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16 West African Dishes To Try At Home

16 West African Dishes To Try At Home

Sharing African Dishes from West Africa.

One of the funniest questions we have gotten as Africans in the diaspora is “What kind of African dishes do they serve in Africa?”. Obviously, spicy-delicious-tasty Africa dishes that makes people want to sell their rights. Have you heard of Esau selling his birthright for porridge? We’re guessing it was a porridge recipe from Nigeria which has; beef, vegetable, tomato sauce, bell pepper etc. Hey non-African readers, here’s a reminder Africa is a continent with 54 diverse and rich country. If you’re looking to try African dishes for a little bit of spice let’s share some more we found.

Traditional African Dishes in West Africa:

  • 'Wagassi' is from the Republic of Benin, it is a red cheese made from Beninese cow milk, which can be eaten fresh or fried. Wagassi can sometimes be added in a sauce to soak up the flavours of the food if the flavour is too much. 

Wagassi: One of African dishes from Republic of Benin

  • 'Saghbo' is from Burkina Faso, it is a cooled porridge-like cake made from grain. It is served with tomato sauce, carrots, pepper, sumbala, vegetables and occasionally goat meat.

One of the famous African dishes from Burkina Faso: Saghbo  

  • Cape Verde serves us Cachupa: Cachupa is the national comfort Africa dish of Cape Verde. It is stew made with vegetables, legumes and grains along with pork fat. This African dish is served with rice.

One of Cape Verde traditional African dishes: Cachupa 

  • Gambia is popular for having fresh fish so most items on their menu include fish. For example, their traditional dish Superkanja is a mix of okra, fish, palm oil, onions and pepper boiled.
  • Waakye means “Beans” in Hausa. It is a simple but popular traditional dish that contains; rice and black-eyed peas. The rice and beans duo are cooked with red dried sorghum leaves and limestone though the sorghum is taken out after cooking it helps to enhance the taste of the food. 

African dishes from Ghana; Waakye

  • Couscous is a Guinea-Bissau dish which is a steam ball of crushed durum wheat semolina. The semolina is rolled into pellet form, sprinkled with water and then sieved. When it’s time to be prepared, couscous is then hydrated and steamed over stew until it has a consistent texture.
  • Ivory Coast Kedjenou is a spicy stew that is slow-cooked in a terra-cotta pot over firewood. It is prepared with native chicken and vegetables.

African dishes from Ivory Coast includes, Kedjenou

  • 'Liberian Cabbage Stew' as the name suggests is a traditional stew in Liberia. It's made with a combination of cabbage, chicken, Maggi cubes, meat tenderizer, beef, tomato paste, black pepper, chicken bouillon, onions, and vegetable oil. The stew is then simmered until it thickens and the chicken becomes tender. It is recommended that the stew is carefully watched to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  •  For this dish, from Mali, meat is marinated in peanut butter to create "Mafe": Maf means 'groundnut stew'. This rich meat stew is thickened with ground peanuts and gives it a wonderful sweet-salty flavour. The ingredients and flavours for this dish vary by region. Some recipes involve cooking the peanut butter in tomato paste. This will give additional depth to the sauce's flavour.

Mafe from Mali traditional dish

  • "Mazavaroo" is a side dish from Mauritania which is a mixture of hot finely chopped chillies served with almost any meal.
  • Egusi soup from Nigeria is made from melon seeds which are rich in fat and protein. These seeds are dried and grounded up into semi-smooth form. This soup typically contains leafy vegetables, fish and meat. It is popular among the southern people of Nigeria where it is usually eaten with pounded yam. This soup variation can be found all over West African countries.

Nigeria traditional dish, Egusi soup with pounded yam

  • Yassa from Senegal and Guinea is a spicy, delicious dish that has a base of onions, garlic, peppers and cabbage. This is topped with chicken which has been marinated with lemon and onions. In Senegalese staple, it is one of the most popular food items in West Africa.

Poulet Yassa Chicken rice with onion sauce

  • In Guinea, the chicken is dipped in a sauce mix of peanut oil, chilli pepper, lemon juice, sliced onion, salt, pepper, bay leaf, garlic, onion and made to sit overnight. This allows the chicken to be infused with all of that spice. The next day the toughness of the chicken is well-tended and spiced so the flavour can be tasted evenly when cooked.
  • Sierra Leone: Cassava and potato leaf stews: A little like spinach, these leaves are mixed with various spices and fish stock and served with fish, goat or chicken. Plasas is a stew made with any greens such as potato leaves, spinach, kale along with some meat and eaten with rice or some starchy component.

Sierra Leone Plasas with sauce with cocoyam leaf

  • Togo: Djenkoume is a traditional Togolese tomato-cornmeal cake which is perfect with many dishes like grilled meat, grilled chicken, and any other west African meal found in Togo.

Fun Fact:

One dish like fufu and rice could be traditional for almost 16 countries. Though these countries have varieties of food in common there's always a food war on who makes the best Jollof rice. If anyone asks, we didn’t say anything but we know who does. Can you guess who?

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