The Lingala word for donut is Mokaté (in plural the right word is Mikaté). Mikaté are commonly served for breakfast and for snack time. In Brazzaville (Congo), Mikaté are a street food favorite that you can find on the stand of almost every street vendor in popular neighbourhoods. It’s also the case in Brazzaville’s twin city across the Congo River, Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). In fact, Mikaté are without a doubt among the most liked and eaten dishes in both Congos.
Madesu is the Lingala word for beans. Beans are one of the staple ingredients in the African cuisine and they are cooked in every part of Africa in different ways. That’s why as part of my Vegan week, I decided to make a vegan version of the African red beans stew I used to have when I was growing up. Usually in Congo, Madesu or beans are served with beef, pork, salt cod or tripe sheep, however since I’m fully vegan this week; I decided to make this stew without adding any type of meat or fish.
As part of a long standing family tradition, Easter always means eating Lamb so this year I decided to cook a very typical East African dish using a boneless butterflied lamb’s leg. In Swahili, Nyama means meat and Choma stands for roasted. It’s a very popular dish in East Africa especially in Kenya and Tanzania. Typically, Nyama Choma is slowly roasted on a grill over a bed of charcoal giving to the meat a particular taste.
Palm cream or palm pulp is a staple ingredient in the African cuisine, especially in West and Central Africa. The cream or pulp is extracted from oil palm fruit. The palm fruit is harvested then boiled to be later pressed to collect the reddish-orange cream. In most African households, people are still making their palm pulp themselves using fresh palm fruits. However, thanks to industrialization, it’s now possible to buy palm cream or palm pulp in a can. And it’s an easy alternative for people living in Western countries, like myself. Canned Palm pulp can be found in most Exotic markets and Asian markets (since Malaysia is the world largest producer of palm oil).