With aromatic spices, fragrant rice and stews, delicious sandwiches and a deep love of grilled meat, you’re certain a true foodie treat once you travel around Africa and therefore the Middle East . From the center Eastern icons like hummus, falafel and shawarma, to the African treasures like biryani, braai and potjiekos, we take you on a tastebud-tingling journey round the better of African and Middle Eastern food.
1. Pap en vleis / Shisa nyama
You can’t go far in Southern Africa without seeing the beloved combination of pap en vleis, which accurately means maize porridge and meat. The dish includes any quite braaied (barbecued) or stewed meat and a starch, and it’s usually served with other sides like relish and gravy. It’s particularly popular in South Africa , where the treasured ‘braai’ takes barbecuing to a different level.
Shisa nyama, meaning ‘burn meat’ in Zulu, is that the same delicious concept and sometimes refers to a celebratory ‘bring-and-braai’ event. Whether you wish steak, chops, chicken, kebabs, boerewors (spicy sausage), or maybe fish, you’ll have almost anything braaied. Pair it with any quite maize porridge like krummelpap (crumbly porridge) or suurpap (soured pap), and you’ve got South Africa during a dish.
Taste the important deal in South Africa
You can experience a true braai and a taste of pap en vleis/shisa nyama once you visit South Africa . We’ll take you on a special Be My Guest experience with locals within the whale-watching town of Hermanus. You’ll enjoy a standard braai with all the classics like boerewors, pap and melktert (a sweet South African dessert), all washed down with superb homemade wine.
You can also participate during a classic South African braai at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi park , enjoying traditional grilled meats while surrounded by the magical sounds of nature within the African wilderness.
Falafel possesses to be one among the foremost famous Middle Eastern foods of all time. the precise origins of falafel are fiercely debated among Middle Easterners, but wherever you enjoy these fried balls of chickpeas and spices, you’re certainly certain a treat.
If you’re in Egypt, you’ll even get a small variation on the long-lasting falafel. Here it’s made with crushed fava beans rather than chickpeas, and referred to as ta’meya. Mixed with herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, parsley and dill, and typically served with tahini, salad and aish baladi (Egyptian bread), falafel is usually a crowd favourite.
3. Biryani and pilau
From Southern Africa to Eastern Africa and everywhere in between, biryani and pilau are true Swahili staples. These dishes were originally delivered to the African continent by Indian migrants and are given a uniquely African spin.
In South Africa , biryani originated from the Cape Malay culture. It’s made with meat like goat or chicken, lentil, potatoes, tomatoes, parboiled rice and spices like ginger, garam masala and chilli powder.
Further east, Kenyans and Tanzanians love their chicken biryani, made with chicken, spices, edible fruit and basmati rice. Pilau is another famous rice, infused with a stunning blend of spices like cinnamon, cumin, ginger, cardamom and cloves.
Taste the important deal in Zanzibar
There’s no better place to undertake biryani and pilau than the stunning island of Zanzibar, famed because the ‘Spice Island’. once you travel, we’ll take you to go to to a shamba (spice farm) with an area guide. You’ll get to smell and taste all types of spices, herbs and fruits, and find out how generations of farmers are growing these incredible foods for hundreds of years .
As one of the world’s favourite street foods and therefore the ultimate Middle Eastern sandwich, you can’t go past the shawarma. The star of this dish is shavings of tender, spit-roasted meats. counting on where you’re , your shawarma are going to be served during a wrap, pita bread or burger bun, and topped with pickled vegetables, tahini, tabbouleh, or tangy sauces.
You’ll find variations everywhere the region, with countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey and Egypt all hotly contesting who makes the simplest shawarma. You’ll just need to try all of them to seek out your favourite!
5. Pap / Ugali
You can’t visit Africa without trying this famous starchy staple. It’s referred to as ugali in Eastern Africa, nshima in Zambia, sadza in Zimbabwe, phaleche in Botswana, pap in Southern Africa, and there are even more names out there. Whatever you call it, one thing is needless to say – pap is that the king of meals in Africa.
It’s made by boiling cornmeal until it becomes a dense slab, and it’s eaten by tearing off a bit , rolling it into a ball and using it like an edible spoon to dip in stews, soups, curries and sauces. almost like a doughy porridge, the sign of an honest pap is that it won’t stick with your fingers!
Taste the important deal in Tanzania
You can get a taste of pap, or ugali in Tanzania, once we take you on a walking tour of the village of Mto wa Umbu in Tanzania, learning about village life as you stroll through farmlands and markets. You’ll get to find out how the local banana beer is formed (and try it for yourself), before sitting right down to a fantastic feast of traditional dishes prepared by the local ladies.
When you consider Middle Eastern food, you almost certainly consider hummus. This iconic chickpea dip is eaten everywhere the planet and may be a staple across North Africa , the center East and therefore the Mediterranean. Each region even offers up its own special twist on this beloved dish.
Hummus is usually made up of mashed chickpeas mixed with vegetable oil , garlic and juice . It are often eaten as a dip, as a sandwich spread, or any way you like!
While hummus is that the godfather of Middle Eastern dips, you furthermore may can’t go past tahini, the classic sesame paste used as a dip, a spread, or a base for several Middle Eastern foods. There’s also baba ghanoush, a vegetarian icon made with roasted eggplant and tahini. With numerous delicious options, you’re bound to go dip-crazy within the Middle East!
If you’re keen on an honest stew, you’ve need to try potjiekos, the beloved dish of Southern Africa, particularly Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa . Potjiekos is an Afrikaans term that translates to ‘pot food’, and refers to the stews that are slow-cooked within the traditional three-legged cast-iron pot that originated from Netherlands .
There are some ways to cook an outstanding potjie, but the overall rule is that it takes several hours of simmering for the food to cook to a T . There also are many various sorts of meat you’ll use for your potjie, with the foremost popular being mutton, beef and chicken.
Taste the important deal in Namibia
Want to undertake a standard Namibian foodie experience? We’ll take you on a special Be My Guest experience to satisfy the third-generation Seifart family on their farm and a few of the resident cattle, sheep and goats. You’ll learn all about Namibian farm life, before tucking into a tasty buffet lunch of homemade Namibian specialities. Yum!………More Dishes To Eat On Your Way Around Africa & The Middle East