African food was a mystery to me until one day my daughter came home raving about an Ethiopian Restaurant she tried in New York City. Everything was made from simple ingredients but there was nothing shy about the flavors. All the elements of the dish were cooked to perfection. It was also a bit of a sensory dinner--eating with your hands is not only welcomed, it's encouraged.
Traditional African food features a lot of pulses, starch, grains, hot peppers, and warming spices. This is largely due to the agricultural yields and varying climates across the continent. Did you know that in Ethiopia, vegetarian food is in abundance? A large percentage of the population follows Orthodox fasting days which means little to no meat throughout the week.
Another popular African food is jollof rice. Wow. When I discovered this culinary gem I wondered how I went so long without eating it. Jollof rice cooked over high heat in a hearty broth of vegetables, herbs, ground hot peppers, and spices. Once you try it, you'll totally understand how people have entire festivals centered around which house can make the best version.