• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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An adventure of Africa’s best street foods

An adventure of Africa’s best street foods

Africa, a continent teeming with diversity and flavour, has a wealth of food culture capable of provoking taste buds to tongue smacking satisfaction. From the bustling markets of Marrakech to the vibrant streets of Lagos, the continent’s rich tapestry of cultures and traditions is reflected in its street food offerings.

Join BusinessDay on a tantalising journey as we explore some of Africa’s best street foods, each bite a celebration of heritage and innovation.

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1. Suya: Nigeria’s charcoal-grilled sensation

In the streets of Lagos that never sleeps, the smoky scent of spice-infused meat is a well known aroma that never fails to make the mouth water in anticipation.

As the perfume of the suya fills the air, drawing little crowds to its meat clusterred temple, tender cuts of beef or chicken are marinated in a blend of spices such as: peanut powder, ginger powder , onion powder, garlic powder, chili pepper, calabash nutmeg, turmeric, salt and cloves.

After which the spiced protein is arranged over a coal spitting fire till it is marvelously done for consumption. Served with sliced onions, cabbage, sliced tomatoes or cucumber and a sprinkle of fiery chili peppers, Suya is a street favourite masterpiece that captures the essence of Nigerian street cuisine.

2.Bunny Chow: South Africa’s culinary gem

In the vibrant city of Durban, South Africa, this meat stuffed bread has locals and visitors alike flock to street vendors for the sheer experience of having a taste of it. Bunny Chow, is a beloved South African street food with Indian roots, because of of its rich curry based sauce.

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This hearty dish features a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with fragrant curry, ranging from beef, spicy chicken to savoury lamb or vegetarian options.

After the meat is seared briefly in your choice of oil or butter, remove it from the pan for a time and then stir your ingredients into the flavourful oil. Starting with finely chopped onions, Thai chilli’s, cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom pods, fennel seed, cumin seeds, turmeric and garam masala. It is okay if you do not have all the ingredients, use what you have.

Let the ingredients marry each other nicely before adding your chopped tomatoes to the sizzling mix. Let it cook for a while before adding your garlic, ginger and uncooked potatoes. Add little water or beef/chicken/lamb stock to loosen things up.

When you have added salt to taste and it is to your liking, serve a generous platter of meat porridge into the hollowed space made in your white loaf of bread, and then enjoy till your stomach sees reason to stop.

Bursting with flavour and served with a side of sambals and pickles, Bunny Chow offers a taste of South Africa’s multicultural heritage in every bite.

3.Maqlooba: Morocco’s tower of delight

Nestled within the labyrinthine streets of Marrakech’s medina, Maqlooba reigns supreme as Morocco’s culinary crown jewel. This fragrant dish, whose name translates to “upside-down,” resembles the fashion of a upside-down pinneaple cake.

It features layers of tender meat or chicken, aromatic rice cooked in meat or chicken broth and a medley of vegetables such as eggplant, carrots, and potatoes, all seasoned with an array of spices including cinnamon, cumin, and turmeric.

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For the meal to turn out as it should, it has to be layered rightly before it is cooked.

It is arranged step by step in the pot, starting with placing a baking sheet at the bottom of the pot before placing in your fried chicken, fried eggplant, sauteed cauliflower, fried round cut potatoes and your pre soaked basmati rice that has already been mixed with black pepper, cinnamon, tumeric powder, cardamom and salt to taste. Into this layered pot, add beef or chicken broth for it to cook in.

Once cooked, flip upside down before serving.

Maqlooba is a feast for the senses that embodies the warmth and hospitality of Moroccan street cuisine.

4.Akara (Koose): West Africa’s golden fritters

As the sun rises over the bustling streets of Accra, the scent of frying oil and sizzling beans heralds the arrival of Akara or Koose, West Africa’s beloved street snack.

Made from ground black-eyed peas blended with onions, peppers, seasoning cubes and salt, these golden fritters are deep-fried until crispy and golden brown.

Served hot and crispy, Akara is often enjoyed with Koko (a spicy millet porridge) very common in Ghana, or it is wrapped in freshly baked bread, making it the perfect on-the-go treat for busy city dwellers. It is also famous in Nigeria as well, known as Akara.

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5.Nyama Choma: Kenya’s flame-grilled favourite

In the heart of Nairobi, the sound of sizzling meat on open flames beckons meat lovers to partake in Kenya’s favourite street food: Nyama Choma.

Translating to “grilled meat”, this iconic dish features succulent cuts of marinated beef, goat, or chicken, grilled to perfection over charcoal until smoky and tender.

Once done, it is served with a side of tangy kachumbari salad and ugali, a staple Kenyan side dish made from maize flour. Nyama Choma is a culinary pleasure that embodies the spirit of Kenyan hospitality.

From the aromatic spices of North Africa to the smoky flavours of West Africa, Africa’s street food scene is as diverse and vibrant as the continent itself. As travellers embark on a twirl of adventure through Africa’s bustling markets and vibrant streets, they would discover a world of culinary treasures waiting to be savored and celebrated.