Africa’s cuisine is rich in flavor, variety, and history. From heavily meat-focused regions such as South Africa that loves all things braai (barbecue), to strictly vegetarian communities in the inland Savannah of East Africa, there is no one menu of dishes that could ever sufficiently summarize Africa’s incredible variety of foods. Each corner of the continent has its own unique identity, from North Africa to West Africa, South Africa, East Africa, and Central Africa. You’ll find that milk, cu…
d, and whey are celebrated in some regions, whereas meat, chicken, fish, or grains are at the center of other regional African cuisines.
Over many centuries and beyond, African cuisine has been influenced by Middle Eastern, British, Indian, and other cultures, who introduced curries, lentil soups, saffron, cloves, and much more. Today, due to Africa’s expansive landscape and historical influences, Africa’s culinary identity is vast and exciting.
Not only are the flavors and ingredients in African cuisine distinct by region, but so are the cooking methods and the dining experience. In Ethiopia in the East, for example, it is common for diners to eat from a communal platter, tearing off pieces of bread and dipping them into the stew. In Morocco and other North African countries, a covered dish called a tagine is used to cook stew in a public oven. In Southern Africa, fermentation is a common preparation method, including brewing beer and making yogurt or sour milk to drink.
As you explore African cuisine via Yummly recipes, you might be surprised to see just how many dishes you recognize! Couscous? Yep! Shawarma? Yep! Shakshuka and pastilla, too. But don’t stop there. Other popular African dishes include peri peri chicken (chicken cooked with sauce made from African chili peppers), tajine (Moroccan stew), ta'meya (Egyptian fava bean falafel), braai (barbecue), kunāfah (sweet, shredded filo pastry dessert), fufu (pounded yam), wat (Ethiopian stew), ugali (maize porridge), suya (spicy meat skewer), egusi soup (melon soup), injera (sour flatbread), pilau (spiced rice like pilaf), bobotie (South African curry-spiced ground beef casserole), and jollof rice (a rice dish with tomatoes and meat).
Ready to stock your pantry and fridge with commonly used ingredients for African recipes? Pick up some of these items:
- collard greens
- sweet potato
Beans and grains:
- peanut butter
- berbere spice (spicy Ethiopian spice blend)
- harissa (hot chili pepper paste)
Browse the recipes below for a taste of Africa at home!
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