Celebrate Africa Day with these dishes from the continent

African cuisine has distinctive dishes, preparation techniques and ingredients to create delicious and unique dishes.

Traditionally, African cuisine was made using a combination of locally available fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, milk and meat products, and did not usually include foods that have been imported.

Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa, southern Africa and West Africa all have distinctive dishes, preparation techniques and ingredients that they use to create their delicious and unique cuisines.

African cuisine has been introduced to western culture and today you can easily find your favourite African dishes at local restaurants.

The next time you are yearning for a taste of African cuisine, be sure to try one of these:

Tripe stew – all across Africa 

Tripe is the edible lining from the stomach of various farm animals such as cows, goats, pigs, and sheep. Tripe is eaten in many parts of the continent of Africa and usually prepared as a soup or stew to be eaten with a desired starch dish.

In South Africa tripe is known as “mogodu” or “ulusu”. In Kenya it is known as “matumbo” and “Shaki” in Nigeria.

Goat intestine stew and gravy. Picture: iStock

African stiff maize porridge/pap/sadza/ugali/nsima/funge – all across Africa

Bogobe pap, ugali, nsima, sadza, and fungu is a type of maize of cassava flour porridge made in Africa. Pap is a staple food in most African countries, if not all of them, and is cooked in boiling water or milk (in a few African countries), until it reaches a stiff or firm dough-like consistency.

Pap is usually eaten with “seshebo,” which refers to a meaty or savoury dish.

African stiff maize porridge. Picture: iStock

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Piri Piri chicken – Mozambique 

Piri piri chicken is a dish that has both African and Portuguese roots. The chicken is prepared with hot peppers, lemon and garlic. The piri piri chicken dish is often considered to  be the national dish of Mozambique.

The chicken can be prepared to your own heat tolerance, but it should be a little spicy and hot to be authentic.

The African bird’s eye is the chili that is usually used to make the piri piri sauce.

Mozambique piri piri chicken. Picture: iStock

Egusi Soup with pounded yam – Nigeria

Egusi is the name given to the protein rich seeds of certain cucurbitaceous plants that are used to create the egusi soup. The soup is thickened with ground melon seeds, and it contains a variety vegetables.

Egusi soup is one of the most popular soups prepared by most tribes in Nigeria and is often eaten with dishes like pounded yam.

Egusi soup can be prepared with goat, beef or even fish.

Nigerian egusi soup served with pounded yam or fufu. Picture: iStock

Jollof rice – Nigeria 

Jollof rice is popular in West and sub-Saharan Africa. The dish is typically made with long grain rice, tomatoes, onions, spices, vegetables and various meat in a single pot.

The cuisine is often served with fried, ripe plantains and coleslaw.

Nigerian jollof rice. Picture: iStock

Shisanyama or braai meat – South Africa 

South Africans usually braai once a week, as it is a chance to get the friends and family together. Before you can add the meat to the “braai,” or fire, you need to make sure that most of your meat which is unseasoned, is spiced and marinated well.

Temperature is also an important fact when braaing, as too much heat will result in your meat being burnt on the inside, but not cooked on the inside.

Braai meat is usually enjoyed with salads, rolls, garlic bread or even pap.

South African braai meat. Picture: iStock

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