20 Best African Foods You Need to Try
Africa is a continent with diverse cultures and delicious food, and its cuisine is as diverse as its people's.
From North to South and East to West, each region has its unique African dishes and flavours that are worth exploring.
Also, traditional African food uses a wide variety of ingredients, from African vegetables and fruits to meats and grains.
Additionally, lots of spices and herbs play a crucial role in the flavour profile of many African dishes, which makes them feature among the top irresistible foods for you.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the best African foods to try, from soups to street foods, and everything in between.
So, get ready to embark on a culinary journey through Africa and discover some of the continent's most delicious and traditional dishes.
Top 20 Best African Foods to Try
- Jollof Rice
Jollof Rice is a popular West African food that's a staple in many countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, and Liberia.
You can serve Jollof Rice with a variety of side dishes including fried plantains, salad, grilled chicken, beef, and many added proteins to complement a balanced diet.
Furthermore, this dish is not only delicious but also easy to cook, making it a great addition to any meal time.
Bobotie is a traditional South African dish that is made with ground beef, onions, and a blend of spices including curry powder, turmeric, and cinnamon.
The mixture is then topped with an egg and milk custard before being baked in the oven, and can typically be served with yellow rice, chutney, and a variety of other side dishes.
This dish is a perfect representation of the diverse range of flavours that can be found in South African cuisine.
- Pounded Yam and Egusi Soup
Pounded yam is a popular Nigerian dish made by boiling yam until it is soft and then pounding it until it becomes a smooth, stretchy dough-like consistency.
It is often served with a soup made from ground melon seeds (egusi) and vegetables such as spinach or pumpkin leaves.
Egusi soup on its own is usually seasoned with grounded crayfish, chilli peppers, and other spices that provide its sweet aroma and irresistible appearance.
- Fried Rice
Fried Rice is a popular dish in Nigeria that is made with rice, vegetables, and a variety of spices.
This African dish is typically served with a side of chicken or beef and is a staple at parties and special occasions, which makes it worth a try.
Chakalaka is a South African relish that is made from a mixture of beans, and chopped vegetables, including onions, tomatoes, and carrots and is also seasoned with chilli peppers, curry powder, and other spices.
This African food is often served as a side dish with grilled meats or as a topping for bread.
Akara is a popular Nigerian breakfast food made from black-eyed peas that have been peeled, mashed, and then fried into small fritters.
It is bite-sized, savoury, crispy, and perfect for breakfast or snacks, and usually served with a side of pap or bread.
- Moi Moi
Moi Moi is a steamed bean pudding that's made from black-eyed peas, onions, peppers, and spices, and is usually served as a side dish.
It is soft and fluffy, and it's perfect for soaking up the flavours of main dishes like jollof rice.
The dish is typically served with a variety of side dishes including fried plantains, shito (a spicy black pepper sauce), and salad.
In addition, Waakye is a great example of the simple yet delicious dishes that can be found in African cuisine.
- Eba and Okra Soup
Eba and Okra soup is another classic Nigerian dish you should give a try.
Eba is a starchy side dish made from cassava flour (garri), and it's usually served with any kind of soup including okra.
Okra soup on its own is a traditional Nigerian soup made with okra, tomatoes, onions, and peppers, and it's usually served with assorted meat.
This soup complements other kinds of swallows, and eba remains a perfect fit for it.
Fufu is a starchy, dough-like African popular food mostly found in West and Central Africa.
It is typically made with cassava, yams, or plantains that are boiled and mashed until they form a smooth, elastic dough.
Fufu has a neutral flavour and a texture that is similar to mashed potatoes and is usually eaten with a soup or stew made with meat or vegetables.
- Bunny Chow
Bunny Chow is a popular South African street food that is made by hollowing out a loaf of bread and filling it with curry.
The dish is typically made with chicken curry and is a great way to experience the unique blend of spices that are found in South African cuisine.
Bunny Chow is usually served with a side of sambal (a spicy relish) and is a must-try for anyone visiting South Africa.
- Jollof Spaghetti
Jollof spaghetti is a West African twist on an Italian classic made by cooking spaghetti in a rich tomato and spice sauce, similar to the sauce used in Jollof rice.
This famous cuisine is often served with a range of sides, including fried plantains, chicken, or beef to provide a proper rich and balanced diet.
- African Salad (Abacha)
African salad, also known as Abacha, is a popular dish in Nigeria and other West African countries.
It is made from cassava, a starchy root vegetable that is grated and then dried to create a crunchy texture.
The dried cassava is then soaked in water to soften it before being mixed with other ingredients to create the salad.
You can enjoy this African delicacy as a full meal or a snack, as it's delicious food that's difficult to resist and filling at the same time.
Biltong is a popular South African snack that is made by drying and curing strips of beef.
The meat is usually seasoned with a variety of spices including coriander, salt, and pepper.
Biltong is a great snack to take on the go and one to try if you're visiting South Africa.
Suya is a spicy grilled meat skewer that is popular in Nigeria. It is typically made with beef, although chicken and goat can also be used.
The meat is marinated in a blend of spices that includes ginger, garlic, and chilli powder.
It is then grilled over an open flame until it is charred and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Piri Piri Chicken
Piri Piri Chicken is a spicy grilled chicken dish that is popular in Mozambique and Angola.
It is made with a marinade that includes piri piri chilli peppers, garlic, and lemon juice.
Also, the chicken is grilled until it is charred and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Piri Piri Chicken is often served with chips (fries) and a salad.
- Efo Riro
Efo Riro is a Nigerian vegetable soup made with spinach, tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
It's a delicious and healthy meal that's perfect for vegetarians. It can be served with rice or fufu, or any other way you choose to enjoy it.
Injera is a soft, thin pancake-like flatbread made from fermented teff batter.
As a widely popular staple in Ethiopia and Eritrea, it is made from teff flour, a grain that is native to the region.
So, if you need some East African-like cuisine, Injera is highly recommended.
- Chin Chin
Chin Chin is a popular Nigerian snack that's usually served at parties and events.
It's a crispy, sweet pastry that's made from flour, sugar, eggs, and butter.
Also, Chin Chin can be made in different shapes and sizes, and it's a favourite among kids and adults.
- Pepper Soup
Pepper Soup is a spicy Nigerian soup made with pepper soup spice, and a variety of meats, including goat meat, fish, or chicken.
Although many people prefer to drink with a spoon, this soup is typically served with a side of fufu or pounded yam.
So, just in case you need to get your palate moist with some deliciousness, pepper soup will help you achieve that.
African cuisine is a diverse combination of traditional flavours and modern culinary techniques that can be eaten by everyone.
So whether you're looking to try something new or want to explore the rich cultural heritage of Africa, these top 20 African dishes are a must-try for any foodie.