Delicious Vegan African Cuisine

5 West African Ingredients You Need To Try

Nothing is more exciting than expanding your culinary repertoire and cooking with ingredients you’ve never encountered before. Unless you are from West Africa, the following ingredients may be entirely new to you. Perhaps you have encountered some of them in a restaurant, or perhaps you know them through friends and family. In any case, we hope this article will diversify your vegan menu and make these ingredients a staple in your home. The following ingredients are just a handful of typical West African ingredients that everyone should know. All of them can be found in a well-stocked African grocery store or even from online retailers.

1. African yam

Tubers and root vegetables appear in many West African recipes. Besides sweet potatoes and white potatoes, yams are also worth adding to your shopping list. Native to West Africa, it tends to be very large in size, has a coarse brown appearance, and has a solid white or cream-colored starchy flesh, but becomes fluffy when cooked. In terms of taste, yams vary from mild and slightly sweet to slightly bitter, depending on the type. In Nigeria, yam is called the “King of Crop” and has an annual yam festival dedicated to this versatile ingredient. They are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, vitamins A, B6 and C. It is important to peel and cook the yam before eating it. Boil, fry, roast, mash potatoes / pound potatoes and treat them like potatoes. In addition to eating them fresh, yams are dried and ground into flour used to make “bolus” meals such as Amara.

If you’re just getting started, there are some delicious yam recipes you can try Asaro (Delicious yam porridge), Boiled yam with scrambled eggs And yam pepper soup.

2. Honey beans

This type of bean is also known in Nigeria as Ewaoloiin ​​or Sweet Beans. It gets its name from its distinctly sweet taste. They are brown and shaped like kidney beans, but much smaller in size than typical bean and black-eyed beans. They boast many health benefits and are a great source of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. As with other varieties, it is advisable to soak the beans for several hours or overnight to reduce the gas that causes bloating and other digestive problems. It can be cooked and used like any other bean type, such as soups, stews and salads.If you want to explore some delicious West African bean recipes, I would recommend Ewa (Simmered beans) With fried plantain, Akara (Bean fritters) Moin moin (Steamed bean pudding).

3. Exceed

These cream-colored oval seeds, also known as melon seeds, are native to West Africa and are derived from watermelon-like bitter gourd. The seeds have a rustic taste like nuts and are mainly used as thickeners and seasonings in many traditional dishes. Not only is it rich in protein and essential fatty acids, it is also an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B2 and C. For use in cooking, the seeds need to be dried, peeled and ground. Coarse powder. Nowadays, it’s very easy to buy whole or ground seeds from African and international grocery stores.Try this appetizing recipe for classics Exi soup You can enjoy it with starch such as yam, fufu, and rice.

4. Gully

Gari is best described as coarse cassava flour. It is made by peeling, grated, or loosely blending and mashing fresh cassava. The cassava is then fermented and dried to remove toxic compounds, then sifted and dried or fried. It’s a very beloved classic, so you’re guaranteed to find a gully bag in most Nigerian homes. It is mainly used to make “bolus” meals called Eva that can be eaten with soups such as Egushi soups and stews. Okra soup And Eforillo. It is also used to make refreshing snacks known as soaked gully or gully water. It is usually served with a handful of roasted peanuts. I have also made gluten-free cookies using gari.

5. Bitter leaves

As the name suggests, this dark leafy vegetable has a unique bitter taste. It has a variety of health benefits and is an excellent source of protein, vitamin C, iron, zinc and folic acid. Used as a medicinal ingredient in traditional West African medicine, it is a common ingredient in many traditional soups and stews. It is advisable to rinse the leaves several times before cooking to reduce or eliminate the strong bitterness.Try this traditional recipe by adding a small amount to soups and salads Bitter leaf soup..

If this list is your appetite, you will love my cookbook Vegan nigeria kitchen..

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