An African food odyssey
If you suggest an African meal in Australia these days, people probably imagine food from what is sometimes called the ‘Horn of Africa’. Folks from these parts have been coming here for a while now, introducing us to new cultures and flavours, and it may soon become just as common to order an injera in on a Friday night as it is a pizza! But ‘let’s go for African’ is much less likely to be an invitation to tuck in to dishes from further south.
I came to Australia from Zambia via South Africa with my parents in the early nineteen-eighties. I have Zambian and South African ancestry and the cuisine of these areas alone includes Indigenous African, Indonesian, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and British influences. It’s a shame such colourful cuisine isn’t more widely eaten and promoted in Australia.
My husband and I recently travelled back to Zambia and South Africa. I only had scattered childhood memories of these places but it was special to return and celebrate my heritage. We also found some unique foods I’d heard of but never tasted – kapenta, masau fruit, and delicious barbecued bream, served roadside on a piece of newspaper, with a pile of salt poured in your hand!
I hope these pages open a window into the world of South and East African cuisine. Many recipes in Africa are passed down, they rarely have fixed ingredients and food is often prepared according to what is available. So, feel free to make adjustments! Rather than waiting until I have tested all the recipes, I have decided to use this site as my ‘lab’. Recipes I’ve made are marked with a green map of Africa and those I’m still to have a proper crack at have an orange map. In the side menu (or at the foot of the page on your phone or tablet) there is a shopping page to help with groceries and a recipe index so you can search for dishes by ingredient.
I am in no way an expert on the food of these places, so I welcome suggestions from all of you, including recipes, techniques and places where you like to shop.
In the meantime,
Let’s eat: Tiyeni tidye, Natulye, Asidle, Kom ons eet, Masitye, Hebu kula…