Best and popular African dishes

The diversity of African cuisine can be compared to the diversity of culture and the ethnic groups inhabiting the continent. The diversity of these cuisines is quite evident in terms of the ingredients of choice, preparation method and way of cooking. Below is an array of popular African dishes that one could sample if they get to visit any of the countries mentioned herein.

Best African Dishes

Name Country
1.Shisa nyama
South Africa
2.Piri piri chicken Mozambique
3. Jolof rice and Egusi soup Nigeria
4.Kapenta with SadzaZibambwe
5.Chambo with nsima
6.Namibian VenisonNamibia
7.Muamba de Galinha
9.Cape breyani South Africa
10.Zanzibar biryanis and pilau
11.Achu and Yellow Soup Cameroon

 1.Shisa Nyama – (South Africa)

One of the African best and loved food

This meal comprises of barbecued meat and maize porridge. It is also known as “ pap en vleis”. This combination is an all time favorite for many cultures in Southern  Africa and precisely South Africa.

Pap en vleis is a term that encompasses a combination of starch and stewed meat and braaied with a side serving of relish or spicy gravy. Shisa nyama , which means “burn the meat” in Zulu refers to a festive “bring-and-braai” chicken, gathering.

The shisa nyama restaurants are mostly situated next to butcher shops so that patrons can choose the meat of their choice and have cooked in the way they desire it.

 2.Pchicken,piri – (Mozambique)

Mozambique is known to have some of the best and popular dishes in Africa. This is because its cuisines are known to have a blend of oriental and Arab flavors as well as African and Portuguese flavors.

When visiting , ensure to partake the famous dish “Galinha a Zambeziana, which comprises of succulent chicken cooked with fresh lime, pepper , coconut milk, garlic and Piri piri sauce.

It is accompanied by matapa, that is cassava leaves cooked in peanut sauce. Apart from piri piri chicken, Mozambique is also famed for its exquisite variety of seafood as well as creamy coconut sauces and fragrant spices blended to perfection to give the foods rich aromatic flavors.

3.Jolof rice and Egusi soup – (Nigeria )

This is one dish one should not leave Nigeria without trying out despite the various regional cuisines found in the vast country. It is considered as one of the best African dishes. This is because of its simplicity in preparation as well as its delicious spicy taste thereafter.

It comprises of rice, onions, pepper, tomatoes. It is served along with egusi soup which is made up of ground melon seeds and bitter leaf which is quite a delicacy. Other sumptuous dishes to try include spicy broths made of okra , flavored with goat, cow or chicken meat.

4.Kapenta with Sadza – (Zimbabwe )

Kapenta comprises of a serving of  two species of small freshwater fish that are crisp fried. It is a much-fancied source of protein by the locals. It is often accompanied by a bowl of delicious porridge known as “sadza”.

Kapenta can be eaten in its dried state or stewed with some cherry tomatoes, onions and powdered groundnuts , served with greens. Another dish to try when visiting Zimbabwe grilled tilapia with plenty lemon butter.

5.Chambo with nsima – (Malawi )

Chambo refers to the best known fish found in Lake Malawi . It is a national favorite. It is grilled and marinated with fresh limes and served together with nsima, a stiff porridge or with fried potatoes.

Chambo is considered incomplete without ndiwo, a sumptuous meal made of pumpkin leaves, tomatoes, and groundnut powder.

6.Namibian Venison – (Namibia )

The Namibian venison is one of the best and popular dishes in Africa. Game meat lovers can attest to this. It comprises of the best kudu, zebra, ostrich, warthog and springbok meat. The meats are cured with herbs and spices and either roasted, boiled or grilled on hot coal.

It is served with traditional meals such as “oshifima” known as maize porridge or millet porridge known as “mahagu”. Don’t forget to down it with fine Namibian brew.

7.Muamba de Galinha – (Angola)

This meal is considered as one of the country’s food treasures. It is also referred to as “chicken muamba”. It is a spicy oily stew prepared with palm oil, chilis, okra, and garlic.

The meal being so rich and spicy, it serves as a good accompaniment to starchy porridges and rice. Another one of Angola’s favorite dishes is the “caldeirade de cabrito”, which comprises of goat or kid stew fried with potatoes,  and wine. It is often eaten to celebrate Angola’s independence day on the 11th day of November every year.

9.Cape breyani – (South Africa)

This southern delicacy is considered as one of the popular African dishes we have on the continent. The reason majorly being, it’s preferred when feeding large crowds on special occasions in the country.

It is a one pot meal which required slow cooking in order for it to achieve the desired taste. It is an aromatic dish entailing layers of marinating meat, lentils, rice, spices and with a topping of fried onions and hard-boiled eggs.

Cape biryani is an ancient dish that was brought from the East during the slave trade times. This is a sufficient reason for it being an all time favorite for the inhabitants of the southern part of the continent.

10.Zanzibar biryanis and pilau – (Zanzibar)

These are considered as celebratory dishes in this country. They are basic rice dishes assorted with a wide array of spices. Biryani is of a varied nature, ranging from those assorted with vegetables to those incorporated with meat, chicken, and seafood.

Pilau, on the other hand, tends to be a little bit simple and it comprises of rice fried with meat and plenty of different spices such as cumin, thyme, black pepper, cardamom, and garlic.

Both meals are usually accompanied with “kachumbari”, which is a salad comprising of fresh spring onions and tomatoes.

11.Achu and Yellow Soup – (Cameroon)

Nigerian Achu soup is among African popular dishes

This is a greatly cherished meal in western Cameroon . its method of cooking and the way in which it is eaten is very traditional. Achu is served and eaten on plantain leaves using the fingertips.

It is mostly served at festivals as well as birth and death celebrations. It is rarely eaten on a daily basis because it is quite a time to consume and quite demanding when cooking it.

Achu is one of the popular African dishes we have on our beautiful continent. It is prepared using pounded, dried cocoyam and is served with yellow soup as an accompaniment.

12.Pastilla or pigeon/b’stilla – (Morocco)

Moroccan dishes have in the recent years received recognition on the world’s culinary stage due to the skill and expertise employed in their preparation. Pastilla is a multi-faceted dish that one will not find in most average cookbooks.

It is sweet and savory and delicate. It is quite a complex dish to make but still, worth the trouble. It is a pie made up of a shredded cooked squab. This squad entails cooked pigeon or chicken when the pigeon is not readily available.

The cooked pigeon/ chicken is then condensed with egg sauce and spread on a paper-thin pastry and filled with spices and nutty.

I would not be stretching the truth if I failed to say that Pastilla is one of the best African dishes we have. No celebration is seen as complete if pastilla is not served.

13.Nyama na Irio – (Kenya)

It is originally considered to be the staple food of a particular ethnic group known as the Kikuyu. It is comprised of cooked green peas, mashed potatoes, beans, and onions.

It is served with spicy roasted meat (nyama). This meat is usually marinated with a cocktail of spices and roasted over hot coals slowly so as to make it tender and retain the aromatic scents emitted by the spices used to marinate it.


It needless to say that Africa prides itself of myriad things. From the different ethnic groups to different cultures, travel destinations and last but not least, a wide array of different cuisines savored by its inhabitants as well tourists.

It would be unfortunate if a person touring the continent either as a domestic or international tourist fails to sample some of the popular African dishes above mentioned.

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