African Recipes

Explore the best of African cuisine with authentic recipes for classic tagines, curries, couscous, and flatbreads.

Staff Picks

South African Beef Curry

Rating: 4 stars 6
When Nancy Sephton lived in South Africa in the '50s, lamb curry was as ubiquitous there as hamburgers and hot dogs are in the United States. On a return visit a number of years later, she came across the curry made with beef, which has become a favorite with her family.
By Nancy Sephton, Kensington, California

Moroccan-Style Lamb and Chickpeas

Rating: 4.5 stars 50
Moroccan-Style Lamb and Chickpeas is a great go-to choice for fast and flavorful weeknight cooking. Serve over a simple Couscous-Arugula Salad.
By Robin Bashinsky

Quick Preserved Lemons

Rating: 5 stars 2
Preserving lemons typically takes 4 to 6 weeks to acquire the right consistency and flavor. However, this quick method bypasses the lengthy preservation time and is a great substitute for the real thing. Use the rind to accent a variety of dishes, from seafood to vegetable stir-fries.
By Kitty Morse

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew

Rating: 4.5 stars 19
Look for Ethiopian Berbere spice—a mixture of dried chiles, cloves, ginger, coriander, and allspice—at gourmet markets and specialty stores, or order it from americanspice.com. This stew recipe is not one to be missed.
By Domenica Marchetti

Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas

Rating: 4.5 stars 20
This Spicy Moroccan Chickpeas recipe will not disappoint. One online reviewer says, "Excellent! Made this for a dinner party and served with hummus and pita."
By Paul Grimes

Moroccan Chickpea Stew

Rating: 3.5 stars 24
This hearty chickpea stew features classic Moroccan spices like cumin, chili powder, and turmeric.  Serve over hot cooked rice and top with yogurt and cilantro.
By Alexandra Jamieson

Spicy Pork Skewers

Rating: 4.5 stars 3
Moroccan meat skewers, or kefta, are made with beef and formed into sausage shapes. Our variation uses pork rolled into little meatballs.

Sea Bass Crusted with Moroccan Spices

Rating: 5 stars 4
The coast of the southern Mediterranean yields a rich bounty of fish that's prepared in numerous ways. One constant in Morocco, however, is the use of chermoula, a combination marinade and spice rub. It typically contains an acid-based marinade (we used lemon juice) and a spice rub made from black pepper, cumin, coriander, and paprika.
By Jessica B. Harris

North African Marinated Lamb

Rating: 4 stars 1
This vibrant lamb dish features an incredibly vibrant North African-inspired marinade, also known as chermoula. Though simple to whip up, the combination of fresh herbs and bold spices in the marinade help to bring out the richness of the lamb and really make this grilled dish (which became a fast staff favorite in the test kitchen) shine. When purchasing the lamb leg, ask your butcher to go ahead and cut it into your desired portions. And If you have trouble finding lamb, feel free to swap it for beef or pork in this recipe—you’re still going to have a delicious dinner, no doubt. Serve this meaty entree with roasted potatoes and/or grilled veggies.
By Mark Driskill

Cape Malay Curry

Rating: 4.5 stars 6
Beginning in the 17th century, slaves from Indonesia and India were brought to work the farms of Cape Town, South Africa. They came to be known as Cape Malays, and as a result of their influence, curry dishes are widespread in South Africa. Cape Malay curry is known for combining sweet and savory flavors--using sweet spices like cinnamon and ginger, dried fruit (especially dried apricots), and savory seasonings like garlic and onions. Though usually served with rice, this beef stew is also great over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

Grilled Apple-Smoked Striped Bass

The key to this simple dish, which earned our Test Kitchen's highest rating, is high quality fresh fish. It's served in many of the open-air restaurants of Benin's major city, Cotonou, and is always grilled over a wood fire. Wood chips infuse a similar smoky flavor. You can substitute red snapper, which cooks in about 8 minutes. A fish basket works great, but a perforated sheet of aluminum foil will also let you easily remove the fish from the grill.

Boiled Peanuts

Rating: 5 stars 2
You can find dried peanuts in the produce section of your local supermarket or at a farmers market. Store cooked peanuts in the refrigerator up to three days. If you prefer your peanuts warm, heat them in the microwave, covered, at 80% power for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring once.
Advertisement

Inspiration and Ideas

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash
Rating: Unrated 139
Take your basic beef stew to the next level by making this simple, fragrant beef tagine featuring butternut squash.
Moroccan Chickpea Chili
Rating: Unrated 46
Inspired by spices of North Africa, this hearty meatless chili recipe proves that flavorful food can also be fast.
Rice and Pigeon Peas

Pigeon peas, popular throughout the West Indies, are small, oval beans with a nutty flavor that make a tasty side dish. Look for them in Caribbean markets, or substitute kidney beans or black-eyed peas. We've used canned pigeon peas because they're more readily available than dried.