An introduction to Africa's most popular foods
Africa is a continent of diversity jsut like any other these days with a population which includes the Bantu tribes, Arab ethnic groups as well as people of European and Asian descend. The food you find in Africa can be original African recipes as well or those that have been brought from other continents by migrants.
Some of the foods that have been adopted are for example pies, potato salads, chicken shnitzel, curry dishes, beef bitoque, cereals, french fries, pizzas, pasta etc. However the foods listed below are original African recipes which have stood the test of time and have also gained popularity outside of Africa.
This is an East African meal mostly eaten in Eritrea and Ethiopia. The base is made from sorghum and teff. Various sauces are made using various ingredients and the iconic meat sauce with boiled eggs in it. The meat sauce has a blend of spices that go well together with the sour taste from the Injera. This meal is served on a single platter and eaten in a group.
When attending weddings, parties or even if you stay at a guesthouse in West African countries you will be offered Jollof rice. Either with a piece of chicken of fish. This rice is prepared in a sauce made from tomatoes, paprika, stock and various spices. When prepared right it is so delicious that it can even be eaten on its own. It also goes well with fried plantain.
This is a favorite among the Central and Southern African countries. It is flavored with herbs and spices then fried in oil until it becomes crispy and juicy. This fish can be enjoyed with maize porridge and spinach. Be careful because this meal can be very addictive especially if combines spinach which is sauteed with onions.
Couscous is a popular maghrebi dish in the Northern African regions. These pasta grains are made from crushed durum wheat semolina. They are prepared with spices, sauces and sometimes with small cubed vegetables. Other grains such as pearl millet and sorghum are also prepared similarly and eaten as couscous.
Banku and Fufu
West Africa appears again on the list with Banku and Fufu. Banku is a dish prepared with fermented maize meal and the root of the cassava. Fufu is prepared by pounding the cassava and yam roots with plantain with hot water. Fufu is also popular in some Caribbean countries. Both are normally served with pepper soup or a stew with fish. These are very delicious and filling but the taste is acquired. Sometimes the meals are served with okra stew which can be a bit difficult to eat for those who are not into slimy sauces.
Fat cakes as the name implies are balls of dough fried in oil, preferably sunflower oil. These delicious balls of can be eaten with tea, sauces, sweet sour curry mince and jam. The ones prepared from kneaded dough absorb less oil compared to those mixed with more water. In Namibia fat cakes are eaten at Damara or Nama memorials services as snacks served throughout the night while keeping the deceased person company before their burial the next day.
When you visit Africa, make sure you taste some of these dishes and give us feedback on which makes the greatest impression.