African food from Egypt to South Africa

African food, more than 25 dishes from the classic African cuisine

African food includes a combination of traditional fruits and vegetables, exotic meats, and fish found on the continent. The African DNA of the culinary surge is due to a marinade of cultures, settlements, trade routes, and history. As vast as Africa is, it is also difficult to categorize a generic term for African food. The hardest thing to do when it comes to African food is to try to categorize it.

Each African country has very unique traditional foods, greatly influenced by European countries, the slave trade and indigenous foods, which were imminent in their history. Over the years, African dishes have been known for having many great qualities that are well appreciated.

Thieboudienne - traditional dish from Senegal.made from fish, rice and tomato sauce


Country: Senegal

This traditional Senegalese dish is made with rice, fish and tomato sauce. Other ingredients often include onions, cabbage, carrots, cassava, and peanut oil. It’s an all-in-one dish where you can throw all the vegetables you have on hand. Hearty and tasty, this dish is usually on every menu of the day because it is always a good option.

Travel intro to Africa and Senegal

Wheat food - chapati & chicken


Country: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

Although this delicious staple originated in India, unleavened flatbread is one of the most popular staple foods in East African food, it can be enjoyed at any time of the day. and is often eaten with lentils, beef stew, and other sauces.

“It is versatile. It can be taken for breakfast, afternoon tea or the main course for dinner.”

Traveling to Kenya

Traveling to Tanzania

Traveling to Uganda

West African national cuisine. Nigeria. Jollof rice with grilled chicken wings and fried bananas plantains.

West African national cuisine. Nigeria. Jollof rice with grilled chicken wings and fried bananas plantains.

Jollof rice

Countries Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Sierra Leone

As one of West Africa’s most beloved dishes, jollof rice is a staple. Like many popular foods, there isn’t just one way to prepare it and it leads to a huge debate over who or even which region makes the best jollof rice. Nigerians, Ghanaians and so many other countries strongly support their variations and consider anything different to be “inauthentic”. It is usually made with rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, and many types of meat, spices, and vegetables. Jollof rice is usually reserved for festive celebrations, but because it’s so unanimously regarded as delicious, there’s no limit to when or for what occasion it can be prepared.

Traveling to Nigeria

Traveling to Senegal

Traveling to Ghana

Traveling to  Sierra Leone

Biltong is a healthy low fat, high protein cured dry meat suitable for dieting using sun dried methods of food preservation,

Biltong is a healthy low fat, high protein cured dry meat suitable for dieting using sun-dried methods of food preservation,

Biltong and Droëwors (dried sausage)

Country: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe

Biltong and Droëwors are cold cuts eaten as tasty snacks. This delicacy is culturally associated with watching rugby, cricket, and football (soccer), the country’s most popular sports, or on long road trips.

Biltong are pieces of meat soaked in brine and hung to harden. This is an ancient maritime method of preserving meat. Although not healthy, locals prefer biltong with generous layers of fat.

Droëwors (dried sausage) goes through a similar process, but instead of cuts of meat, ground beef and mutton fat are mixed with spices to make a thin sausage. The sausage hangs to heal.

Go to South Africa (Safari, golf etc.)

Traveling to Namibia (Also safari)


Couscous with chicken

Couscous with chicken


Country: North Africa

Couscous is a staple food found mainly in the cuisine of North Africa. Usually eaten with a stew or a meat dish, it is steamed semolina. In Algeria, it is a national dish and is a common companion to traditional Berber dishes. In most Western supermarkets, you will find ready-to-eat couscous, but genuine couscous, made with semolina, rice, boiling water, and spices such as saffron and cinnamon, will still taste better.

Go to Marocco

Go to Tunisia


Country: Sudan, Egypt

Kisra, which is a special type of bread made from durra, sorghum, or corn, is a common staple in Egypt and Sudanese cuisine and more. It is the main complement to stews made mainly from cured meat, dried onions, spices and peanut butter, including waika, bussaara and sabaroag, with optional milk and yoghurt. Before adding flour and more water to make a paste, Kisra is made by mixing sorghum with water and letting it sit overnight. It is then fried in a pan over a fire. 


Countries: Zambia and Zimbabwe

The kapenta, which comprises two species of small freshwater fish native to Lake Tanganyika, was introduced to Lake Kariba and is now a significant source of protein for Zambia and Zimbabwe’s lake populations.

Like several African dishes, a mountain of delicious corn porridge, known as sadza in Zimbabwe, also accompanies kapenta. Kapenta is available both dried and fresh, and is also cooked and eaten with fresh greens and tomatoes, onions, and peanut powder.

Do not grab a knife and fork to devour your kapenta: scoop up the sadza with your hand and dip or roll it in the fish and the flavors that come with it is the typical way to eat this dish.

For many tourists to Zimbabwe, a batch of crispy fried kapenta is the culinary highlight.

Egusi Soup 

Country:  Nigeria Togo, Benin


This soup or stew typically includes leafy vegetables, meat or fish and is made from melon seeds high in fat and dried and ground protein. Variations of this rich stew are common among the Igbo and Yoruba of Nigeria, and can be found all over West Africa. It is commonly eaten with pounded yam in Nigeria.


Peanut soup or mafé 

Country: Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast

It is a traditional dish that is popular in several countries in West Africa, each adding its own personal touch. The foundation is a paste made from meat and peanuts and (beef, chicken, goat or smoked turkey). Tomatoes, okra or onions may also be added, depending on where the dish is made. The end result is smooth, hearty and rich, and white rice is generally eaten with the stew. The peanut taste is more or less pronounced and the soup thin or slightly thicker, depending on how it is made, but it is still a pleasure for the consumer.


Country: Rwanda

With a little touch of Rwandan flavor added to the highest quality alcohol imported from Europe, Isamaza liqueurs are fast becoming the most popular drink in Rwanda and its surroundings. It is a family business aiming to show the world the potential of what can be produced locally. With a wide variety of flavors, including passion fruit, almond, mango, coffee and lemon, Isamaza drinks are delicious, drinkable, and deceptively strong!

African food. Mother and daughter cooking with cookbook on kitchen


Country: Kenya

Made from corn flour that has been cooked with water until it reaches a consistency similar to dough, ugali is the most common staple food in the region. Ugali is traditionally eaten with the hands. Like flatbread in other countries, ugali can be used as a kind of “spoon” to scoop up meat and vegetables. When not dipped in a stew, it is dipped in a sauce.


Swahili Peanut Kashata

Country: Kenya, Tanzania


This dish looks like something between candy and cookies, is a favorite snack throughout the East African region. Stemming from the Swahili field crops, Kashata includes groundnuts or grated coconut or both.

You can rejoice because a qualified chef takes care of the preparation of Kashata; watch the sugar, coconut, cinnamon and other ingredients heat up and come together for the refreshing goodness of this signature East African meal.


Ful Medames

Country: Egypt


Ful Medames is an ancient Egyptian dish that dates back to the time of the pharaohs. Cooked broad beans are mashed with cumin, parsley, garlic, and lemon juice, and then are usually eaten for breakfast. It’s the Egyptian equivalent of baked beans!


Eddoe Soup 

Country:  Liberia

Eddoe is a tropical root vegetable similar to yam or sweet potato. This fragrant and hearty soup is simmered with delicate seasonings and a choice of meat or fish.



Country: South Africa

Often known as South Africa’s national dish, bobotie is a sweet and spicy dish made with ground meat curry and cooked with fruit (like raisins) and a creamy egg-based filling. The origins of bobotie come from using leftovers from a Sunday roast to create what is now a beloved meal.


Palm butter

Country: Liberia, Gabon


Palm butter is a thick sauce made by boiling and crushing palm nuts. The silky, buttery richness of this dish such as its ladle over rice is where it gets its name. It can be used to cook a wide variety of proteins, from crayfish to goat cheese. Many have their favorite version, but Liberians like it with a lot of pepper. In Liberia, it is usually served for lunch.



Country:  Morocco


Tagine is probably the most popular Berber dish around. It is named for the terracotta pot it is fired into. In desert areas where there are so few sources of water, the tagine has a conical top so that juice and water are not lost during cooking – an important factor. The tagine dish is a stew that is slowly cooked and can be made with chicken, lamb, beef, fish or vegetables, cooked with spices and dried fruits and served with couscous and bread, and all kinds of ingredients.

Waakye from Ghana

Waakye from Ghana


Country: Ghana


The Champions’ Breakfast, waakye, is an incredibly popular morning meal in Ghana, but can be eaten all day long. It blends beans, rice, wet gari (ground cassava), stew, and spaghetti and is filling and flavorful Typically, it’s served with a protein option, so you can choose between fish, beef, or boiled eggs. Other extras that take Waakye to a whole new stage are Kelewele (spicy plantain) and vegetable salad.

Go to Ghana


Country: South Africa

Biryani is made from rice, meat and Indian spices. The meat is typically ground beef or chicken, but goat, shrimp, pork, lamb or fish have traditionally been used. “In Persian, the term birian means “fried before cooking”. The dish is produced in exactly this way, and after frying, the rice and meat are mixed. Recently, this dish has become popular in the rest of the country, as people of Muslim color have revealed their secrets.

Typically, mixed spices have a good but balanced taste. By incorporating lentils and vegetables, locals introduce their own twist to this wonderful offering.



Country: Egypt, Sudan

Koshari is the national dish of Egypt, so when it comes to the major cities of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada.  Koshary is made of rice, macaroni, and lentils mixed together topped with a spiced tomato sauce and garlic vinegar and garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions. It is often served with sprinklings of garlic juice; garlic vinegar and hot sauce are optional. The dish is  then finished with a tomato sauce made from Middle Eastern spices, chickpeas, and fried onions, which is an uncommon mix of rice, lentils and macaroni. Look for “Koshari Men” the street vendors who sell piping hot bowls to local and tourist.
Koshary is Egypt’s national dish and widely popular street food, also in other North Africa countries like Sudan. An Egyptian dish that originated during the mid-19th century, the dish combines Italian, Indian and Middle Eastern culinary elements.

Go to Egypt

Brik, Tunisia

Brik, Tunisia, also perfect for Breakfast


Country: Tunisian

According to Tunisian practice, brik (a fried pastry in the form of a triangle, most frequently filled with eggs) is made for the groom by the mother of the future bride. He is permitted to marry his beloved if the groom can then eat the brik without spilling the egg. Tourists can even enjoy the Brik, without any marriage strain, fortunately! Besides raw eggs, varieties of fish, beef and chicken can also be used.

Molokhia, Egypt


Country: Egypt

Molokhia is a leafy green vegetable which, when cooked, is very bitter and viscous.  Traditionally, the Egyptians cut the leaves thinly with garlic and cilantro, then eat them in soup or with chicken and pita bread. 

Go to Egypt


Quarter_Mutton_Bunny_Chow, Wikipedia

Bunny chow

Country: South Africa

It is a beloved dish that has been developed out of necessity. An innovation from Indo-South Africa made to take away. The curry is ladled into a loaf of bread that serves as a take-out container and accompaniment to the primary event rather than on a plate of more conventional starches such as rice. Originally vegetarian and originally from the seaside town of Durban, it is mostly made with meat today, fulfilling the tastes of all South Africans.

Go to South Africa (Safari, golf etc.)



Country: Tunisia

Next on the African food scene: Shakshouka, or “chakchouka”, is a Tunisian dish that is popular on th North African food scene and has circulated across North Africa and, having been brought there by Maghreb Jews, is also popular in Israel. They can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or as part of a meal in the evening. It is one of the most colorful dishes on this list, consisting of chopped onions, chili peppers, tomatoes and cumin, cooked in a saucepan to form a rich sauce with a poached egg in it.  Add chopped parsley to it.


Country: Cameroon


Ndole is a delicious, herbal dish made from bitter leaves (cooked many times to make it lose its bitterness), cooked nuts, crushed spices, and fish or beef. Plantains, rice, or potatoes are generally eaten with it. 

We will get back with more samples and coverage of the African food scene.

See all countries of Africa Traveltalk covers as travel destinations.

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