the appetizer:

West African cuisine is heavy with starch, light on meat and generous on fat. Cooks in West Africa often use root vegetables like yams, cocoyams, and cassava, as well as cereal grains, plantains, hot spices, rice, peanuts, black-eyed peas, okra, green peas, citrus fruits, and pineapples.

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West Africa

Menu Guide

Tatale—plantain cake

Foofoo—mashed yam and plantain pudding

Joloff rice—spicy chicken and rice

Calaloo—seafood, vegetable and rice dish, perhaps a precurser to jambalaya

Bangku—cornmeal dumplings

Efo—Nigerian spinach soup

Groundnut Stew—peanut stew with chicken (peanuts are called groundnuts)

Kelewele—deep-fried, seasoned plantain slices

Ata—Nigerian word for "hot" also name of a sauce

Yassa au poulet—West African chicken marinated in lemon, chiles and garlic

"Gumbo" in the US refers to a type of stew with okra as a main ingredient. Interestingly, it comes from the West African word "gombo" which means okra, a plant native to Africa and which arrived on US shores because of the slave trade.

West Africa

West African Recipes

Cookbooks with Recipes

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This page modified January 2007