After my sister married and started cooking for two, she was keen to expand her repertoire and inspired me to look beyond my standard evening fare of salads or sandwiches.
The ONE office is full of people who love to experience different cultures. So I asked my colleagues for some suggestions and now realize cooking African-inspired recipes is an easy way to spice up the kitchen and a fun way to explore other cultures!
Here are some of the staff’s top picks. If you try one, share a pic with @ONECampaign on Instagram or Twitter!
Champo Mapulanga, Finance Assistant: Oxtail Stew
Champo calls this her “comfort food.” While some people turn to mashed potatoes or ice cream, Champo makes oxtail stew, something she says is both absolutely delicious and incredibly simple! And yes, if you were wondering, it really is made from tails, though generally from cows.
Oxtail is not only a comfort food due to its rich, savory taste; it also reminds Champo of her roots in Zambia, where she used to eat this dish regularly. Click here for the recipe for Champo’s oxtail.
Juliet Schear, Communications Intern: Chicken Curry and Ujeqe
You may not know this, but Durban, South Africa is the largest Indian city outside of India! Juliet found this out when she studied there, which you can read more about on her blogs here, here and here. Many South African dishes are Indian inspired – but they are still very different from “India Indian” food (as the locals like to say). About this recipe, Juliet says, “almost every meat dish used curry powder, but it was unlike any traditional Indian food I’ve ever had.”
Served along with the curry was Juliet’s favorite food – a steamed bread known as ujeqe in Zulu. Click here for the recipe for Juliet’s chicken curry and ujeqe (although was scribbled down after watching her host family cook so everything is sort of estimated!)
Mercy Erhiawarien, Leland Fellow and Partnerships Coordinator: Moin Moin
Despite growing up in the US, Mercy still loves the diverse culture and food of her birth country, Nigeria. However, Mercy says there are a few common staples at any Nigerian gathering. “I love most Nigerian food but one of my favorites is moin moin, in part because it’s not too hard to make!”
Pronounced “moi moi”, this Nigerian steamed bean dish is generally made with black eyed peas or brown peas and spices.You start by soaking the beans in water overnight. Mercy says she likes to add corned beef or a boiled egg to make an especially tasty batch. Click here for the recipe for Mercy’s moin moin.
Felicity Amos, Digital Content Manager: Peanut Butter & Vegetable Casserole
Before TV cooking competitions were all the rage, Felicity was part of a yearlong, monthly cooking competition! In Iron Chef-esque style, each month two people would compete against each other to make an appetizer, entree, and dessert all featuring a single, unique ingredient chosen by the winner of the previous month. This particular month, Felicity’s Ghanaian friend, Indira, had to cook with peanut butter!
According to Indira, peanuts are a common ingredient in many African cuisines. Felicity makes the dish often because it’s healthy, delicious, quick and easy! Click here for the recipe for Felicity’s South African vegetable casserole.
Joseph Kraus, Policy Manager for Transparency and Accountability: Zanzibar Coconut Fish Curry
Joe and his girlfriend fell in love with Zanzibar cuisine while in the Tanzanian archipelago back in May. When they returned to the states they made their own version of a Zanzibar curry, similar to the one they had while in Stone Town. Zanzibari cuisine reflects the area’s multi-cultural and multi-ethic history and features seafood, coconut, mango, citrus, and pilaf rice. Click here for the recipe for Joe’s curry.
Elise Kambou, Policy Intern: Jollof Rice
Elise, like Juliet, also studied abroad in South Africa. There, she learn learned how to make jollof rice. A popular West African dish, jollof rice originally came from the Wolof people of Senegal and Gambia, despite Nigerians claiming it as their own! There are so many different versions and Elise said, “typically my friends and I make the dish from memory and improvise along the way”.
Try it for yourself! Elise recommends substituting tomato paste for tomatoes and serving curry chicken and tzatziki sauce with the rice. And while the recipe calls for a dutch oven, a regular pot will do! Click here for the recipe for Elise’s jollof rice.
Tsegaye Hidru, Web Developer: Ethiopian Lentils, Lamb Stew, and Shiro
When I asked Tsegaye if he had a favorite recipe, he sent the following picture with the caption “My sister made this for the two of us for an ordinary Saturday lunch”. So, in addition to wanting the recipes, I’m wondering how I can wrangle a lunch invitation!
A beautiful spread of colorful and delicious looking foods, Tsegaye explained these dishes were “part and parcel” of everyday meals he had while growing up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. However, men weren’t allowed in the kitchen in Ethiopia, so now living in the US, Tsegaye is learning to cook these “simple” feasts with his sister. Click here for Tsegaye’s recipes for lentils (red dish on the right), lamb stew (left bottom), and shiro (reddish dish below the jalapeños) here.