This is a list of African cuisines. A cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, often associated with a specific culture. The various cuisines of Africa use a combination of locally available fruits, cereal grains and vegetables, as well as milk and meat products. In some parts of the continent, the traditional diet features a preponderance of milk, curd and whey products. In much of tropical Africa, however, cow's milk is rare and cannot be produced locally (owing to various diseases that affect livestock). The continent's diverse demographic makeup is reflected in the many different eating and drinking habits, dishes, and preparation techniques of its manifold populations.
The Cuisine of Central Africa remains largely traditional because of the remote nature of the region, which remained relatively isolated until the 19th century. Some foods, such as cassava (a food staple in Central Africa), groundnuts (peanuts) and chili peppers were imported from the New World.Plantains are also common in Central African cuisine. Meats, such as crocodile, antelope, monkey and warthog, are sometimes hunted in the forests.Bambra is a porridge made from cooked rice, peanut butter and sugar. A jomba is the bundling of foods in fresh green plantain leaves and then cooking them over hot coals or fire.
Cameroonian cuisine is one of the most varied in Africa due to its location on the crossroads between the north, west, and center of the continent; added to this is the profound influence of French food, a legacy of the colonial era.
Congolese cuisine (Democratic Republic of the Congo) cuisine varies widely, representing the food of indigenous people. Cassava is generally the staple food usually eaten with other side dishes.
Burundian cuisine - Burundi is situated in Central Africa and has a territory full of mountains, savannas and agricultural fields, with forests in the surrounding of rivers and waters. Agriculture is spread on 80% of the country's surface and it especially includes coffee, tea, corn, beans and manioc.
Kenyan cuisine - There is no singular dish that represents all of Kenya. Different communities have their own native foods. Staples are maize and other cereals depending on the region including millet and sorghum eaten with various meats and vegetables. The foods that are universally eaten in Kenya are ugali, sukuma wiki, and nyama choma.
Ugandan cuisine consists of traditional and modern cooking styles, practices, foods and dishes in Uganda, with English, Arab, Asian and especially Indian influences. Like the cuisines of most countries, it varies in complexity, from the most basic, a starchy filler with a sauce of beans or meat, to several-course meals served in upper-class homes and high-end restaurants.
Maasai cuisine - The staple diet of the Maasai consists of cow's milk and maize-meal. The cuisine also consists of soups from plants and fruits. More recently, the Maasai have grown dependent on food produced in other areas such as maize meal, rice, potatoes, and cabbage (known to the Maasai as goat leaves).
Eritrean cuisine is a fusion of Eritrea's native culinary traditions, and the area's long history of trade and social interchanges with other regions and cultures.
Ethiopian cuisine and Eritrean cuisine characteristically consist of spicy vegetable and meat dishes, usually in the form of wat (or wot), a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdoughflatbread, which is about 50 centimetres (20 inches) in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour.Ethiopians eat with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes. Utensils are rarely used with this dish.
Nile perch are one of the world's largest freshwater fish and a significant food source. It reaches a maximum length of over six feet, weighing up to 440 lbs, although many fish are caught before growing this large. It is widespread throughout much of the Afrotropicecozone.
North African cuisine includes cuisines from regions along the Mediterranean Sea, inland areas and includes several nations, including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. In North African cuisine, the most common staple foods are meat, seafood, goat, lamb, beef, dates, almonds, olives, various vegetables and fruit. Because the region is predominantly Muslim, halal meats are usually eaten. The best-known North African/Berber dish abroad is surely couscous.
Sudanese cuisine ivaries by region and has been influenced by the cross-cultural influences upon Sudan throughout history. In addition to the indigenous African peoples, the cuisine was influenced by Arab traders and settlers during the Ottoman Empire, who introduced spices such as red pepper and garlic.
South African cuisine is sometimes referred to as "rainbow cuisine" because it is based on multicultural and various indigenous cuisines. Curried dishes are popular with lemon juice in South Africa among people of all ethnic origins; many dishes came to the country with the thousands of Indian laborers brought to South Africa in the nineteenth century. South African cuisine can be defined as cookery practiced by indigenous people of South Africa such as the Khoisan and Xhosa, Zulu- and Sotho-speaking people, and settler cookery that emerged from several waves of immigration introduced during the colonial period by people of Indian and Afrikaner and British descent and their slaves and servants.
Malagasy cuisine is the cuisine of the island country of Madagascar, located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. Madagascans are mostly Malayan Polynesian, along with Africans, Arabs, Indians and Europeans. Rice is a common staple food, and fruits and vegetables are prominent in the cuisine. Pineapples, mangoes, peaches, grapes, avocados and licheenuts are grown on the island. Meats include chicken, beef and fish, and curry dishes are common. A common food is laoka, a mixture of cooked foods served atop rice. Laoka are most often served in some kind of sauce: in the highlands, this sauce is generally tomato-based, while in coastal areas coconut milk is often added during cooking.
Malagasy cuisine: Two common Madagascanlaokas: Bambara groundnut and pork (left) and potato leaves with dried shrimp (center), usually served atop rice. On the right are bottles of lemon and mango sauces (achards), which are common in the northwestern coastal regions of Madagascar.
South African cuisine is sometimes called "rainbow cuisine", as it has had a variety of multicultural sources and stages. Influences include indigenous practices and settler cookery that immigrants practiced.
Yassa is a popular dish throughout West Africa prepared with chicken or fish. Chicken yassa is pictured.
West African cuisine refers to many distinct regional and ethnic cuisines in West African nations, a large geographic area with climates ranging from desert to tropical. Some of the region's indigenous plants, such as hausa groundnuts, pigeon peas and cowpeas provide dietary protein for both people and livestock. Many significant spices, stimulants and medicinal herbs originated in the evergreen and deciduous forests of Western Africa. Ancient Africans domesticated the kola nut and coffee, now used globally in beverages.
Ghanaian cuisine is the cuisine of Ghana. There are diverse traditional dishes. Foods also vary according to the season, time of the day and occasion.
Ivorian cuisine is the traditional cuisine of Côte d'Ivoire, or the Ivory Coast, and is based on tubers, grains, chicken, seafood, fish, fresh fruits, vegetables and spices and is very similar to that of neighboring countries in west Africa. Common staple foods include grains and tubers. Côte d'Ivoire is one of the largest cocoa producers in the world, and also produces palm oil and coffee.
Senegalese cuisine has been influenced by nations like France, Portugal, and those of North Africa, and also by many ethnic groups, the largest being the Wolof; Islam, which first penetrated the region in the 11th century; and various European cultures, especially the French, who held the country as a colony until 1960.
Benin cuisine is known in Africa for its and exotic ingredients and flavorful dishes. Beninese cuisine involves lots of fresh meals served with a variety of sauces. Meat is usually quite expensive, and meals are generally light on meat and generous on vegetable fat.
Chadian cuisine is the cooking traditions, practices, foods and dishes associated with the Republic of Chad. Chadians utilize a variety of grains, vegetables, fruits and meats. Commonly consumed grains include millet, sorghum and rice as staple foods.
Gabonese cuisine is the cooking traditions, practices, foods and dishes associated with the sovereign state of Gabon. French cuisine is prevalent as a notable influence, and in larger cities various French specialties are available. In rural areas, food staples such as cassava, rice and yams are commonly used.
Mozambique - Present for nearly 500 years, the Portuguese greatly impacted the cuisine of Mozambique. Crops such as cassava (a starchy root) and cashew nuts (Mozambique was once the largest producer of these nuts), and pãozinho (pronounced pow-zing-yo; Portuguese-style bread rolls) were brought in by the Portuguese.
The Cuisine of Niger reflects many traditional African cuisines, and a significant amount of spices are used in dishes. Grilled meats, seasonal vegetables, salads and various sauces are some of the foods consumed.
Zambian cuisine - The Zambian staple diet is based on maize. It is normally eaten as a thick porridge, called Nshima (Nyanja Word), prepared from maize flour commonly known as mealie meal. This may be eaten with a variety of vegetables, beans, meat, fish or sour milk depending on geographical location/origin.
^Sandra Fullerton Joireman, Institutional Change in the Horn of Africa, (Universal-Publishers: 1997), p.1: "The Horn of Africa encompasses the countries of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia. These countries share similar peoples, languages, and geographical endowments."