5 African Dishes That Will Spice Up Your Holiday Dinner Table

 Image Courtesy of: http://www.you.co.za/food/malva-pudding/

Image Courtesy of: http://www.you.co.za/food/malva-pudding/

The holiday season is  the perfect time to be  adventurous with food. Trying a new recipe can be a great way to explore different flavors while showcasing your culinary skills for friends and family.

We've selected five flavorful dishes from different parts of Africa that you can easily add to your dinner table this holiday season

1. Jollof Rice

Jollof rice is a well known dish across many West African countries and is a great alternative to white or pilaf rice. It’s extremely flavorful and depending on your spice tolerance, you can adjust the spice level to your  preference. Although there are regional differences in the way it’s made (Yes, “Jollof Wars” is a thing), like Chef Pierre Thiam, we believe Jollof has no borders.

Try London based chef, Nudu by Fafa’s great recipe for this flavorful rice dish.

Grab the recipe  

2. Injera + Kik Wot

 Image Courtesy of:http://southernwild.com.au/

Image Courtesy of:http://southernwild.com.au/

Dig your fingers deep into this Ethiopian staple.  For Ethiopians, Injera is a national dish served at most meals. Made from Teff, an iron rich grain,  this sour and spongy flatbread is a guilt-free, gluten free option that can be paired with Ethiopian stews such as doro wat or tibs. For a vegetarian option, try yellow split pea stew with your Injera.

Helina Tesega of Eat Ethio has a great recipe for Kik Wot, a yellow split pea stew.

Grab the recipe

Don’t want to buy your Injera? Try Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s recipe from his cookbook Soul of a New Cuisine.

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3. Lamb Mafé

Mafé (spelled  various ways), can be tied back to the Wolof people of Senegal and Gambia.  Similar to groundnut soup (found in many African countries) Mafe has peanuts and tomatoes as a base. This dish was certainly a crowd favorite at  our dinner with world renowned chef, Pierre Thiam. Chef Thiam paired his Lamb Mafe dish with Fonio, an ancient grain,as part of  the five course menu curated for the intimate dinner.  Don’t eat meat? Just, substitute lamb with fish.

If you missed the event, you can still learn how to make this delicious dish.

Grab the recipe  

4. Ugali + Chicken Stew

 Image courtesy of Vogue

Image courtesy of Vogue

Last year, Lupita Nyong’o took Vogue on a tour of her country, Kenya, and confessed that she didn’t know how to make Kenya’s staple, Ugali. She later rectified that by showing us how it’s made and sharing her family recipe.  Ugali is made of maize (white starch) and is boiled, pounded, and molded into a ball that is typically eaten with a sauce or stew. Like fufu & Eba (popular in Ghana & Nigeria), this dish is best eaten with your hands, but, if you must, utensils won’t hurt.

Grab Lupita’s family recipe

Compliment the dish with food blogger, Anika’s Kuku (chicken) stew.

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5.  Malva Pudding

End your holiday dinner with something sweet. Try making Malva pudding as an alternative to a pie. It must be good because Oprah Winfrey served this pudding to “her girls” at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy's first Christmas dinner.


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We want to hear from you! Comment below with the recipes you are adding to your holiday dinner this year.

Happy Holidays!