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Amazing African Dishes to Prepare During Black History Month

Black History Month, also referred to as African-American History Month, is a group of month dedicated to recollecting and honoring the contributions and achievements of members of the African community, dead or living, as well as celebrating African culture and eating African dishes. It is celebrated across the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada as well as France.

The month is marked annually in February in the US and Canada and in October in the UK and France. Carter G. Woodson spearheaded the precursor to Black History Month, with a celebration themed “Negro History Week” in 1929.

Having begun officially in 1970 in Kentucky, US, Black History Month is typified by the staging of lectures, symposiums, seminars and historical tours among other special highlights.

A notable part of the celebrations center on the preparation of traditional and modern African recipes. These meals go beyond just titillating the taste buds of participants at the event; these foods also serve as gateways to learning about the rich and varied contributions of African-Americans in the development of the US and other parts of the world.

These meals are not only mouth-watering but they also symbolize the finer nuances of the ways and culture of the black race. So in no particular order, the following meals stand as representative of the aspirations and aims of Black History Month:

Groundnut Stew

African Dishes peanut soup groundnut stew shutterstock 352810019

How else does one transcend physical borders and join the hearts of black people in unity and love? By whipping up the delightful Groundnut stew! This tasty meal that comes from the stable of the Senegalese in West Africa, is a culinary bombshell that goes fine with a host of accompaniments including rice, yam batter, and other starchy solids.

Look out for the rich contribution and smell of freshly prepared groundnut and take delight in the way the nuts thicken and enrich the taste of the stew. Your Black History Month eating experience will only get better with this brew, served hot and fresh.

Egusi with Spinach (Melon Seed Stew)

Are you looking to cement your Black History Month experience with culinary reminders about your rich African heritage? Then look no further than the spectacular Egusi soup with spinach leaves, all the way from Eastern Nigeria. Comprising an assortment of meats, fish, spices, oils and other condiments, Egusi soup serves well with rice, potatoes, as well as pounded yam. There has to be a deliberateness when eating this soup so as to fully imbibe all the inherent goodness available in a serving of this meal.

Jollof Rice

This controversial meal (nothing to do at all with its great taste, rather a question of the meal’s origin) is a great testament to the rich culture and heritage of the African race. While historians point to the Wolof people of present-day Senegal and the Gambia as the original creators, Nigerians and Ghanaians have given the meal great color and taste.

This simple meal of rice, tomatoes, pepper, onions, and oil receives great traction with the addition of various meats, fish, and assorted spices. Eating times during Black History Month will remain a dear memory with this sumptuous meal. Still, think this meal is overrated? Then head on and read Maya Angelou’s sixth volume of autobiography ‘A song flung up to Heaven’, in which the great African-American poet alludes to a dish of jollof rice as being a smashing success!

Koki (Bean Cake)

Looking for a great appetizer to wet the taste buds of friends, family, and associates during the month-long celebration? Then let this delightful dish from Cameroun come to your rescue. With cowpeas as its major constituent, Koki is made when the peas are mashed, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.

To give the Koki the right color (usually bright red) and flavor, it is essential to use red palm oil or palm nut sauce. Other condiments such as crayfish, pieces of fish and chili peppers round up the assortment of flavors that make a plate of Koki, a formidable meal for the festivities. Koki can be eaten hot or cold and is often served with boiled Yam or sweet potato.

Check out this Amazing Koki Bean Cake recipe by Immaculate Bites!

Okra Soup

African Dishes okra soup

This highly nutritious vegetable gives a mucilaginous thickening quality to soups and stews. Along with other ingredients like meat, fish, stockfish, palm oil and spices, okra serves up a rich broth that goes great with starchy batters like pounded yam and garri.

A little bit of history will suffice here. Historians posit that Okra was brought from Africa to the Americas by enslaved Africans. It is also believed that Africans also brought along names for the okra. The English word okra comes from the West African Twi (or Tshi) language’s Nkrumah or nkrumah which was shortened in English to okra.

This only serves to reinforce Okra soup as an excellent choice for meals at dinners and events during Black History Month.