Millions of Africans have migrated to Europe or America in search of education or better jobs. Nevertheless, they are still looking for ways to tap into the abundance of Africa particularly the foods. African recipes are diverse and unique in their own ways. With more than 3,000 ethnic groups and languages, Africa is a mix of rich cultural diversity.
Each country has different ethnic groups and each ethnic group has its traditional foods. This diversity gives Africa an unimaginable culinary experience. However, narrowing your choice to a few dishes can be tough because of the large number of dishes. We want to make it easier for you.
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What Is The Most Popular Food in Africa?
In Africa, it is possible to determine the ethnic group someone belongs to simply by observing their staple. For example, in Nigeria, jollof rice and fufu are part of their staple. In Ethiopia, we have the injera which looks like a huge pancake served with different stews spread on top. Eastern Africa has ugali made from corn flour.
In West Africa, garri is made from pounded and fermented cassava. It is similar to ugali. Fufu, also from West Africa, is a popular dish made from yams, cornmeal, semolina, and cassava. Matoke is widespread in Uganda and Eastern Africa. It consists of unripe green bananas either steamed or cooked as a stew mixed with beef and potatoes.
Going up north, couscous and feijoada are popular. Couscous comprises steamed semolina balls with dried durum wheat sprinkled with some water and rolled up into pellets. Feijoada is a stew comprising beef pork and beans. Depending on which North African region, the recipe might change from pork to carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, and onions. These are just the tip of the iceberg when talking about African recipes.
Which African Recipes are Popular in Northern and Western Africa?
The Moroccan chicken recipe will have your taste buds bursting with flavor. The chicken is prepared with Moroccan spice, dried fruits, and olives. What brings out this chicken’s flavor is the cinnamon, ginger, sweet paprika, and Ras El Hanout spice rub.
The Ras El Hanout or Raz El Hanout is the center spice in this rub. It is an aromatic and sweet-smelling North African spice that consists of a combination of warm flavors. The flavors include cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, mace, ginger, nutmeg, and cayenne.
Alternatively, you could go for the Moroccan forbidden rice. This is black rice, which is antioxidant-free. It should not be confused with wild rice. This rice salad is delicious and lemony. It is a delicious mix of black rice, pistachios, dates, chickpeas, cilantro, cinnamon, and green onion. The salad is then dressed with olive oil and lemon juice for that tangy flavor.
Tagine is another North African dish from Morocco, slow-cooked in a tagine pot. Slow-cooked stews have a combination of meat, poultry, or vegetables. This recipe combines eggplants, tomatoes, onions, apricots, chickpeas, and spices for a delicious stew.
Shakshuka African recipe
Moroccan cuisine is an exotic blend of flavors. For instance, the vegetable Shakshuka or eggs in hell is a simple but flavorful egg recipe. This is a quick dish you can cook for breakfast or those nights you don’t feel like cooking. Served with a side of bread and with a sprinkle of feta cheese, this keeps you fuller longer.
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Unlike other dishes that have origins elsewhere, the B’stilla is authentically Moroccan. The most common B’stilla type is chicken but the traditional version was cooked with pigeons. A long time ago, the average Moroccan could not afford it, and only the wealthy and royalty could eat it.
Last but not least, The Kaber Ellouz is almond balls from Tunisia. They are made from three braided almond dough. The dough is colored red, green, and the other is plain. A little further south, the Ethiopian Ye’abasha Gomen is a delicious step away from bland greens. The dish is simply seasoned braised kale and collards.
What food is popular in Eastern and Southern Africa?
First, we have bobotie, which is considered the national food of South Africa. It is a delicious meaty bake full of a combination of spices, curry, and fruit. The finishing is a custard-like topping, just what you need for a trip down memory lane to remind you of home on a cold winter night.
Lamb Sosaties are a popular dish in South African braais (BBQ). The word Sosaties is derived from “Sate” or skewered and “saus,” which is Afrikaans for spicy sauce. This dish originated from Cape Malay and is now a well-loved dish in the whole country. The Sosaties marinade comes in different variations. Most include curry powder, garlic, and apricot jam. However, some recipes have vinegar and tamarind.
Peri peri recipe
The South African peri peri chicken is a delicious burst of flavors. It is a simple recipe in which you simmer chicken breasts in spicy onion sauce and lemon. Matoke, or the East African highland banana, is common in Eastern Africa but enjoyed throughout the sub-Sahara.
This delicious meal of matoke with beans is perfect for a cold day. The matokes are preboiled and mixed with bean stew. You then mash to your desired consistency. Matokes are high in starch, and the beans add a balance with their protein.
Malva African recipes
South African Malva dish is another rich and delicious pudding, often eaten together with Cape Dutch roots. When served with frozen custard, it makes an excellent dessert for a warm summer evening. It’s just the dessert to have when you are feeling nostalgic and missing home.
25 Delicious African Food Recipes to Try This Month
#1. Sosaties (South African lamb and apricot kebabs)
Lamb sosaties are a common feature of a classic South African braai (BBQ). The apricot and curry marinade might sound unusual but it adds a wonderful flavor to these tasty kebabs. So easy and delicious! Get Recipe Here >>
#2. BEST Moroccan Chicken Recipe
BEST Moroccan Chicken recipe you will find! Super succulent, fall-off-the-bone tender chicken stew w/ warm Moroccan spices, lemons, olives & dried fruit. Get Recipe Here >>
#3. Moroccan Forbidden Rice Salad
Antioxidant-rich black rice, also known as forbidden rice, forms the foundation for this vegan Moroccan Forbidden Rice Salad. If you’re craving something lemony and delicious, this forbidden rice salad has you covered. Get Recipe Here >>
#4. Matoke With Beans
What makes matoke good for cooking is its high starchy content; which you would not find in a lot of bananas. Matokes is usually available in African shops in the UK. If you can’t find it around you, then green plantain or Thai green bananas (sold in Asian shops) are good substitutes. Get Recipe Here >>
#5. South African Piri-Piri chicken
So, what is Piri Piri Chicken?
A delicious recipe for South African Piri-Piri chicken, featuring tender chicken breasts simmered in a spiced lemon and onion sauce. Easy and different! Get Recipe Here >>
#6. South African Malva Pudding W/Easy Frozen Custard
A glossy butter-enriched syrup is poured over when the baked pudding comes out of the oven and is then allowed to soak into it, adding even more deliciousness. Get Recipe Here >>
#7. Eggplant Tagine: A Moroccan-inspired Recipe
With a tagine pot, you can recreate the delightful flavors and aromas of North Africa, without ever having to leave your own kitchen. Here’s our sumptuous, slow-cooked, Morrocan-inspired eggplant tagine recipe! Get Recipe Here >>
#8. Flavorful Bobotie
Often considered the national dish of South Africa, bobotie is a fantastic mix of flavors, with fruit, curry and spice in a comforting meaty bake, finished off with a custard-like topping. It’s one delicious meal. Get Recipe Here >>
#9. B’stilla (Moroccan chicken pie)
This Moroccan chicken pie – B’stilla is as delicious as it is gorgeous. A delicious dish that fills your day with a beautiful smile. Get Recipe Here >>
#10. Vegetable Shakshuka (Eggs in Hell)
A chunky vegetable shakshuka unlike any traditional eggs in hell dish. This version is full of hearty flavorful vegetables mix in the spicy tomato base for a breakfast that will keep you fuller for longer. Feta is studded throughout the dish for an added salty twist. Get Recipe Here >>
#11. One Pan Moroccan Chicken and Couscous
The one-pan dinner fad maybe came and went but it’s still totally my thing! This One Pan Moroccan Chicken and Couscous is one of my favorite one-pan dinners to date! It has a delicious blend of flavors and textures, it’s a healthy dinner, and it’s brimming with those irresistible deliciously spiced Moroccan flavors. Get Recipe Here >>
#12. Ethiopian Collard Greens
Ethiopian Collard Green aka Ye’abasha Gomen- Braised collard greens and kale seasoned with aromatics. Quick, easy, and tasty. Get Recipe Here >>
#13. Egusi Soup (Vegan and Oil-free)
Featuring the wildly enjoyed West African egusi seeds, this high-energy, high-protein soup has crumbly tender texture intertwined with a luscious rich taste. It ideally complements whole grains and earthy root veggies. This version is vegan and oil-free. Get Recipe Here >>
#14. Popular Kenyan Githeri
Githeri is quite adaptable, you can use any type of beans to prepare the meal. You can also add any vegetable or spices that you like, to make it yours. Get Recipe Here >>
#15. South African Lamb & Apricot Skewers a.k.a. Sosaties
Sosaties are skewered meat, usually made with lamb. They are beyond delicious with apricot and basil. Get Recipe Here >>
#16. Moroccan Chicken
This Moroccan chicken is a one pot meal with chicken thighs, green olives, raisins and spices, all simmered together until tender. A unique and unexpected dinner option that’s full of bold flavors. Get Recipe Here >>
#17. West African Peanut Chickpeas By Healthy Happy Life
The chickpeas are coated in smoky peanut sauce with hints of tomato, ginger, garlic and lime with an echo of a traditional West African Peanut Stew. Only in a hearty bowl format. This fast and flavorful meal can be yours in under a half hour. Get Recipe Here >>
#18. Ethiopian Chicken Stew
This recipe is pretty amazing because it is a super healthy dinner dish that is the ultimate comfort food, but also super delicious! Get Recipe Here >>
#19. Jollof Rice with Chicken a Nigerian Recipe
Jollof Rice is a one-pot delicious Nigerian dish. You can skip the chicken and still enjoy flavorful, perfectly cooked rice, which you can serve alongside any grilled meat. There are different versions of this dish, because it got popular in various countries like Ghana and Cameroon, and they have added their own touch. Get Recipe Here >>
#20. Ghana Chichinga (Suya Chicken Kabob)
Ghana chichinga is what they call their street food kabobs made with suya, (pronounced Soya). This hot, spicy peanut marinade is amazing on just about any meat, we thoroughly enjoyed it on beef however this recipe is made with chicken and first marinated in a garlic and ginger combination. The result is delicious. Get Recipe Here >>
#21. North African Meatballs with California Prunes and Pine Nuts
These meatballs, served with a rich prune and pine nut gravy, very inspired by the flavors of North Africa. Serve them over orzo, Rice, or Couscous for an extra special weeknight dinner – North African Meatballs with California Prunes and Pine Nuts. Get Recipe Here >>
#22. Nigerian Beef Suya
If you are interested in developing Nigerian recipes, start with Beef suya. It is Nigerian street food featuring grilled beef skewers seasoned with ground peanuts and spices. Get Recipe Here >>
#23. Kaber Ellouz (Tunisian Almond Balls)
Kaber Ellouz are almond balls from Tunisia. They are made by braiding together 3 pieces of almond dough- one plain, one dyed red, and one dyed green. Get Recipe Here >>
Kachumbari is an East African, spicy, simple and flavorful, delightful onion and tomato Salad enjoyed especially in Kenya and Tanzania. Get Recipe Here >>
#25. Akara – Black Eyed Peas Fritters
Akara (Black Eyed Peas Fritters) is a very delicious, vegetarian-friendly meal. It is crispy, golden, tasty, downright irresistible, and quite filling. Get Recipe Here >>
As you can see, Africa has a rich cuisine that you can enjoy any day of the year. Interestingly, if you stick with African recipes, you can go a whole month without repeating a dish. The colorful nature of African dishes is the first thing that will draw your attention. However, the spicy taste will keep you hooked for life. When you are abroad and miss your home in Africa, try some of these recipes. Indeed, Africa is a people, not just a place.