tomatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, chili peppers, yams;
Fruits: bananas, coconut, oranges, pineapple, lemons;
Other: groundnuts, palm oil, rice, palm nuts;

V Street Food – What to Eat when Visiting Central Africa

If you find yourself hungry on the streets of Central Africa, there will be no problem in finding food. Groundnut soup is a very popular type of street food, being prepared in a wide variety of ways, being different from one food stall to another. Still, the standard version will contain peanut butter, chicken or vegetable broth, onions, tomato paste, chili powder, yams, okra, garlic and ginger. You may even find meat, chicken or goat, in some versions. Pea fritters, fish curry, and spicy stews are also on the list of street foods in Central Africa.

 

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Are you from Central Africa? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on Central African ethnic food.

Abba Chipo

North African Cuisine – What Do They Eat in North Africa?

Food in North Africa: Guide & Recipes

I North African Cuisine Facts and History

North Africa consists of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Western Sahara the entire region being next to the Mediterranean Sea. There is an old saying in Morocco that shows just how important food and meal time is in North Africa. The saying states that “Where there is food, there is no talking”. Thus, in sign of respect for the food that God provided, people in North Africa do not talk when eating, as a general habit. Concerning food, North Africa has a diverse cuisine, just like its people and geographical regions. Some of the oldest dishes date back to the times of the ancient Egyptians, Egypt being once one of the most evolved and powerful kingdoms in the world.

North African Cuisine Ethnic Food

In the 1st century, North Africa started having sausages, brought in by the Phoenicians. Wheat and semolina was introduced by the Carthaginians, which lead to the production of couscous, by the Berbers. Even if olives and olive oils are considered to be a mark of the Roman Empire, these two reached North Africa before the Romans came here. In the 7th century, the spice diversity grew in North Africa, because the Arabs brought in nutmeg, saffron, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and others. The Ottoman Turks also contributed to this cuisine, introducing bakery products and sweet pastries. And from the New World, North Africans got tomatoes, potatoes, chili peppers and zucchini.

II North African Cuisine Menu

• Breakfast

The breakfast in North Africa is a rather quick one, consisting in eggs, braised in tomato and pepper sauce, called Shakshuka, pancakes or crapes, bread, dairy products, and tea. Cheese, butter, jam, honey, served with flatbread, and coffee, are also foods that are served in the morning. But you will also see salads or cooked dishes, such as falafel in Egypt, or haleem in Iran, which is porridge made with wheat and meat, spiced with cinnamon.

• Lunch

In North Africa, lunch is one of the most important meals of the day, usually served in the afternoon. Salads made from fresh vegetables, or grilled ones, are a popular dish for lunch. The salads are made out of a diversity of veggies, such as tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, even carrots, finished with olive oil, citrus juice or vinegar. To this, couscous or flatbread is added, as staple foods. But it is also common to add yogurt or cheese made out of sweet sheep milk, also as staple.

Cous Cous North Africa

• Snacks

Because the breakfast is usually light, as most people hurry to work while the temperatures are not too high, many prefer to have snacks on the go. They consist in sesame bread rings, or various other types of salty or sweet bread. Sandwiches are also common, made with cheese, tomatoes, salad, and even some hot spices. Fruits, like apples and plums, and melons in the summer, are refreshing snacks. Nuts and seeds are also appreciated snacks, selling usually along any road, being a tasty and nutritious snack anyone can nibble on.

• Dinner

For dinner, the dishes can be similar with the ones served at lunch, this meal being served around six or seven in the evening, although there are parts when dinner is served around eight, or even nine. Except the cases in which there are guests in the house, dinners in North Africa are rather light. They consist in serving soup, porridges based on milk and semolina, rice, or pasta, or meatballs served in tomato sauce. Tea is also often served at dinner, with pancakes seasoned with honey, butter or olive oil, with fritters or sweet pastries. For families that live in the country side, dinner is the most important meal of the day, as they work at farms or the land during the day, and they don’t have time to grab lunch properly.

 

North African Dessert Baklava

• Desserts

This part of the cuisine was highly influenced by the Ottoman Turks, so as desserts, pastries soaked in sweet syrup, sprinkled with nuts, are common desserts. Yeasted crêpes, cooked on one side, served with butter and honey, is another lovely dessert. Semolina is also used for making dough for desserts, which is fried and soaked in honey-based syrup, and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Pancakes are also made, and cakes, using semolina and coconut, are prepared for celebrations or special days. Baklavas are one of the favorite desserts in North Africa.

• Drinks

As mentioned before, tea is highly appreciated in North Africa, especially mint tea, served for dinner or in the afternoon, to accompany a quick snack. Coffee is also consumed here, together with juices made out of fruits. Concerning alcoholic drinks, palm trees are used, as they juices are left to ferment and make something similar to wine.

North African Drink Tea

Holiday Menus:

• Ramadan

Ramadan lasts for a month, when Muslim people cannot eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. After the sun sets, the meals are similar to what the westerns have for Christmas, being plentiful dishes and luxurious foods. Soup, sweet veal with prunes, stew with meatballs, meals with chicken or rabbit meat, chickpeas, olives, eggs, salads, and a large variety of fruits, served as dessert.

• Christmas

If the family is not Muslim, Christmas is celebrated pretty much like anywhere else, with dinners served with the family. Generous meals containing stews with meat, roasts, salads and desserts, usually fancy cakes, made with coconut and rose water.

• New Year

In the North Africa, the Islamic New Year receives much more attention than the Christian one. After a short period of fast, the dishes served are chicken with thin noodles, or couscous with mutton. In some parts, sweet dishes are preferred, so raisins or prunes as added. “Green” dishes are also served, prepared from plants that are similar to spinach, because they symbolize prosperity in the new year.

III  Most Popular Dishes:

 

Couscous with various vegetables, and even raisins added;
Méchoui, lamb or sheep split-roasted on the barbeque;
Brik – tuna, egg, onion and parsley;
Tajine – a baked frittata, or slow-cooked stew, with various ingredients, depending on the area;

 

Tajine Dish Dinner Ethnic
IV Most Used Ingredients:

Meat / Fish: lamb or sheep;
Veggies: onions, tomatoes, peppers, lentils, chickpeas, and olives;
Fruits: bananas, coconut, apples, plums;
Other: olive oil, semolina, couscous;

V Street Food

What to eat when you travel to North Africa?

If you are on the go through North Africa, you will easily notice a lot of food stalls everywhere. When you are hungry, you can easily enjoy some kebab, a dish made with pieces of meat, chicken, beef or lamb, and vegetables, wrapped in flat bread. Plantain snacks can also be found, which are deep-fried plantains seasoned with chili pepper powder and coarse salt. Kefta is also available, which is a dish made out of seasoned ground meatballs. And you may also find bulgur pilaf quite a lot, being a highly appreciated North African street food, made with bulgur, made out of wheat, vegetable broth, onions, olive oil, garlic, green chili peppers, cinnamon, saffron, raisins, pine nuts, parsley and salt.

 

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Are you from North Africa? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on North African ethnic food.

Zakya Chafik

African Cuisine – What Do They Eat in Africa?

Food around Africa: Guide, Facts & Recipes

I. Introduction:

The African cuisine is both diverse and surprising, mostly consisting of what the area was providing. So fruits, cereals, vegetables, milk and meat, both from farming and hunting, are a part of this cuisine. The flavors may differ from one region to another in Africa, some even having strong influences from the colonies that settled there in time. But one thing is for sure, the African cuisine will always surprise us through its uniqueness and simplicity.

II. List of African Cuisines:

1. Central African cuisine

The plantains and cassava are the stars of this cuisine. Starchy foods, an example would be fufu, are commonly served with grilled meat and various accompanying sauces. Greens and vegetables stews are famous here as well. Concerning meat, chicken and beef are widely preferred, although crocodile, warthog, monkey, antelope and other game meats is served as well.

2. East African cuisine

Agriculture is a big part of East Africa, so corn and other cereals will be met here. Beans and manioc are other ingredients found in this cuisine, even millet in some areas. But spicy foods can also be found, together with coconut milk as the main ingredient. So dishes can vary from being utterly simple, like maize-meals and milk, to several course dinners, made out of staple foods serve with meat and various sauces.

3. Horn African cuisine

In the Horn of Africa, the most preferred dish is stew served with a type of flat bread, almost like pancakes, called “injera”, and vegetable paste. This bread can be made out of wheat, barley, corn, sorghum, any cereal that is available. Jewish cuisine is also present here, pork and shellfish being forbidden. Alcohol is also not served, the meat is not consumed from an animal that died on its own, and the foods are served from a large central dish.

4. North African cuisine

The cuisine in North Africa resembles in a certain degree the Mediterranean cuisine, as it has some countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Couscous is a very common staple food, served with vegetable and spices. Stews, dishes that are similar to quiche and sweet pastries can be found. The flavors range from hot to rich and simpler ones. Read more here!

5. Southern African cuisine

It is also called the “rainbow cuisine” because it is a mixture of so many different cultures, each of them leaving its imprint on the way food is prepared here. So the dishes are very diverse, various types of meat and seafood being served, together with vegetables and grains. Fresh fruits are also available and very much appreciated.

6. West African cuisine

The cuisine of West Africa is simpler but full of taste. Here, a meal usually consists of starchy foods, which are served with meats, herbs, and spices. Couscous, fufu, banku, and other staple foods are present in the area as well, being served alongside a stew or soup.

African Cuisine Food

III. List of Main African Cooking Ingredients

• Plantains – they are the starchy cousins of bananas, being slightly longer, with the aspect of a green banana. It is not sweet and cannot be consumed raw. It is cooked in various ways, being considered a local substitute for potatoes.

• Cassava – it is a large tuberous root, used as well as a replacer for potatoes. It is a staple food, and can be sweet or bitter, according to type.

• Couscous – it is similar to pasta, as it is made out of semolina, which is durum wheat flour. It has the role of bread, being a side dish, served with various stews.

• Fufu – a dense mash staple food made out of plantains, corn, or yams. It is used as bread, accompanying various dishes.

• Palm oil – it is a thick red oil, with a nutty flavor, used for giving color and taste to stews and soups.

• Biltong – it is something similar to jerky, made from various meats, such as beef or game, like the ostrich, cut in thin stripes, cured, and left to dry.

• Chickpeas – similar to beans and larger than typical peas, the chickpeas are slightly sweeter. They are used in vegetable stews.

• Coconut milk – it comes from grating the pulp of a coconut, having a rich coconut flavor, with rather sweet taste and oily, due to the high content of fats. It is used both for dessert and for preparing savory dishes.

IV. List of African spices and herbs

• Ginger – it is a root with a spicy hot and tangy taste, used for stews, soups or sauces.

• Curry powder – it is a spice with a very complex taste, being sweet and a bit spicy, very rich in flavors, due to the high ingredients composing the curry powder. It gives food a yellow color, being used in various stews and sauces.
• Chili – having a strong hot spicy flavor, the chili comes from grinding the chili pepper. Used both for spicing various foods or sauces.

• Egusi – it is a spice coming from melon seeds, having a particular melon seeds taste. It is used for preparing soups in Africa.

• Grains of Paradise – also known as Guinea pepper, it is a spice obtained from a plant coming from the ginger family. The seeds are grounded to obtain the grains of paradise, having a peppery flavor with subtle hints of citrus. It is used similarly with pepper, in various recipes.

• Dried shrimp – it is very small shrimp that is sundried. The flavor is released through simmering, this spice being used in recipes with vegetables.

 

V. Most Popular African Dishes

 

1. Jollof Rice – Nigeria comes with this dish, loved very much in the entire West Africa. Rice, onions, tomatoes and peppers, compose the dish. It is served in various ways, like together with fried plantains, fufu, or egusi soup.

2. Piri Piri Chicken – another spicy dish that comes from Mozambique, containing spicy hot chicken served with matapa and cassava leaves, cooked in peanut sauce.

3. Bunny Chow – a well-known dish made out of a quarter loaf of bread, which has its middle half scooped out and filled with very hot curry. It can be found as street food all over South Africa, being very much appreciated.

4. Egusi Soup – a famous type of soup, particular to Nigeria, made out of melon seeds, called egusi. It is a thick soup, made with various spices and herbs, and served with fufu.

5. Cape Breyani – found in South Africa, specific to Cape Malay, it is a very perfumed dish. It contains rice, lentils and marinated meat, and spices. It may be served with fried onions and boiled eggs.

6. Nyama na irio – coming from Kenya, this is a comfort dish. Made with mash potatoes, peas, beans, and onions, all served with spicy pieces of roast.

7. Koshari – found in Egypt, this dish is something everybody eats at home. It contains rice, lentils, chickpeas, macaroni, and garlic, topped with a hot tomato sauce and fried onions.

8. Potjiekos and Stew – this is a pot food of South Africa, made out of chicken or mutton, served with vegetables, beans, dumplings or baked bread. The recipe can vary according to preferences.

9. Peppered snails – appreciated dish in Nigeria, it is usually served at parties. Still, do be careful about the pepper, as it tends to be abundant in this dish.

10. Achu and Yellow Soup – Achu is made out of mashed cocoyams in Cameroon, also known as Fufu is other areas. It is mainly served with soup, such as yellow soup or green soup.
 

VI. Most Popular African Desserts

1. Milk tart – a beautiful soft dessert, made with milk, eggs, butter, sugar, and flour, as main ingredients. The particular taste is given by the almost and vanilla extract, plus the cinnamon.

2. Sweet rice – this dessert is made with coconut milk, white rice, and cinnamon. It is a delicious and healthy dessert.

3. Malva pudding – a tasty buttery cake, made with eggs, milk, butter, sugar and improved with apricot jam and Amarula, a type cream liquor specific to South Africa.

4. Coconut ice – a type of simple iced dessert, made with condensed milk, desiccated coconut, cream of tartar and icing sugar. Extremely refreshing and tasty.

5. Guava ice cream – made out of guavas, this dessert particularly found in South Africa, is perfect for the hot African days. Cream or simple yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest and cinnamon, make the dessert refreshing and flavored as well.

6. Crunchies – a highly appreciated dessert, made with oats, shredded dried coconut, butter, sugar, cinnamon, honey or golden syrup, low-fat milk, and flour. Chocolate chips are occasionally added.

7. Peppermint Crisp fridge tart – a fast and refreshing dessert, perfect each time you wish to enjoy something sweet and light. All you need is tennis biscuits, chilled whipping cream, caramel and chocolate with peppermint crisps.

8. Koeksisters – a dessert that consists of dough softened by a lot of syrup, perfect for a cup of tea. The dough is made in a classical manner, the syrup making the difference here. Flavored with ginger, lemon and cream of tartar, it makes an exquisite treat.

9. Lemon meringue pie – it is a fast and soft dessert, made out of tennis biscuits, butter, condensed milk, lemon juice and zest, sugar, and vanilla essence.

10. Mocha Fly African cake – it is a beautifully layered cake that looks like the print of a zebra. Vanilla essence, butter, and chocolate give the specific flavor of this cake.

VII. African Cooking Utensils, Cookware, Serve Ware & Cooking Stove

Africans use a variety of utensils when cooking. Among these utensils, there is the cooking pot, made out of metal, ceramic or other materials, used for preparing stews or soups. The mortar and pestle are also used, for pounding various cereals.

Mingling sticks are also found in African kitchens, a family having quite a collection, used for stirring the food. To your surprise, the Africans use fruit as a container. The gourd is a climbing plant, which makes round fruits, which are almost like wood when mature.

The interior is taken out and washed, then used as a container for food. Just like in any other kitchen, knives are present here as well, because they are needed for preparing food. Sieves are also used, being made either out of plastic or metal. Any of these cooking utensils are usually offered as a gift to a bride, at the wedding.

 

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Are you from Africa? Maybe you visited there? Please feel free to comment and add your own thoughts on African ethnic food.

Lulu Jelani

 

6 Most Popular African Dishes