African dishes can best be described as diverse. Whether you're working with the spice heavy "finger food" of Ethiopia or tastes with a distinct African flavor but geared towards Western palettes, like South African dishes, African dishes have something for everyone. Whether you decide to cook one of these dishes yourself or order African food online, you won't be disappointed. Here is just a sampling of some of the culinary delights you will find from a continent that is often overlooked by Western taste buds.
Mtuzi wa Samaki
In English parlance, this would be known as "cooked fish in coconut curry". This is a Tanzanian dish in which fish caught along the Great Rift Valley is slow baked and then slowly added in with a sizzling curry made with coconut milk. It is often served on top of roasted potatoes and rice to enrich the flavor and carry a heartier texture.
Yassa is a Senegalese dish in which a baked chicken is broiled in marinade of lemon juice. The marinade gives it a punchy, acidic flavor that is offset by the sides with which it is served. It is generally served with a small plate of rice and boiled vegetables, such as carrots or potatoes.
Red Whole Wheat Penne
For those with a taste for an Italian inspired African dish, red whole wheat penne should whet your appetite. Unlike Italian penne dishes, it is not seasoned with oil and butter, but rather is allowed to boil with potatoes and seasoned with a variety of spices of your choosing (although most generally, salt is used), and then allowed to sit in a turmeric curry sauce. Garnish with a bit of spinach leaves and there you have it: Italy by way of Africa.
Irio can refer to a number of dishes from Kenya, but most Westerners use irio to refer to a specific Kenyan delight. It is a quick "comfort food dish". Simply mix up a bit of lima beans, peas, and corn into your mashed potatoes and there you have it. Irio functions well as a side, particularly along with a chewy, rare red meat dish.
African dishes are quite easy to prepare, and many of the techniques used to prepare vegetables and rice should not be lost on Westerners used to cooking Western food. African restaurants are also growing in number in urban areas. Whether you decide to cook a dish on your own, order in, make a night at an African restaurant, or order African food online, your taste buds won't be disappointed.