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from: Western Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering

Boiled and Mashed Vegetables

Various combinations of vegetables--boiled, or boiled, mashed, and seasoned--are eaten in Western and Central Africa. The combination of various similar ingredients in one dish (for example, maize and beans, yams and plantains, or chicken and beef) is typical in African cookery.



harvest in katanga

Boiled Vegetables

What you need

What you do




Mashed Vegetables

What you need

What you do




Msickquatash

The combination of corn and beans seems very similar to succotash (corn and lima beans, sometimes with sweet peppers), a favorite in the Southeastern United States. So similar, that one might suspect an African origin for succotash (especially since so much of the traditional cuisine of the Southeastern United States has African influences). But gastronomic authorities state that succotash, the recipe and the word, come from the Naragansett (Narragansett or Nanhigganeuck) Indians of the Northeastern United States who made a corn dish called msickquatash. It is interesting to note that succotash is most associated with the Southeastern United States--might msickquatash been readily adopted by Africans in America who were used to similar vegetable combinations?


Sembene Ousmane

The stalls of the women who sold foodstuffs

Sembene Ousmane's God's Bits of Wood (Heinemann, 1970) tells the story of a railway worker's strike in French West Africa. This excerpt descibes foods in the marketplace:

On the Place Aly N'Guer were the stalls of the women who sold foodstuffs.  Standing behind their counters, neatly dressed, they called out to the passers-by, trying to tempt them with the variety of their offerings: papayas, earthnuts, and fritters of all kinds; fish or meat balls; sweet potatoes, fried or raw; steaming porridges of maize and of millet; rootstocks of cassava, roasted in hot ashes or cooked in sauce like kidney beans and served to the customer in bowls.  It could all be bought on credit -- 'on the back of the month', as the saying went.
[Thiès - The City]


Other African gastronomical excerpts

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