Best African Cooking in 2022

An Overview of African Cooking

If you're interested in learning how to cook authentic African food, this article will give you a general overview of some of the main ingredients and cooking methods used in Africa. It will also cover equipment used, and the types of stews available. Keep reading for more information. After reading this article, you'll be well on your way to cooking authentic African food. We hope you enjoy it! Then, be sure to visit our recipe section for more ideas!

Traditional ingredients

Many traditional ingredients in African cooking are derived from native species and imported crops. For example, the staple of African cuisine is fufu, a thick starch often dipped into soups or stews. Other common ingredients include peanuts, onions, and fish. This cuisine also incorporates many spices and salts. A few examples are provided below. Listed below are some common African ingredients that make for delicious dishes. Listed below are some of these staples.

Most traditional ingredients in African cooking are native to Africa and are available in many regions. Grains that are native to Africa include sorghum, millet, teff, and teff. Depending on the region, you may also find vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, and okra in traditional dishes. The ingredients that make up these dishes also vary considerably, but most include rice, butter, eggs, milk, and flour.

Many North African dishes have similar names, including couscous, a traditional North African dish. Made from crushed durum wheat and semolina flour, couscous is a versatile, nutritious and flavorful ingredient that originated in the Berber people between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. Traditional preparation of couscous includes sprinkling water over hard wheat flour and then rolling it into irregular balls. Once formed, the cous is cooked as a carbohydrate-rich vessel for a variety of sauces.

Aside from starches, traditional African dishes also include a variety of spices. In addition to hot peppers, you can find curry, cumin, and sesame seeds, which are not native to Africa. Other spices include ground seeds, boiled mushrooms, and ogilie, a starchy paste made from boiled seeds. These are all common ingredients in African cooking. They are an essential part of their traditional diet and can add a unique touch to any meal.


There are several different African cooking methods. For example, in many parts of Africa, cooking is done over an open fire, known as braaivleis (in Afrikaans) or shisa nyama (in isiZulu). The indigenous people would also bake, cook, or roast food over hot coals, a process called roasting. Many African dishes were roasted, but today you'll find them baked or boiled.

Most people in Africa eat meat or fish, but in some parts of Africa, meats are eaten. The Khoisan (also known as "San" by Bantu-speaking people) ate various types of wild animals and plants, including fruits and vegetables. After leaving the British colonial territories, Afrikaans were forced to cook over fire to survive. Their cuisine eventually evolved and included dishes such as potjiekos, a meat stew that is traditionally cooked in cast-iron pots.

In West Africa, cooking styles varied greatly, but the general approach was the same. Many foods in West Africa were heavily seasoned with spices, such as peppers and spiced cedar. In the Ivory Coast, these ingredients are known as atiokwo, while in Sierra Leone, they are known as an-gbonto (tea bush).

Similarly, stews are a staple of South African cuisine. They require special seasoning and must be cooked with minimal liquid. Tomato mutton stews, for example, must be prepared in small amounts with minimal stirring. However, this means that it will take a bit longer than usual to prepare. To make stews, you'll need to add spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom.


Almost every mouthwatering party food in West-Africa is cooked in a large cast-iron pot. This pot is balanced on stones or hung over a fire. The food is then wrapped in banana leaves or corn husks and placed directly over the hot coals. A thick cast-iron pot also serves as an oven, frying pan, and a variety of other cooking purposes. For example, it can be used to roast meat, make porridge, and stew.

Another essential piece of equipment for African cooking is a mortar and pestle. Pounding spices and starches is a necessary step in the traditional African kitchen. While you can use a food processor to do the same thing, a mortar and pestle set is less prone to damage to the pots. Besides, it doesn't require electricity. And it's easy to clean, so it's worth the investment.

Besides these tools, you should also have a good cookbook about African cuisine. Many African cookbooks are based on traditional recipes and are realistic for busy cooks. Some of them are even vegetarian or vegan. Aside from classic recipes, African cookbooks also include tips and tricks for preparing African, Caribbean, and soul food dishes. Some cookbooks even include recipes for traditional Haitian dishes. This is the first step in learning about the African cuisine.

While modern families have switched to metallic and ceramic utensils, the traditional clay pot is still an essential part of the African kitchen. Many families still prefer the earthenware cooking pot, as it keeps food hot and keeps it cool. However, there are newer, more efficient, and more eco-friendly cooking pots available on the market today. A wooden fruit bowl, a carved pestle, and a huge boiling bowl can be used in modern kitchens.


There are several different ways to make stews in African cooking. The most common way is to use a blend of chicken stock, tomato paste, and spices. Many African stews use cinnamon and black pepper, both of which have a savoury and aromatic flavor. You can also add a cube of Maggi or chicken bouillon powder to the stew. You can also use half to one cup of water to make the stew a bit thicker. To make the stew, you must first cut the beef into bite-size pieces and wash it thoroughly. Then, you need to add water, a little salt, and the rest of the ingredients.

Another popular stew in African cooking is the African beef stew. This hearty stew can easily feed a crowd and can be supplemented with vegetables. It can be served with rice or beans. A blend of canned and raw acidic tomatoes is the base for this stew, and you will then add seared beef and vegetables. Cook for forty or sixty minutes until the desired consistency is reached. African beef stew is gluten-free, Whole30, and Paleo-friendly.

Another popular way to cook beef stew is by using the less expensive parts of the animal. The most common cuts for cooking a stew are the shoulder and rear parts of beef. If you want the meat to be more tender, choose bone-in cuts. Other spices, such as curry powder, add flavor to the stew. After the meat is cooked, add chopped onions and coconut milk. You can also add crushed tomatoes and beef broth to the stew.


The Influences of African Cooking explores the culinary traditions and cultural contributions of Africans throughout the world. Through recipes, historians and sociologists explain how African cooks adapted new spices and tastes to create a wide range of dishes. The book demonstrates how the material and symbolic value of food has changed throughout history. Although African cooking may be considered primitive, its diverse and multifaceted flavors have long been popular with American families and the general public.

The influence of Portuguese and Spanish cuisines can be seen throughout West African cooking. This region is home to the vast rainforest basin of the Congo River to the highlands of Kivu and the savannah of Katanga. While Portuguese influence is most apparent in Angola, Sao Tome, and Equatorial Guinea, many African dishes are influenced by Southern, East, and Western Africa. These cultures are closely linked, and many African dishes share similarities with their neighbors.

The food and drink of the African people has had a profound influence on the world's cuisine. Many Americans and British people are familiar with biltong and barbecue, which are staples in the cuisine of southern Africa. However, there's more to African cooking than just smoked meat. Historically, Africans used beer to add nutrients to their diets. Women were the primary source of beer, and the skill to make it was often a barometer of a woman's status. A non-alcoholic drink called mageu is also popular in the African continent.

The cooking of North Africa has roots in the ancient empires of North Africa, as the region stretches along the Mediterranean Sea. Egyptian cuisine is an example of this, dating back to African antiquity. Other influences from Europeans include the Romans and the Carthaginians, who introduced wheat and semolina to North Africa. The Berbers, meanwhile, adapted semolina into couscous. In addition, olives were introduced long before the Romans arrived.

Becky Watson

Commissioning Editor in Walker’s “6+” team. I work on books across the different children’s genres, including non-fiction, fiction, picture books, gift books and novelty titles. Happy to answer questions about children's publishing – as best I can – for those hoping to enter the industry!

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