African Recipes

African Recipes


"A spicy vegetable stew" I got this recipe from my mom, who got it from a friend. It's very easy to make.

1 very large onion,chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 can garbanzo beans 500 g (known also as chick peas, ceci, etc.)
1/2 cup raisins 75 g
1/2 cup uncooked rice 100 g
several fresh tomatoes (or 1 large can 800 g of canned tomatoes)
1 clove garlic (or more to taste)
2 yams
salt and pepper to taste
tabasco sauce to taste

Fry onion, garlic, and white stems of chard until barely limp. Add chopped greens and fry a bit. Either peel the yams or scrub them well with a vegetable brush, then slice them into thick slices. Add garbanzos, raisins, yams, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook a couple of minutes. Make a well in the center of the mixture in the pot. Put the rice in the well and pat it down until it's wet. Cover and cook until rice is done\(emabout 25 minutes. Add Tabasco sauce to taste. I find that the flavors of the vegetables don't stand out unless you put in a lot of tabasco. But then, I've got a cast-iron tongue. You should add enough to make the stew seem spicy to you. Difficulty: easy. Time: 15 minutes preparation, 30 minutes cooking. Precision: no need to measure.

Jeff Lichtman
Relational Technology, Inc.,
Alameda, California

From: jeff@rtech (Jeff Lichtman)
Subject: RECIPE: African vegetable stew
Date: 1 Jan 86" 1986 .RZ

Copyright (C) 1986 USENET Community Trust Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the USENET copyright notice and the title of the newsgroup and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by permission of the USENET Community Trust or the original contributor. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires a fee and/or specific permission.


                            by Jackie Bradley
                         Wisconsin State Journal
                               Home Section

Peanut butter flavors many of the foods Koso Weller prepares. But the peanut butter Weller uses is different from the all-American peanut butter-and-jelly variety.

"The peanut butter I use looks different and we call it ground nut paste." Weller said. A completely natural food, Weller's peanut butter contains no preservatives, additives or sugar.

Weller buys her ground nut paste at health-food stores or food co-ops. Sometimes she buys peanuts and puts them through a grinder.

Ground nut paste is kitchen staple in Wellers native country, Sierra Leone. Peanuts and other legumes such as black-eyed beans (also called black-eyed peas) are indigenous to the West African country.

Weller arrived here a year ago to join her husband, Ben, who studied political science at UW-Madison. They will return with their three daughters when Ben begins teaching at the University of Sierra Leone in the capital city of Freetown.

Weller is using her time in Madison to make preparations for business she plans to open in Freetown. Currently she works full time at ABC for Kids, a non-profit daycare center located in Eagle Heights. She also attends MATC'S child-care teacher course with plans to complete the director's program. Weller said there is a need for day-care centers in Freetown, where she hopes to open a facility. The city of 400,000 has 11 day-care centers, most in Catholic schools.

While in Madison, Weller cooks foods from her native country as often as possible, depending upon the availability of ingredients. She enjoys cooking, but didn't learn how to do it well until she was married.

"When I was 19, I didn't like cooking at all. Because in my country we have extended families, we cook for 12 or more." Weller said "Most cooking is done by the elders. I was at school and my job was to go to the market."

Most of Weller's food is spicy. Because not everyone likes hot food, she suggests adjustingthe amount of cayenne pepper in her recipes or leaving it out. "Hot peppers are optional. If you don't like them don't put them in, or you won't be able to eat it," she said.

Peanut butter stew and spinach sauce (plasas) are favorite recipes made with ground nut paste (peanut butter). "If you use the other kind of peanut butter stew hot. I buy chili peppers at the Asian food store and grind them myself."

Weller's recipe for spinach sauce is an adaption of a dish made with sweet potato (yam) leaves. Because she could not find yam leaves in Madison grocery stores, she substitutes spinach, which she thinks is just as tasty.

Black-eyed bean drops (binch akara) can be served as a side dish with a meal. Smaller balls can be served with a toothpicks as appetizers.

Weller uses a blender to remove skins and eyes of the black-eyed beans. Blenders are a luxury unavailable to many cooks in Sierra Leone were a wooden mortar and pestle is often used to prepare black-eyed beans for this recipe. Although Weller plans to take her blender when she returns to Sierra Leone, she said she will need an adapter to use it.

Weller also uses an electric rice cooker to prepare the rice served with many African dishes. "It makes it really fluffy and tastier," she said. In Sierra Leone cooks use cast iron pots for cooking rice.


2 pounds stewing chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon "Mrs. Dash" seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups oil
1 large pepper, chopped
2 large onions
4 ounces tomato paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
1 large tomato, chopped or diced

Skin and trim fat from chicken. Cut 8 to 10 pieces. Rub in lemon juice. Rinse and drain chicken. Add spices and rub into chicken. Refrigerate for 10 hours. Heat oil and brown chicken. Saute onions and pepper for 1/2 hour; add tomato and tomato paste. Stir to distribute evenly. Add salt to taste, add chicken, 1/2 cup water and simmer over low heat till chicken is tender 10-15 minutes.


1 pound black-eyed beans (peas)
2 teaspoons salt
1 small onion, very finely chopped 
2 cups oil

Pour dry beans in a blender with a cup of water. Chop for one minute. Pour in large bowl add water. Stir until skins float. Strain into colander; allow all skin and eyes to flow out. Blend beans, onion and pepper. Pour in a bowl, add salt, and stir with a wooden spoon for two minutes. Heat oil until moderately hot. Drop mixture into oil with spoon. Fry until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Small balls can be served with toothpicks.


1 pound potatoes or yams
salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
7 ounce can corned beef
2 cups bread crumbs for coating
Deep fat for frying
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Peel potatatoes or yams; wash and boil in salted water until tender, drain and mash. Add pepper or cayenne, chopped onions, parsley and corned beef. Add milk to eggs. Add two tablespoons egg mixture and mix well. Form into flat cakes, brush with eggs, coat with bread crumbs. Fry in oil until golden brown. Drain on tissue paper, serve hot.


1 pound stewing meat
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon "Mrs. Dash" seasoning
1 large onion, chopped or sliced
1 large pepper, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, optional
salt to taste

Season meat with Mrs. Dash. Let it absorb for three hours. Brown meat in oil. Add some water and simmer until tender. Remove and set aside. In the same oil saute pepper and onions. Add tomatoes and set aside. In the same oil saute pepper and onions. Add tomatoes and stir briskly. Mix peanut butter with 1/2 cup water to form a thin paste and add to stew. Stir, add meat, salt to tase ad let simmer 15 minutes over low heat. Serve with rice, boiled yam, cassava and green vegetable.


2 packages of frozen chopped spinach
1/2 pound smoked fish, flaked
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 cups water
1 1/2 cup palm oil 
2 hot peppers  or 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound meat, stewing or chuck roast

Cut meat. Put in saucepan with two cups of water, salt, onion and pepper. Bring to boil and add palm-oil. Continue cooking partly covered. Cook for 1 1/2 hours over medium heat. Add spinach (previously thawed and drained), flaked fish and peanut butter mixed with water. Stir, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with steamed rice, drained), flaked fish and peanut butter mixed with water. Stir, cover and simmer.

Here are some desserts from South Africa.


12 oz flour 8 oz sugar 4 eggs 2 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp mixed spice 4 oz butter 1/2 tsp yeast fat for frying

Coating: 1 and 1/2 lb sugar 1 pint water

Mix the yeast with a little sugar, then add the mixed dry ingredients. Beat the eggs and add to the mixture. Knead all together and leave to stand for 1 hour. Roll out and cut into rectangles. Fry in deep fat. When cooked, dip into a syrup made from the 1 and 1/2 lb sugar and water boiled together with a little more cinnamon for taste.


8 oz butter 1 lb sugar 5 eggs 12 oz flour 2 tsp cream of tartar pinch salt 1 tbsp milk 1 tsp bicarb. of soda 6 oz currants 1 tsp lemon juice

Cream together butter and sugar, then add the beaten eggs, flour, cream of tartar and salt. Dissolve the bicarb. of soda in the milk and beat this in. Finally add the lemon juice and currants. Pour into a greased pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 20 - 30 minutes.


Pastry: 4 oz flour 2 tsp baking powder 2 oz butter 2 egg yolks pich salt

Filling: 1 pint milk 8 oz sugar 2 tbsp cornflour 3 egg whites 1 oz butter cinnamon and sugar

Rub butter into sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Add egg yolks and enough milk to make a stiff dough. Roll out thinly and line one large or two small cake pans.

To make filling, dissolve cornflour in a little of the milk and boil the remaining milk together with the sugar. Pour milk/sugar onto the cornflour mixture and cook for 3 minutes, stirring all the time. Stir in the butter.

Cool slightly then fold the stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour the mixture into lined cake pans, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

Subject: South African Desserts
Sender: (Stephanie da Silva)
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1993 09:06:20 -0500

Heerlike Poeding

This is a recipe from South Africa, but I do not know whether or not it originated there. "Heerlike Poeding" (pronounced "here-lick-a pudding") literally means "Delicious Pudding" in Afrikaans. This is not a dessert to be served at refined dinner parties. However, it is a truly delicious baked pudding in the blue collar tradition that is perfect for hearty appetites on cold, wintry days. It's easy to make, too.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg
pinch of salt (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)

Beat egg and sugar. Add rest of ingredients except milk. Mix well, then add milk and mix well again. (The mixture will be very liquid, but that's okay.) Bake for one hour at 350 deg F in a *deep* uncovered casserole dish -- say about 7 to 8 inches square or round and 3 or 4 inches deep.

Just before the hour is up, prepare the following syrup:

1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Bring the syrup to the boil, then pour it into the dish, while the pudding is still hot from the oven. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Can be served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Leftovers may be reheated either in the oven or microwave. It seems to taste even better the second time around!

Paul Malan
Subject: Error in previous recipe
Date: 30 Nov 92 02:27:32 GMT

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific