If you want to try making some African recipes at home but you’re not sure where to start then keep reading. We have put together this list of some of the best African recipes that you can recreate in your own kitchen.
Try them one at a time or choose a few and put together an African inspired feast for your family and friends.
This is a great recipe to start off with as it can all be made in one pan. The chicken has a deliciously crispy skin but the meat is tender and juicy.
The peanut and coconut sauce is a perfect balance of sweet, savory, nutty and spicy and is packed with colorful vegetables. This hearty meal is ready in only 20 minutes and is ideal for a busy weeknight.
This is a slow cooked meal, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare it. The meat should be so tender that it melts in your mouth, with a deep and fragrant flavor.
The exotic spices of cumin, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon create a complex and layered taste that will excite your senses and create a wonderful aroma in the kitchen.
This recipe for stove top eggs can be enjoyed at any time of day. You can try it for breakfast instead of your usual fried eggs, or eat it as a light evening meal with some crusty bread to mop up the rich tomato sauce.
It takes 40 minutes to make and is bursting with flavors of cumin, chili and garlic.
Chakalaka is a South African side dish which is similar to a vegetable relish. It is often served alongside meat and seafood. It is colorful, packed with nutritious vegetables, and has a spicy kick.
It also has beans in it which adds protein and a lovely, earthy flavor to complement the aromatic spices. Each family will have their own version of Chakalaka.
It is quite a versatile recipe and you can switch out the vegetables for whatever you have to hand.
Dukkah is an Egyptian delicacy that is very simple but incredibly delicious. It is basically toasted nuts and sesame seeds flavored with cumin and coriander, blended together.
You can serve it with good quality olive oil and crusty bread as an appetizer, or use it as a garnish or meat, stew, salad or hummus. Once you realize how easy it is to make Dukkah you will want to make it all the time.
This aromatic stew originates from West Africa. It is rich, tangy, nutty, and spicy. One of the great things about this stew is how versatile it is – you can use whatever type of meat you fancy, or keep it vegetarian.
Use whatever vegetables are in season or something that you know your family will love. If you are using meat, the trick is to rub it with the spices before you brown it off. This seals in all of the amazing flavors.
If you are looking for a tasty vegetarian African recipe then this bean stew is ideal. The beans provide protein which make the stew very filling, and there are lots of healthy vegetables to add flavor.
The coconut based broth is sweet and creamy which contrasts with all of the savory flavors from the beans and vegetables.
Zaalouk is a Moroccan dip made from eggplant. You can eat it as a dip with some toasted flatbread, or use it as a delicious salad topping.
Once you know how to make it you will want to eat it with everything from meat to seafood to vegetables. The eggplant is simmered with tomatoes, garlic, herbs and spices to create a vibrant flavor. Fresh lemon juice adds a delightful zingy edge.
This soup is simple but very satisfying. The main ingredients are peanut butter, tomatoes and collard greens. There is also plenty of garlic, and some fragrant ginger.
You can make the soup as spicy or as mild you like depending on your personal preference. If you want to make the meal more filling, serve the soup over some steamed rice.
Kedjenou chicken, also known as Ivory Coast Stew, is a bold and spicy dish that is not for the faint hearted. If you want to have a taste of some authentic African food with a kick then give this a try.
You can use whatever cut of chicken you prefer, but bone-in chicken will be the most succulent and tender. Onion, bell pepper and eggplant are the base vegetables for the stew, but you can add in more if you like.
Thyme, bay leaves, smoked paprika, garlic, ginger and hot peppers create a unique and distinctive flavor.
Bobotie is a well known African dish that is similar to meatloaf. The beef is flavored with sweet curry and the egg custard topping creates a silky element to the dish.
You can serve this on its own, with crusty bread, a vegetable side dish, salad, or with any type of African rice dish. It is an unusual flavor if you have never tried it before, but it is one you will fall in love with.
If you love aromatic Moroccan spices then this lentil soup will be perfect for you. It is hearty and satisfying and packed full of flavor. It is ideal if you want to cater for vegetarian friends and family, or to serve as an appetizer with some grilled flatbread.
This dish gets its name from the black rice that is used, also called forbidden rice. It has an earthy flavor and a chewy texture that works really well with cilantro, lemon juice, and olive oil dressing.
The salad also contains pistachios, green onion and cinnamon. All of the ingredients come together to create a unique flavor profile that will keep you coming back for more.
If there is an African dish that you have heard of before it is probably Chicken Jollof rice.
This family favorite is a West African dish that is enjoyed at almost every occasion – weddings, funerals, christenings, birthdays – if there is a family gathering then someone will make Chicken Jollof rice.
It is vibrant and flavorsome and is a great recipe to try as an introduction to African cooking.
15. Fried Plantains
Fried plantains can be served as a side dish to almost any African meal. They are soft on the inside with a crispy outside, and they have a wonderful sweet flavor. They are so simple to make that you will be surprised you didn’t try it sooner.
This is a chicken curry like you have never tasted before. Curry powder is used for the complex spices, mustard powder gives it a kick, vinegar adds acidity, brown sugar and apricot preserve introduce sweetness.
Onions and garlic provide fragrance, and altogether the curry has a perfectly balanced flavor.
Doro Wat is a red curry that uses an Ethiopian spice blend for an authentic flavor. The onions are browned to give them a deep flavor, and the chicken is dry rubbed with the spice blend to seal in the flavors.
You can serve it with Injera bread, which we have a recipe for later on down the list.
18. Harissa Chicken
Harissa is a North African chili pepper paste and it is used in this recipe to marinade the chicken. It can be mild or very spicy depending on how much chili is used and what type of chili peppers are used.
You can use any cut of chicken for this recipe, but skin on cuts like thighs and drumsticks work best. The skin becomes crispy and takes on a lot of the spicy kick.
If you are looking for a flavorsome African rice dish that you can serve with any meat or vegetable dish, then you should try this East African pilau. It can be made with or without meat.
This recipe uses beef which really makes it stand out as a delicious meal.
Harira is a Moroccan style soup with lentils and chickpeas. It has a bright, fresh flavor with plenty of warm spices. It can be enjoyed as an appetizer served with warm flatbread and slices of fresh lemon, as a side dish, or as a main dish served over rice.
This is a classic African side dish that can also be enjoyed as a main meal. It is quick and easy to make yet incredibly satisfying.
The spinach is flavored with garlic, thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika, chicken stock and tomatoes. It is cooked with smoked turkey and sauteed prawns for a deep flavor and succulent textures.
22. Egyptian Koshari
Koshari is the national dish of Egypt and can be enjoyed at restaurants or as street food. It takes a little while to make but the ingredients are very cheap and the meal is filling.
The main components are onions, lentils, chickpeas, short grain rice, vermicelli, tomato, garlic and cumin.
Akwadu is a baked breakfast dish of banana and coconut. You can use plantain instead of banana if you prefer, and you can cook it with or without the peel. The cinnamon adds a warmth that is comforting and delicious.
24. Kenyan Githeri
Githeri is a simple Kenyan dish of corn and beans. It is great for people on a budget as the ingredients are very cheap. It is also vegetarian and vegan, so it caters for different dietary requirements.
Injera is an Ethiopian flatbread with a slightly sour flavor. It goes really well alongside African curries and spicy dishes. The bread is spongy and soaks up the sauce. It is often used as a ‘plate’ to serve the curry on.
These beef skewers are ideal for a BBQ or an African cookout. The beef is marinated in a peanut sauce, and then grilled to perfection with a crispy edge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Can You Get African Ingredients From?
Some large grocery stores will have a ‘world food’ section where you may be able to get hold of some of the ingredients you need.
You can also check online to see if your local area has any specialist food shops that stock African produce. Failing this, you should be able to get what you need online.
Can You Customize These Recipes?
Feel free to experiment with different customizations such as switching the meat, choosing your own vegetables, or using more or less spice depending on your personal preferences.
How Should You Serve These Recipes?
You can serve these recipes one at a time, or create a big, African style cookout for your family and friends with multiple dishes.
This list is packed full of a range of African recipes to get you started with African cooking. Once you master these recipes, have a look for some more to expand your knowledge.