Africa has had a long and interesting relationship with food, and the diversity of the food available on the continent will leave the most ardent of foodies largely impressed. This history with food goes back to the days’ spice traders from as far as Portugal established trade relationships with Africa. This was followed by colonisation and this further influenced the dishes on the continent greatly. Ranging from humble grains, root vegetables, and a wide variety of proteins from fish to venison, Africa’s food has proven very popular with tourists. It is authentic, flavourful and most importantly, tasty!
Also read:Amazing Foods Of Zanzibar That You’ll Love
Below are just a few of Africa’s Favourite dishes
- Shisa Nyama (BBQ meat) Southern Africa
Shisa Nyama. [Photo:Tred Hunter]
The combination of barbecued meat and a thick maise porridge is beloved across the Southern African countries, particularly Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa. South Africa has gone a step further and puts a national day of barbecuing on the calendar making this the art of the humble bbq a national sport. This meal has a selection of beef cuts, chicken, lamb and sausages like the famous boerewors. The meat is cooked on hot wood coals until tender and slightly charred and served with a thick maise porridge, gravy, and salads selection. With the addition of your favourite beer and you have a meal fit for a King.
- Piri Piri Chicken. Mozambique
Piri Piri chicken in Mozambique. [Photo: Taste]
This Portuguese influenced dish consists of chicken marinated in a spicy marinade made up of cumin, garlic, lemon juice, birds’ eye chilli and paprika. The marinated chicken is then grilled on wooden coal and has a unique spicy flavour that will have you asking for more.
Also read:Top 5 Zimbabwean Foods You Should Try
- Jollof Rice, Nigeria
Classic Cameroonian Jollof Rice served with chicken drum sticks [Photo by Wazobia African Market]
Jollof rice is a family favourite in Nigeria and is quintessentially the perfect metaphor of how diverse this vast nation is, everyone has their version of the dish. The fundamentals of every version are that this dish’s base is centred on a delicious tomato-based sauce. This seemingly simple one-pot dish is made up of rice and a tomato soup sauce with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and a variety of spices. To elevate jollof rice, some add different meats and ingredients such as coconut milk, this approach results in delicious variations across the whole country and one should never leave Nigeria without having tried this popular dish
- South Africa
African saugage (Boerewors) preparation – See Africa Today
The name Boerewors is derived from two words –Boer, a term for the farmer, and wors, which means sausage. This spicy flavourful farmer’s sausage has become a source of national pride and is made up of the finest ingredients available. Shaped as a coil, the sausage contains at least 90% of quality beef mixed with some lamb or pork, and the other 10% consists of spices such as nutmeg, coriander seeds, black pepper and other ingredients. Boerewors is so versatile it can be eaten with a thick maise porridge or in a bun as a hot dog.
Also read: Top 7 Foods (Recipes) Every Visitor Must Try While In Egypt
This thick and creamy vegetarian dish is the most popular in Tanzania. Prepared with leafy vegetables such as spinach or amaranth with a dash of coconut milk, grated coconut, peanut butter, onions and tomatoes. Served with rice, samp, and a side of beans, Michich will surprise you how such humble ingredients can be tasty.
Very few people would associate hummus with Africa, but this dish is trendy in the North of the continent. Made up of mashed chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic and tahini sesame paste, gives a beige coloured spread that is tangy and delicious. Not only is hummus delicious, but it is also nutrient-rich and can be served as a dip for vegetables or as a filling in flour-based flatbreads. To elevate a simple hummus, some people add spices and olive oil and fresh herbs and vegetables.
- Chicken tajine, Morocco
Chicken Tangine [Photo: Moroccan Zest]
Chicken tagine is a traditional Moroccan dish of chicken pieces (preferably bone-in cuts) braised with spices, garlic, onion, olives, and preserved lemons. Prepared in a traditional eponymous conical cooking vessel with the chicken arranged with a medley of vegetables such as onion, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. This spicy flavour bomb is seasoned with cumin, saffron, parsley and coriander. Other variations may include olives, almonds, or apricots to make a deserving of special festive occasions.
- North Africa
Couscous [Photo: Once Upon A Chef]
Couscous is a popular staple food of numerous North African countries. This dish consists of semolina that has been rolled and well coated in flour and then steamed and dried. Couscous has a light, fluffy texture, with a neutral, bland flavour, that makes it perfect for soaking up the flavours of other ingredients like tajines extremely well. This is why it is so popular in North African countries such as Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and Libya.
9. Birk, Tunisia
Brik is a flaky dough filled with a variety of savoury ingredients. Traditionally, malsouqa dough is used to create brik, but phyllo pastry can be used as a replacement as it is more available. Brik is usually made by layering the laminated pastry to achieve a crunchy texture. The pockets are then filled with tuna and other delicious Tunisian fillings, and it is the skilfully folded, fried in deep oil or baked in an oven.
Injera Chipa . [Photo: by the dozen]
Injera is an Ethiopian flatbread with a spongy texture, an integral part of the locals’ life. Ths bread is made from teff, a grain which is considered the tiniest grain in the world. Turf is also considered a super grain due to its high nutritious properties. Injera is so popular that it has been included in a daily greeting. Ethiopians greet each other by asking one another “Did you eat injera today?”, and when the answer is yes, that is taken to assure that the other person that all is well.