When it comes to food delicacies, there is no doubt that Africa has got its own share of unique food recipes that would take your taste buds to a whole new level of excitement.
From West Africa, South Africa and down to East African, the food delicacies most times rhyme with their culture and a reflection of their norms and values.
Africans believe so much in preparing the best of healthy rich foods. For most Africans, banquets are nothing new, as they believe that one should eat to his or her fill. Being fat and plump is accepted in Africa where being thin or slim is seen as a sign of not being well fed.
You can expect nothing less with their recipes than some mouthwatering dishes, and that can easily be prepared anywhere in the world.
I have compiled the best 10 African food recipes and delicacies from all parts of Africa.
So, let’s get started.
RICE & EGUSI SOUP
Rice is one of the most popular staple foods in Africa, and eaten by most households almost daily.
Rice comes with varieties of methods to prepare it like Jollof rice, Fried rice, White rice and Stew, Palm oil rice and some people even prepare rice with milk.
In Nigeria, a country in West Africa, most people combine rice with the top soup like Vegetable soup, Egusi soup, Eforiro, Banga soup, and a whole lot more.
Most parties in Nigeria serve Rice because it is easy to prepare and people relate to it more than any other food. When you attend parties in Nigeria, you are most likely to find Jollof Rice in the midst of the food being served, all because Jollof Rice is a static food recipe for Nigerian Parties.
Also, some parts of Africa eat Rice without any other food attached to it. Some prepare it white and eat it just like that while others prepare it white and sprinkle raw veggie on it.
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon butter (optional)
PROCEDURE FOR MAKING RICE
- Put water in a pot, add salt, add rice and stir.
- Reduce the heat and cook for 20 minutes.
- Allow the steam to be trapped in the pot, do not open the lid.
- Use a fork and move around the pot gently, if you feel it’s soft enough then turn off heat and serve as desired.
This can be eaten with egusi soup.
How to prepare egusi soup has already been discussed in one of the food recipes in this site. You can use any of the varieties of egusi soup to eat rice except egusi and draw soup.
N – YAMA CHOMA
This is a Kenyan food recipe, and this list would be falling short without this food. Also known as roasted meat, it consists of goat meat, cow meat and most times chicken and fish.
Not all parts of the meat are used, but the mainly the fats and grizzle. It’s the best choice of meat parts if you really want to enjoy Nyama Choma.
Ideally, roasting meat is an ancient way of preparation across the world but the Kenyans adapted this culture and made a special delicacy out of it. Often times, it’s possible to find the fried version of this meat, but I will say the roasted version does the trick.
- 1 -2 kg beef short ribs or 1 -2 kg beef, suitable for roasting
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 -2 lemon, juice of
- curry powder, to taste
- turmeric, to taste
- coriander, to taste, fresh finely chopped
- paprika, to taste
- salt and black pepper, to taste
PROCEDURE FOR MAKING NYAMA CHOMA
- Mix garlic, lemon juice and spices in a large dish.
- Add meat, for the meat to coat with the marinade you have to stir it and allow an hour.
- Roast or grill meat in an oven
This is also a very popular recipe in East Africa that nobody should miss relishing; especially visitors. It consists of uncooked onion and tomato salad, chili pepper, chopped onion, tomatoes and salt all in one bowl.
This Kachumbari is mostly served in Kenya with the Nyama Choma like I just described above.
Some people also serve this salad with Rice, Semolina, and any solid food available.
In some parts of Africa, most people serve Kachumbari with fruit juice because of the nutrients it is believed to give.
- 2 tomatoes diced
- ½ large red onion diced
- 1-2 jalapeños, seeded, diced
- 1 medium cucumber diced
- 1-2 garlic minced
- Juice from 1 lime
- Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 Beef tomatoes (thickly sliced)
- 1-2 Avocadoes mashed (add lime to retain color)
PROCEDURE FOR MAKING KACHUMBARI
- Mix lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, balsamic vinegar, honey, pepper and herbs in a blender, when it’s well-blended, serve dressing with salad.
- On a plate, place beef, tomatoes and add mashed avocado on the tomatoes then top it with kachumbari and it’s ready for consumptions.
This food is a popular Jewish meal that is served mostly on Friday Nights and Sabbath Days for lunch. It consist of stew, beans, potatoes, barley and meat. This delicacy is mostly prepared in the Northern part of Africa and it is highly cherished.
Many people have their different ways of preparing this Cholent but the main ingredients used are meat, beans, potatoes and barley. Rice can also stand in place of barley; chicken or turkey in place of beef.
If you are using chicken then the part you should opt for should be the Chicken neck skin.
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- ½ to 1 pound boneless beef short ribs, cut in 1 1/2-inch chunks
- Pepper, to taste
- ¾ cup pearl barley
- ⅓ cup dried kidney beans
- ⅓ cup dried navy beans
- ⅓ cup dried cranberry beans
- 3 cups chicken or beef broth
- 2 tablespoons honey or molasses
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- Salt to taste
PROCEDURE FOR MAKING CHOLENT
- Fill a pot with potatoes, the short ribs and onions and sprinkle pepper to taste.
- Pour the beans on top, add the honey or molasses and broth, sprinkle paprika and salt to taste.
- Add more water to cover all ingredients and cook for 15 hours. Keep stirring occasionally and adding water at intervals. The longer you allow it cook, the better.
INJERA AND TIBS
This is a classic Ethiopian food that consist of rice, peas, fish and chips. It looks more like a huge pancake made from cereal and the food is just heaped on top of this pancake. Some people merge this Injera with tibs which is a dish made of varieties of meats.
This Ethiopian food is mouthwatering and can leave you asking for more like Oliver Twist. If you love pancakes, then this delicacy is mainly for you because of the pancake-like nature of the food and the slight difference is just the extra fish, peas and rice added to it.
- 1/4 cup teff flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- a pinch of salt
- peanut or vegetable oil
- a mixing bowl
- a pan or cast-iron skillet
PROCEDURE FOR MAKING INJERA AND TIBS
- In a bowl, put the teff flour and add water then stir to avoid lumps, put it aside for a day or more.
- Once you notice a bubble, it means it has fermented; else add a tablespoon of yeast, stir and add salt.
- Heat a pan with oil and add water. Add the batter you prepared the previous day, you will notice it will rise when it heats
- Until the holes appear, you shouldn’t stop cooking. Once the surface is dry then you can remove the bread.
SADZA NEMA VEGGIE ANE NYAMA
This Zimbabwe food is a two-way recipe that has sadza on one side and stew on the other side.
Sadza is another version of thick corn porridge made from corn meal recognized by Africans.
Chicken and meat stew can also be used to prepare this Sadza or sadza re chibage like the Zimbabwe’s call it. This is another awesome way of preparing corn porridge that most people in Africa greatly fancy.
If you ever find yourself in Zimbabwe, I will advise you order for this delicious dish and enjoy your stay more in the country.
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups white cornmeal
PROCEDURE FOR MAKING SADZA NEMA VEGGIE ANE NYAMA
- In a large pot, pour three cups of water, add salt and allow to boil. Add 1 ½ cup of cornmeal and stir, allow to cook for 3 minutes.
- Stir continuously as the mixture thickens and pull away from pot. Place on a bowl and use a wooden spoon to shapen into a round shape. Allow the sadza to cool and use your wet hands to remove the bits, then shape as desired.
“Akara” is the name for beans ball in Nigeria. This is a deep fried beans cake that is used mainly as breakfast in Nigeria. Most families enjoy this awesome dish with Custard, Pap (corn porridge) and even Oats.
Akara is often fried using groundnut oil, but in some parts of Nigeria, palm oil is used.
Sometimes brown beans is used. It is the ground or blended with onion and chili pepper and afterward fried in vegetable oil.
Every common person can afford this dish as it’s not expensive. Most small time traders, brick layers and farmers enjoy this dish with bread and soft drinks.
Even though it’s mainly eaten in the morning, Akara can be eaten any time of the day.
- 1 cup peeled beans
- 1 raw chilli pepper (Ata rodo) – chopped
- Salt – to taste
- 1/2 of a medium onion – chopped
- Oil for frying
PROCEDURE FOR MAKING AKARA
- Soak the beans for 20 minutes, wash and blend until it’s smooth.
- In a bowl, pour the smooth beans, add salt, onions and chopped pepper, mix for 5 minutes then heat up a pan and add groundnut oil.
- Once oil is hot, scoop ½ spoon and place in oil, add more until pan of oil is fully covered, repeat until smooth beans is finished.
- If you notice a golden brown colour, then your Akara is ready. Serve hot with either fried yam, bread or pap.
If you ever visit Nigeria and you don’t get to eat Suya, then you did miss out. I guess you just have to visit again to enjoy this delicacy.
Suya is a combination of fried meat, grilled over an open flame, wrapped in newspaper and served with onion; cabbage spread all over.
Suya is a special food for every kind of person. For newlywed couples, dates, students and also for businessmen trying to relax and chill out.
This dish is just perfect.
The key to an excellent suya is the spice that is called “yaji”, and the chefs that make this delicacy are called the Mallams.
They will never want to share their recipe, but today is your lucky day as we are going to share it here.
If you are a real lover of meat, this is the meal you shouldn’t miss whenever you visit Nigeria. It’s affordable, and easy to access. In fact, at most joints in Nigeria mostly at night, one or more Suya spots can be sited.
So, when next you visit Nigeria ensure you visit a Suya spot so you too can tell the story yourself.
- 2 pounds of sirloin steak
- ¼ cup roasted almonds/peanuts
- ½ -1 tablespoon cayenne
- 1½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- ½ – 1 tablespoon hot ground pepper or cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chicken Bouillon
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to drizzle on the meat
PROCEDURE FOR MAKING SUYA
- The skewers should be soaked in water for 20 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 450 degree F.
- In a bowl, mix white pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onions powder, hot ground pepper, maggi.
- Peel roasted peanuts and grind, then add to the mixture above.
- Into diagonal shape, slice the steaks, then fix the steaks on the skewer and add the spice mixture on both sides, fully cover the skewer with slices of meat.
- Place the skewer on a roasting sheet with foil paper, sprinkle oil and bake for 15 minutes, serve warm.
SAMP AND BEANS
This South African traditional dish of the Nguni people is referred to as “Isistambu” mainly by the Zulu people and the Xhosa people know it as Umnggusho. This dish is made from cooked sugar beans and crushed corn kernels (Samp).
The sugar beans is a kind of beans that tastes sweet when cooked even without enough ingredients. That’s why it’s referred to as sweet beans. This beans is prepared together with crushed corn and this makes a delicious porridge.
- 4 cups cooked samp and bean mix
- 15ml sunflower oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper chopped
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 3 fat garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tablespoon red chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 410 gr can chopped tomatoes
- 3 cups finely chopped spinach
- ½ cup water
- Fresh coriander chopped
PROCEDURE FOR MAKING SAMP AND BEANS
- Soak the beans and samp overnight. Then drain the water and place in a pot, add water and allow to boil until it’s soft and tender.
- Fry onions, add garlic, curry powder, rainbow pepper and chili pepper. Add tomatoes and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Now add water and leave until it’s thick and saucy.
- Stir the beans and samp, add spinach and leave to heat up for 10 minutes, garnish with chopped coriander.
POUNDED YAM AND EGUSI SOUP
Pounded yam and Egusi soup is very popular in Nigeria and also many parts of the world. The Egusi soup is prepared from ground melon seed and the pounded yam is just extremely crushed white yam.
The Egusi soup is also prepared with leaf of any kind, meat, fish, and seasonings. It is often eaten with Amala, Fufu, Eba and even White Rice.
Any typically Nigerian will prefer pounded yam to any foreign dish not just because it’s a local dish but because of its rich taste and its highly nutritious.
This dish is served in every Nigerian home and in every Nigerian restaurant as well.
Pounded yam and Egusi soup is not for any specific culture or tribe in Nigeria.
- 2 lb(s) boneless goat meat, cut in bite-size pieces
- dried fish, to taste
- Coarse salt
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 4 maggi cubes, or other chicken bouillion cubes
- 3 cup water
- 4 fresh Jamaican chile peppers
- dried shrimp, to taste
- dried crayfish, to taste
- 2 cup melon seed
- 1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed (340 g)
- ½ cup palm oil
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- Pounded Yam
- 2 cup Negro yam flour
- 2 cup water
PROCEDURE FOR MAKING POUNDED YAM AND EGUSI SOUP
- Put goat meat in a pot, add the dried fish after washing, and add onions. Maggi and salt to taste. Add 3 cups of water and allow to cook for 20 minutes.
- Put chilli pepper and onion in a blender and blend, then scrape onion pepper into a bowl and keep aside.
- Put crayfish, shrimp and melon seed in a blender and blend until it is smooth.
- When meat is cooked, add melon seed (Egusi) and mix it.
- Add spinach, oil and maggi cubes (seasonings), cover and allow to cook.
FOR POUNDED YAM
- Peel and boil white yam in pot of water, allow for 20 minutes.
- When cooked, take out and place in a mortar. Pound until soft
- If you don’t want to go through that stress, just heat up water in a pot.
- Once it starts boiling, add yam flour, stir until it’s smooth. Serve warm with Egusi soup.
Finally, wherever you are in the world these are the 10 best African recipes you should try out at home or when next you visit Africa. Africa is a beautiful continent and their food too contributes to the uniqueness of the continent.
Believe me when I say you are really missing out if you haven’t sampled any of these dishes.
Resources Used For Research and For Further Reading:
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