Most people don't get a chance to experience African cuisine. Unless you live in a big city, you probably won't have an African restaurant near you. However, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a classical African meal. You should be able to find most of the ingredients at your local supermarket. The hard-to-get spices are easily ordered online.
So, here are three delicious African dishes to try.
Piri Piri Chicken
This is a famous dish in Mozambique. The dish blends African styles with European influences.
The influence of the Portuguese can be seen in the main ingredient, piri-piri (chili peppers). The Portuguese brought chili peppers to Africa and introduced it into the cuisine. The pepper was added to traditional African ingredients such as cashews.
The dish is very easy to make. Here is the recipe.
- 2 pounds of chicken breasts
- Juice of three lemons
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon diced piri piri peppers (also known as Devil's Eye )
- ¼ cup of olive oil
Mix the lemon juice, garlic, peppers, salt and olive oil together. Place chicken in baking dish and cover with marinade. Let stand overnight in refrigerator. Take out the next day and bake in oven at 350 until done (approximately 20 minutes).
The traditional accompaniment to piri piri chicken is a dish called matapa. Matapa is made by cooking cassava leaves in coconut milk and topping with cashews. If you can't find cassava leaves, then you can substitute kale or collard greens.
- 1 handful of cassava leaves (or kale)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup of coconut milk
- 1 diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup of ground cashews.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt and cassava leaves. Cook the cassava leaves until they are tender. While they are cooking, add the diced onion, garlic and coconut milk to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Drain the cassava leaves and pour the coconut milk over. Garnish the dish with crushed cashews.
Fit-fit is a dish from Ethiopia. It is a bread-based spread or porridge. The two main ingredients are injera (a sour dough flat bread) and berbere (an Ethiopian spice mix). Unless you live near an Ethiopian community, your local stores won't sell these items. You can order African food online, including these items.
1-Tablespoon Berbere Paste (you can order this online if you can't find it locally, do not substitute Asian, Indian or Mexican pepper pastes as they all have different ingredients.)
Juice Of 1 lemon
¼ Cup Olive Oil or Peanut Oil
1 Small Diced Onion
1 Small Diced Tomato
1 Clove Of Crushed Garlic
1 Large Injera (You can substitute other flat breads)
Plain Yogurt For Garnish
Shred the flatbread into strips. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix the lemon, pepper paste, oil, onion, tomato and garlic. Mix it with a whisker. Place the strips of flatbread into the mix and place in the refrigerator for several hours. The bread will absorb the flavors. Don't let it sit overnight because the bread will get too soggy.
Serve cold with yogurt as a topping.