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August 8, 2020
A West African dish, is exciting not just because it is exotic to Americans, but also because they have a spicy tastes that explode into different flavors inside your mouth. No wonder these dishes from Western Africa are quickly becoming popular across major cities in the U.S. Yes, I’m talking about the fish yassa, goat pepper soup, egusi soup, moin moin, hot peppers, eddoe soup, peanut oil, butternut squash, efo riro among other famous traditional from the West African region.
However, unless you are from there and know how to cook dishes from that part of the world. Chances are high, you only get your West African dish when you visit the African restaurant near you to have your Ghanain dish, Senegalese dish, Moroccan dish, or Nigerian dish.
But what if I told you that you can have your favorite Nigerian, Ghanaian, dish right at your home? I know what you are thinking, ‘who is going to make a trip around the blocks looking for the food ingredients?’
Then again, if you were to shop around the block for the ingredients. Odds are high that you are not going to find everything. And if you are lucky enough to get everything, odds will be stuck against you in terms of cooking the food the right way to bring out the right flavor and smell.
Nonetheless, you can still fix yourself a West African cuisine right inside your kitchen. No, you will not need to hire a chef skilled in the West African recipe. You can cook the West African foods all by yourself; well sort of! All thanks to the couple below.
AYO Foods is a small business supplying frozen West African dishes to Whole Foods. That means you can pick your frozen ogbono soup, groundnut stew, fried plantains, root vegetable, pounded yam, goat pepper soup, chicken yassa, or any other popular dish from Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Sierra Leone from the Whole Foods store. And go cook it (rather finish cooking it) at your home kitchen.
For better convenience, you can stock up on the various frozen West African cuisines in your fridge and during the weekend have a homemade African soul food moment with friends and family. And have a different West African dish for the different days of the weekdays.
During an interview with a section of the media, the Spencers said: “Our home has always been a gathering point for friends and family because we love the joy that is born out of those special moments together.
None of these moments happen without a great meal. As we thought about building a business together, nothing inspired us more than using our strong industry experiences to create these moments for others by sharing some of our family’s favorite recipes that were under-represented in mainstream grocery stores.”
Thanks to the Spencers, you can now walk to select Whole Foods stores in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Chicago, and grab yourself frozen West African food.
Your work will be to put some heat on the frozen food, and voila! You got yourself a homemade Nigerian national dish, Senegalese national dish, Ghanaian national dish, and Moroccan national dish among other favorite West African dishes. It goes without mentioning, some palm oil, palm wine, leafy vegetables, and rice dish will go a long way in making it a true West Africa soul food.
We live in a time where an increasing number of people are not worried about their next meal. They are more worried about the suitability of next meal. The same goes with the above-mentioned foods. While it is true that West African dish have a generous serving of foods rich in carbohydrates like rice, plantain, and yams. The question on ‘Is West African food healthy?’ depends more on how you prepare the dish.
For instance, rice cooked in lots of palm oil will make a dish full of saturated fats, and that is unhealthy! If you prepare the yams by frying it, again you will raise the level of undesired calories in the dish. So to be on the safe side, go easy on the palm oil.
West Africa is a big region measuring about 2.5 million square miles comprising 16 countries. The most popular of these countries include Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea, Togo, Liberia, Gambia, and Sierra Leone.
Each of these countries contains tens if not hundreds of different ethnic groups. In many situations you find ethnic groups within the same country having different customs and traditions. So naturally, their traditional foods will vary; sometimes vary wildly. Be that as it may, the following are some of the popular West African foods and their country of origin.
Kele Wele (Ghana), Poisson Braisé/ Charcoal-grilled fish (Cote d’Ivoire), Souya (Niger, Nigeria), Foufou or Fufu (Cote d’Ivoire), pounded yam (Nigeria), Tchep (Senegal), Peanut soup or Mafé (Mali, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire), Poulet DG or Chicken DG (Cameroun), Egusi Soup (Nigeria, Togo, Benin) and Chicken Yassa (Senegal).
We understand, not everyone had the bandwidth to enter the kitchen and prepare the family a meal. For such individuals, we have great recommendations on top African restaurants in New York and Atlanta with highly skilled African cooks. These professional chefs do just not prepare food with American standards but are also mindful not to lose the authenticity of African mannerisms in preparing and serving the foods.