Exploring African Cuisine: Honoring Black History Month Through Food

up close shot of vegetarian ethiopian injera dish with lentils and eggs

Every February, folks all over the United States observe Black History Month. During this time, the community commemorates notable Black Americans like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and others who helped shape the nation to become what it is today. 

While there are many ways to recognize Black History Month, the month is best honored by sampling African delicacies from all over the continent. These dishes create a meaningful connection to countries where certain Black American heroes can trace their ancestry. 

Read on to discover our favorite African-inspired dishes to celebrate Black History Month.

Nigerian Jollof rice is a West African delicacy made from long-grain rice. Jollof rice is commonly prepared with tomato, onions, thyme, garlic, and scotch bonnet pepper all combined in the same pot.

Food historians claim that Jollof originated from the Senegambia region around the 14th century. Since then, the delicacy has become a staple in Nigeria, often served at parties. Nigerian locals often joke that a party without the Jollof is a mere meeting!

Injera and Doro Wat are Ethiopia’s beloved national dishes. Injera is a flatbread with a porous and spongy texture. It is made from fermented teff flour, an ingredient you can find at your local African food market. On the other hand, Doro Wat is a spicy stew prepared from tender chicken, aromatic spices, and berbere seasoning.

These two dishes are often eaten together. Enjoy the combination by tearing the spongy flatbread and using it to scoop the spicy chicken. Ethiopians typically feast on these dishes in a communal setting to foster a sense of community and togetherness.

Couscous with seven vegetables is another delightful dish to try during Black History Month. This dish is prepared from lamb, chicken, or beef stewed with various vegetables. Get creative and choose any veggies you like including carrots,  turnips, zucchini, and chickpeas.

This savory mix is served on light, fluffy steamed couscous. Chefs pour rich broth over the dish to finish it off. In Moroccan culture, the ‘seven’ in this culinary delight symbolizes luck. For many Moroccan families, this meal is served in a large communal-style bowl and is often enjoyed on Fridays at lunchtime.

Bobotie is a South African casserole that stands out for its distinctive sweet and savory taste. This delectable dish is a mix of curried ground beef or lamb and fruits. The meat and fruits are adorned with creamy, golden egg custard. 

Bobotie isn’t just a dish. It is a national dish representing South Africa’s multicultural influences. South Africans typically eat it during festive seasons, family gatherings, and special dinners.

Congolese Poulet à la Moambe is one of the finest dishes in Central Africa. It is irresistibly delicious that Angola, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and even Belgium claim it as part of their culinary heritage.

This flavorful chicken dish is prepared by cooking chicken with peanut butter, tomato sauce, palm oil, garlic, and other spices. The result is a rich and savory stew you can enjoy with any meal that calls for a hearty stew.

Black History Month isn’t just a month to recognize the Black Americans contributions to our country. But, it is a period where you can establish a deeper connection to the heroes’ African roots by appreciating their culinary traditions.

International Fresh Market offers all the authentic ingredients you need to make Africa’s finest cuisines. Share your heritage dishes so that fellow diners can immerse themselves in cultural discovery.

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