African cuisine is gaining momentum on the world’s culinary stage. From South to North, East and West, there is never a shortage of variety, colour and bold flavours.
Sophisticated African restaurants are popping up in countries like Dubai, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo and Seoul. However, when travelling around the African continent, the most authentic way to experience the culture of a country is to try the street food made and sold by the locals.
Here’s a taste of some of the most popular African street food to discover during your travels on the continent:
Forodhani and Dafu – Zanzibar
Zanzibar culinary culture is infused with flavours and influences from Arab and India. The most popular Zanzibar street food dish is the Forodhani, and it is nicknamed as ‘Zanzibar pizza’. It’s a mixture of vegetables, egg and mayo (and meat if preferred) that are wrapped in a very thin dough and then fried.
Akara & Kilishi – Nigeria
Akara are deep fried bean cakes made with grounded beans mixed with pepper, onions and other spices. They are quite popular in Nigeria. Best eaten with Agege bread, which is popular for its fluffy, soft texture and its versatility with different dishes. Another popular Nigeria street food is Kilshi, which is made from meat that has been cut into very thin slices and is then spread out to dry. It is prepared with chilli pepper, spices and local herbs, lightly brushed on both sides and then briefly grilled.
Muntaka Chasant is a popular dish in the southern part of Ghana. This common street food is grilled tilapia fish, which can be served alone or with ‘banku’ which is a paste from fermented corn or cassava dough, plus red or green ground pepper with onions.
Potato Bhajia – Kenya
The potato bhajia is one of Kenya’s most popular street foods also popularly known as Aloo Pakodi bhajia, meaning battered potato in Swahili. Bhajia consists of potatoes that are sliced up and battered with spices such as cumin seeds and turmeric before being deep-fried. They are best served with Kenyan tomato salsa.
Morocco is the world’s largest exporter of sardines, so it’s no surprise that spicy sardines are one of the country’s signature street food dishes. Known as Marrakech’s version of fish and chips; the sardines are spiced with a paste made from tomato, coriander, chili, garlic, paprika, cumin, olive oil and lemon juice which is then deep fried.
Mozambican prawns are one of the most popular dishes in the country, which are served grilled or fried with a spiced fiery peri-peri sauce. There is no shortage of the peri-peri sauce in in Mozambique. You can buy an assortment of jars, bottles and flasks filled with home-made concoctions with an endless variety of the ingredients needed to make such a sauce.