10 Must-Try African Foods

Jollof is rice in a spicy tomato sauce made with tomato puree, garlic, ginger, thyme, selim (a West African spice), and Scotch bonnet chiles. The meal is served with fried plantain and pork or goat during weddings, parties, and other festivals.

Jollof Rice

Tanzanian mshikaki is a thousand-year-old food. Mshikaki—beef, chicken, or goat on a stick—can be roasted or grilled. Chili, ginger, masala, garlic, tomato sauce, oil, salt, and pepper season the meat.


Ethiopian chicken stew doro wat has Arab and African influences. Berbere-flavored doro wat is a national staple. Injera, a teff-based flatbread, is used to scoop and share the stew after three days of fermentation.

Doro Wat 

This dish features fluffy couscous, meatballs, merguez sausage, lamb chops, saffron-steeped chickpeas, and chicken skewers. Couscous royale is a two-hour "labor of love" according to Afri Food Network.

 Couscous Royale 

Every Egyptian restaurant and street vendor sells koshari, even though pasta and rice are not Egyptian grains. Late 1800s British colonists introduced Koshari from India."Koshari" comes from the Hindu word "Khichri" for rice and lentils. 


Alloco—fried plantain—is legendary but not a meal. Aloko is Akan Baoulé. Eastern Ivory Coast calls ripe plantains loko. Green, semi-ripe, ripe, and very-ripe plantains. Sweet plantains make delicious alloco.


Javanese bobotok inspired South African bobotie. Popularity varies. It's controversial but crucial to national history. Dutch invaders brought Bobotie. Indonesian curry beef strongly impacts it. Malay food.


Botswana's seswaa is served during most ceremonies. Wedding and Botswana Independence Day favorites. Traditional ceremonies boiled beef in three-legged cast iron pots over wood fires to make seswaa. Men crushed and shredded cooked meat.


Afrikaners enjoy potjiekos. Dutch and Spanish wartime cooks prepared potjiekos in three-legged cast iron pots. Jan van Riebeeck brought this pot to Table Bay in 1652. South African potjie pots replaced clay pots.


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