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It's that time of year again. The weather is getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and the produce we're seeing in the shops is shifting. Gone are the delicate salad vegetables of the summer, replaced with the ingredients for hearty soups, stews and curries; autumn dinner recipes and warming winter recipes designed to be truly comforting.
If you're looking for some inspiration beyond your regular autumn casserole recipes, read on. We've pulled together a selection of our favourite African winter recipes, delicious dishes from across the continent, to give you some information to spice up those rainy evenings!
Durban is South Africa's third-largest city in terms of population. Located on the eastern coast of the country, it's a city whose culture and food meld Indian, African and colonial influences, creating a real melting pot of cultures! It's a city that's been known for its Indian dishes ever since the first South Indian labourers travelled to Durban between 1860 and 1911, and many of the Indian dishes that you'll find in the city aren't for the faint-hearted. Fresh curry leaves are vital in this recipe, giving it its authentic Durban flavour. We suggest serving it with roti; a South African flatbread that takes its influence from the Indian chapati.
Bobotie is one of the best-known foods of South Africa, originally making its way to the country from Indonesia as far back as the 17th century. The Muslim Cape Malay community took the bobotie recipe and adapted it to make it their own, and it's a great choice for those looking for delicious yet cheap autumn recipes. Minced lamb is combined with raisins, diced apple and a range of other optional ingredients, before being topped with an egg custard and baked. It may sound unusual, but it is delicious
When it comes to autumn casserole recipes, what could be better than the simplicity of throwing everything into a slow cooker and leaving it to simmer? That's exactly what you'll do with this slow cooked Moroccan chicken recipe. Tender chicken is combined with seasonal butternut squash and a whole host of traditional Moroccan tagine ingredients, including chickpeas, cumin and coriander, along with a good sprinkling of cinnamon and a handful of sultanas for a dish that's both savoury and sweet.
If you're looking for healthy winter recipes that can double up as either lunch or an evening meal, then give this couscous dish a try. Packed with plenty of seasonal vegetables, including parsnips, carrots and pumpkin, it's a dish whose roots lie in Tunisia, Africa's northernmost country. Here, dishes are often based around delicious seasonal fruits or vegetables, and, like this couscous dish, will often include harissa. This fiery paste is a blend of chillies, garlic and spices, and is used both as an ingredient in sauces and gravies, and as a condiment.
Peanut stew is one of the most popular dishes across West Africa, originating from Mali but also popular in Gambia, Senegal, Sierra Leone and beyond. While peanut stew has some variation from country to country, the sauce is almost always made using peanuts and tomatoes. To the sauce, you'll add sweet potato, collard greens, peppers, chicken and plenty of spices for a dish that's as filling as it is delicious. If you have a jar of peanut butter in the cupboard, give this one a go!
Did you know that there's a huge Italian influence on South African food? From 1861, Italian people began to settle in South Africa, fleeing from the Italian War of Independence. It's now estimated that there are around 35,000 Italians in the country, and they and their ancestors have made their mark on the country's food and drink scene, in everything from wine to pasta. It is even suggested that the creation of biltong was based on Italian curing methods! This recipe includes plenty of traditional Italian ingredients but uses aubergine, a vegetable commonly grown in South Africa, where it is known as 'brinjal'.
Inspired by the vegetable-based creations of Tunisia, make a big batch of these savoury carrot cakes and enjoy them as a snack or as a meal with a winter salad! They're super simple to make, using very few ingredients. Mash together cooked carrots and tinned chickpeas, season with coriander and cumin, bind with egg, then shape into patties and shallow fry. Here, they're served with yoghurt swirled with harissa paste to make a creamy spiced dip that's packed full of North African flavour.
There are plenty of great African recipes that work as winter warmers... the only thing you'll need to decide is which one to make first
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