10 Feb

Top African Food; where Nigerian food comes in.

Africa is a beautiful continent famed for its wildlife, stunning landscapes, the vast array of cultures, and fascinating histories.

But, as the second-largest continent on Earth and housing more than a billion people, Africa is home to some of the most diverse culinary cultures. With such diversity, the continent is a food lover’s paradise.

Many African dishes have influences from around the world and often contain grains, meat, root vegetables, and robust spices.

From the shores of Cape Town to the Sahara Desert, from the West African coast to the horn of Somalia, here are some of the most popular African foods.

1. Tajine

Tajine is a stew that originated in North Africa, and it’s common in Algeria and Morocco.

Tajine is prepared with spices, slow-cooked meats, seasoning, and vegetables or fruits.

What is unique about tajine is its sweet and sour flavor. The taste of the fruit and meat mixes into a savory taste.

But, Tunisian tajine is a little different. The Tunisian dishes are like frittatas, with fresh herbs, starches, and small pieces of meat.

The name tajine comes from the pottery in which it’s served.


2. Braai

Braai’s are a method of cooking meat in South Africa that’s usually done on holidays or special occasions.

It’s reminiscent of the American barbecue, but it lasts hours. The fire used to cook the meat remains lit long after the food is eaten.

The long cooking times allow South Africans to connect with their family and friends by sharing drinks and stories next to the fire.


3. Bobotie

Bobotie is a South African dish made with meat and egg. You can serve bobotie with various side dishes such as chutney or rice.

Bobotie is made by mincing a meat layer beneath a baked egg coating. Typical meat choices include:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb

It’s common to add chopped onions, raisins, sultanas, walnuts, and other regional toppings. These toppings sweeten the dish.

Bobotie is made prepared with bay leaves on top for additional flavor. Bobotie is considered a national dish in South Africa.

4. Egusi Soup

Egusi soup is a staple food in West Africa. Made from squash and melon seeds, it’s a thick soup that might seem more like chowder to Western consumers.

The seeds are grounded into egusi paste after they blend with an onion mixture. It should take you less than an hour to make.

Once you’ve made the paste, heat some vegetable stock and scoop balls of the paste into the pan.

Feel free to add meat or other ingredients. Pumpkin leaf and spinach are common ingredients.

It’s a potent meal that’s extremely savory and nutty. All the ingredients come together to form a flavor that you just can’t find in most western meals.

5. Jollof Rice

Jollof Rice is a popular Senegambian dish. Jollof rice is spicy and is served with vegetables and meat.

The rice itself is red-orange because of the puree of tomato paste. The rice used is typically long grain and parboiled.

Jollof rice is so common in Africa that each country has its unique recipe for how to make it. These recipes are often significantly different.

In Nigeria, the dish is paired with a bean pudding called moimoi and fried plantains. In Ghana, it’s often served with pepper sauce, known as shito.

I love the Nigerian version because of the complex flavors from the plantains and moimoi.

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