Traditional African food consists of dishes that are essentially nutrient-dense, extremely varied and quite plentiful, being centred around locally grown produce, thus being mostly organic. Therefore, traditional African foods present quite a healthy choice supplying all important nutrients when consumed in the right combinations.
The African Continent is largely expansive and is home to numerous cultural and ethnic populations. Each of them carry distinctive culinary traditions and are very diverse in terms of the ingredients used, cooking techniques and styles of food preparation.
Over the years African Cuisine has imbibed certain elements from other cultures like the Asian, European and Arabian among others. Overall, African Cuisine may be described as a multi-ethnic cuisine bringing together the traditional culinary practices of innumerable tribes, making use of exotic native ingredients and special methods of food preparation typical of this region. Some traditional African foods are-
Moy-moy is basically a savory African cake. The batter can be aged to improve flavor; it can be made firm, medium soft, soft or of spongy texture as desired.
A native vegetarian dish belonging to Western Africa, this dish can be made in multiple ways – it may be pan-fried, smoked, grilled. It can be used in soups, salads and stir-fries and even aged like meat to improve its inherent flavours. The dish consists of lentils and beans cooked in an appetizing manner using simple ingredients like salt, pepper, heated palm or olive oil, Onion, chili pepper, crushed red pepper or Cayenne. Akara powder (ground bean powder) is made into a thick paste by adding sufficient water to form a smooth mixture before adding other ingredients and blending. In order to obtain the traditional Moy moy the mixture is allowed to stand for 8 hours, then refrigerated, possibly overnight till it turns frothy. This is then baked in greased muffin pans and cut after cooling.
Akara are fritters wherein the bean-based blend prepared is deep fried in hot oil until golden brown and crisp on both sides. It is served traditionally with special kosayi sauce which is made using onions, garlic, red palm or olive oil, vinegar, tomato paste, tomato blanched, red hot chiilies, sugar, salt, and pepper. Akara may be served as a side dish during a meal or smaller balls can be served with toothpicks as snacks or appetizer.
Koki, another traditional variant additionally makes use of whipped cream and eggs and is cooked like Moy moy and served with fresh veggies for a balanced light meal.
Fufu is a traditional specialty flour that is formulated to create either dumplings or a mash. The traditional preparation is quick and easy with water added to the flour and stirred to form paste which is then cooked. Fufu flour batter may also serve as coating for frying meats, poultry, and fish, as well as in thickening soups, gravy or stews.
Composition of Fufu might differ, sometimes only corn fufu, rice fufu, or in combination corn rice fufu may be used. Tuho is fufu using sorghum flour. Fresh Plantain Fufu which is enjoyed with meat curries consists of cooked whole plantain and cassava which is then ground into smooth paste.
A traditional staple all across Africa, in Senegal, Couscous is millet based while it is wheat-based in Chad. Couscous uses maize in Cameroon and Cassava along the Ivory Coast, Ghana and most other countries. Garri and Attieke which are two of the most popular foods in African cuisine employ Couscous made using Cassava.
TRADITIONAL AFRICAN KEBAB SEASONINGS
Kyinkyinga is a traditional spice mix which is used as a Kebab seasoning for all kinds of minced meat, fish, and poultry. The kebab ingredients are blended together, shaped, coated with beaten egg, rolled in the Kyinkyinga spicemix and then grilled before serving with salsa and Attieke.
Suya is another kebeb seasoning from Nigeria.
Harissa Paste is typically used in African cuisine to be served along with grilled red meat, chicken, fish, vegetables and is known for its characteristic taste and added appeal.
Venison African Wild Curry
Traditional African Wild Curry employs game meat to produce a rich casserole with an exotic aroma. It is eaten along with Fufu, Couscous, Attieke etc.
Other game meats curries using deer meat, pork meat etc are common in differnt parts.
Injera is a sour flat crepe-like bread from Ethiopia and is made from Teff flour which has a distinctive mild, nutty, unique and pleasant flavour. Injera may be served with meat and vegetable dishes such as Atar Allecha.
Teff is a high-protein, carbohydrate and fibre rich ingredient, that is gluten-free, has high calcium content, and with high levels of B-vitamins, phosphorous, iron, and copper. It is believed to have an excellent amino acid constitution, with excellent lysine levels - higher than either wheat or barley. It may be eaten as porridge and is sometimes used in the sprouted form in salads, as well as an ingredient of homebrewed alcoholic beverages. It is a perfect low Glycaemia Index food.
Porridges are consumed all through the Southern Sahara regions, often mixed with milk, thick curds, whey, or honey.
It is often eaten as a breakfast food and is also served as food for weaning children or ill and elderly persons.