On the mouth of Africa, meeting the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, are the West African countries. Described as rainy and tropical, their beauty and wonder lie not only in their rich cultures and infrastructure. But it also lies in their West African recipes. And Humble Vege aims to explore these, with a focus on Plant-base and vegetarian African food. The lifestyle may be specific, but it doesn’t feel limited. We have the recipes, and we give you West African drinks to pair them with. But it doesn’t end there. No. African desserts are a must-try. And if you want something for those late-night hunger pangs but fear dessert won’t do your figure any good, then we will give you African snacks too. The options are limitless!
What is West African food?
West African recipes have a lot to offer… savory and zesty, spicy and tangy, sweet and creamy. All with a wealth of textures and flavors. Just as West Africa has a wealth of cultures and crops. But all that diversity comes together and presents itself in the common foods. In the dishes that are universal and dare I say, traditional.
All I’m saying is if you’ve consumed one dish from this region, it’s likely to have been rice. Fried rice, jollof rice, or even plain rice, playing the role of the carb on your plate. But no, it’s not all about rice. West Africans love to cook and explore different options. Sometimes even vegetarian African food.
Common tastes are the seasoning of hot pepper and the amazing blends and mixtures of spices. Roasted or not. And this exploration and use of spices are extended to cups by being added to West African drinks. Many of these are great for giving your body a calming sensation, or even healing it. They can regulate your blood pressure and reduce your cholesterol levels, for example, this Nigerian Zoborodo tea. There are more West African drinks made with spices. Not into the super healthy stuff? We’ve got you too. You can try this Thiakry, a creamy African dessert from Senegal.
Boy do Africans love their African snacks! Who can blame them when they are lucky enough to own fertile soils that produce different fruit trees in all areas? And who can resist picking some and nibbling away? Or even taking them home to add them to more African snack recipes. Some of these fruits have flavors on the sharper side, allowing them to be added to main dishes too. For example, kittely stew focuses on the kittely fruit, a type of African eggplant. (Yes, eggplant is a fruit!).
What to expect in West African dishes?
Expect a vast range of tastes to excite your palate. From Mauritania to Nigeria, each country interacts with more or less the same ingredients. The difference is how they put the ingredients together to make a delectable and culturally specific dish. Vegetarian African food consists of a variety of vegetables and fruits. And if you want a better look at some of the spices commonly used, take a look at these spices in Benin.
The melon seed is an example of an ingredient used to thicken stews. Yes, seeds! An example of this is in Nigerian Egusi soup. Yum! To make complete traditional African food, West Africans serve stews with rice, pounded yam, gari, or fufu. In fact, some love stews so much that they put it on everything, like fries! Not a bad combo, if you ask me.
As pap goes by different names in Eastern and Southern Africa, some West African recipes are made similarly but go by different names. For example, in many parts of Africa, you hear ‘fufu,’ which can have different spellings. But you might also hear it being called ‘akpu.’ Especially in Nigeria.
Related: 3 Ways how to make fufu from cassava
The best way to explore African recipes is through a region’s popular dish. Background knowledge of things like etiquette and traditional habits that they follow helps too. For example, East and West Africa may have their differences but just like in the East, it isn’t uncommon to find people eating with their hands. It’s like a way of connecting with and deeply appreciating your food.
Our West African recipes and articles provide a point of entry into these kitchens and dining areas. Read this Liberian guide on African etiquette, especially for vegetarian orders in restaurants.
You May Not Want to Miss Out!
Join the party line, as we eat our way throughout the West African region. Explore with us as we blaze until the belly is full. There are many amazing healthy vegetarian African food recipes and African snacks using plant-based alternatives. In case you’re looking for healthy African recipes, or even cheat day African desserts, West African recipes are undoubtedly worth your attention. They have a collection of Vegetarian African food to choose from. Curious about a no-animal-meat food lifestyle? Check out our Instagram page for real-life inspirations 😊.
Grab your cool water and bring washed hands, because we eating. No wahala dey ooooo!