We don’t mean to give you FOMO, but there’s a fair chance that you have missed out on the delectable range of dishes that the continent of Africa prepares the best, no matter which restaurant you go to. However, if you’re planning a trip to Africa anytime soon, here’s what you need to look for in the menu. By Shubhanjana Das
There’s no way your African expedition can be complete without trying the heavenly Bobotie, the national dish of South Africa. This bright yellow preparation of spiced minced meat, which is baked with a thick egg wash topping is served with yellow spicy rice. This is a dish that surprises you with its taste, nullifying any predictions you may have made looking at its colour and texture. The mango chutney, sultanas, and berries that go into its preparation impart a rather interesting taste to it.
2. Jollof Rice And Egusi Soup:
Nigeria is diverse and has many regional cuisines. However, if we had to pin down just one dish for you which makes for a West African favourite, it is the jollof rice, made with rice, tomatoes, onions and pepper for its simplest preparation. This dish is served on special occasions like parties, festive gatherings, etc. along with the egusi soup. The soup is made using ground melon seeds and bitter leaf, to which fried plantains and pounded yam (iyan or fufu) are added.
If you don’t find that to be a familiar name, you may have heard of its synonyms ugali, nshima, pap and phaleche. No matter what it is called, this rich preparation is served with a stew along with a meat and gravy. Collared greens are added for the perfect dietary balance and voila! You have the delectable Sadza, which is eaten best with your hands for the absolute best culinary experience.
4. PiriPiri Chicken, Mozambique:
Did that bring a smile on your face already? We know, that’s the usual reaction that this spicy and fiery preparation of chicken using lime, pepper, garlic, coconut milk and piri piri sauce, the traditional Mozambiquan name for the dish is Galinha à Zambeziana. It is usually served with matapa, which is cassava leaves prepared with a nutty peanut sauce. Even writing that made us a little hungry!
5. Pilau Rice:
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because traditional Tanzanian and Zanzibari dish has massive Indian influences (and perhaps even origin) when it comes to the use of spices. Known to us as ‘pulao’, the African preparation shares with us more than just a similarity in the name. The technique of cooking rice in seasoned broth germinated in the Middle East, spread to India (and Africa) which led to the birth of the term ‘pilaf’. Star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, curry powder, black pepper, garlic, ginger, onions, bell paper… the list of ingredients is simply unending, but surprisingly, the end result is quite straightforward. Don’t take our word. Try for yourselves!