10 Dishes that will make you fall in love with the West African Cuisine

West Africa spans a large area that has its own unique culture and spirit. It consists of 18 countries and is home to more than 362 million people. Each country in the West African region has its signature dishes that are popular with native West Africans. To a newbie, West African cuisine might seem a bit intimidating; however, with just a little guidance, you can easily recreate more than a handful of dishes in your own home. Here is my pick of top 10 dishes that will make you fall in love with West African cuisine:

  1. Waakye from GhanaWaakye is not just your average rice and beans! In fact, Ghanaians would be quite offended if you assume that Waakye is nothing but rice and beans! This recipe for Waakye by Jimmy Fuseini at the Ghanaian Food Blog, calls for brown rice and red beans to be cooked and served with fried Tilapia fish. Instead of Maggi stock cubes, you could also try using Ataro’s spices for this recipe.
  2.  Fufu From Benin: One cannot write about West African cuisine and not mention Fufu. There is a wide variety of Fufu dishes and they can be served in numerous ways all over the continent. However, the Fufu in Benin and most of Nigeria is usually made of cassava and is especially tasty when eaten with okra or peanut stew. Here is a helpful recipe.
  3. Suya from Nigeria: Classified as a party finger food, Suya is a popular street food found all over Nigeria. It consists of barbecued bite-sized pieces of meat, and it is recommended to wash down the spiciness with a cold pint of beer!
  4. Allocco from the Ivory Coast: Plantains are found abundantly in West Africa, and they are eaten in various forms by the natives. Alloco is in the most basic version, fried plantains. It can be eaten as a snack or as part of a larger meal. It’s a quick and easy recipe which doesn’t call for a long list of complicated ingredients. All you need to do is cut up some plantains, heat some oil and fry them up. Savour it as is or serve with sauces of your choice.
  5. Yassa From Senegal: Juicy pieces of chicken that are bursting with flavour from caramelized onions and other West African spices – what’s not to love? A sure crowd pleaser, Yassa will surely become one of your favourite dishes without a doubt. Do try this lovely recipe.
  6. Domoda From Gambia: Peanut Butter – a perennial resident in kitchen pantries all over the world. This versatile condiment is not just limited to sandwiches. They can be used in a surprising array of dishes such as in South East Asian Satay sauces as well as in West Africa’s stew, the Domoda. Click here for the recipe.
  7. Pepper Chicken From Sierra Leone: We all love chicken, and this is a classic dish from Sierra Leone. Check out this post for more information on this lip-smacking dish!
  8. Nigerian Fish Stew: This is a fascinating way to prepare fish, especially for those that love seafood. Fish stew is a very healthy, filling and nutritious dish. You can try this fabulous recipe.
  9. Jollof Rice from Nigeria: Well, without this star dish on the list, this would be incomplete. The comfort food for all West Africans, Jollof Rice! Get the authentic recipe that I use to make Jollof Rice here.
  10. Ginger Beer From Liberia: A fantastic drink, Liberian Ginger Beer is a refreshing, non-alcoholic drink made with ginger and pineapple. An easy recipe can be found here.


So what is your favourite dish on this list? Is there any dish that didn’t make it to this list of ours, that you can share with us?