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My Top 5 African Dishes for a Hearty Valentine’s Day.

Jollof rice with chicken/meat/fish and fried plantain:

Predominantly eaten in West African countries such as Senegal (it’s country of origin), Ghana and Nigerian, jollof rice has become a staple meal acceptable for any occasion - from weddings to birthday parties. With a preparation time of a little over an hour (depending on your serving quantities), the ingredients needed are easy to obtain. The flavour of the rice is dependent on how you prepare to the stew, whether mild or spicy. Vegetables such as peas, carrots and sweet corn can also be added to the mix. For a slightly healthier option, boil or grill the plantain instead of frying it. Similarly, grill the fish or chicken.
Vegetarian option: Substitute chicken/meat/fish for moi moi (contains egg).

Ethiopian injera with sides:

The very thought of eating this Ethiopian teff-grain flat bread with my favourite sides (doro wat, shiro, ye’abesha gomen, etc), is enough to get my mouth watering. With a near-endless possibility of traditional sides (you can also add your own creations), this meal can easily be adapted to suit various palettes. Although injera can be made at home from scratch, you’re much better off buying it from a restaurant. Want it gluten-free? Here’s a recipe for that.
Vegetarian option: go meat-less, stick to vegetable sides.

Senegalese thiéboudienne:

Another feature from Senegal because the food there is just that good. Although I’ve only ever been to Dakar once, as a child, the experience and taste of eating thiéboudienne is not one easily forgotten. Served on a large platter, this meal usually comes with either a rice or cous cous base and is laden with fish, stew and vegetables.
Vegetarian option: leave out the fish.

Moroccan couscous salad:

What I love most about couscous is just how versatile it is. It’s easy to make (from a box) and a great base for a range of different meals. For a salad option, simply make some couscous and add your favourite salad bits.
Vegetarian option: I think this one is obvious.

Ghanaian fufu and peanut butter/groundnut stew/soup.

Peanuts are hands down the greatest nuts there are, simply for this dish. To turn it into a southern African dish, use sadza/pap instead of fufu. For your east African version, use ugali (same as the aforementioned, just a different name).
Vegetarian option: don’t add meat/fish/chicken to your stew.

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