West Africa to the World: 6 Recipes You Need to Try

West African dishes are famous for their spicy-hot flavours and distinct tastes. 

From Nigeria to Ghana to Senegal, every country seems to have this bond with chilli peppers. Tomatoes are also very common with another species of pepper known as Tatashe.

Other common ingredients include red palm oil, peanuts, smoked fish, crayfish, ginger, and Iru (locust beans).

To cook a meal, stew or soup, if any of the above is not present, I can only wonder what you are making. Here are 6 West African dishes that will make you miss the continent if you have once tasted them.


Thieboudienne, Senegal’s national dish, is a rice mix in a rich tomato and vegetable sauce, completed with marinated fish.

Ghanaian Light Soup

Ghanaian light soup is a tomato-rich meat broth, where seafood, chicken, beef, or goat are the proteins. Another soup is pepper soup. It is not specific to Ghana though but is rich in West African spices.

Vegetable Stew

From Nigeria to Sierra Leone, you often find leafy soups made from greens such as amaranth, potato, waterleaf, bitter leaf, etc. They are cooked with the rich red palm oil that gives it the classic West African flavor.


Okra being indigenous to West Africa conveniently distinguishes itself from others – and seafood okra is incredibly delicious.


Here are a few recipes to show just how versatile this class of foods can be.

Ole And Akara: Ole or Moin Moin is savory pudding usually wrapped in banana leaves, then steamed. If the pudding is fried instead, you get bean cakes called Akara.

Red Red: Red Red is a Ghanaian bean stew often served with a side of fried plantains.

Gbegiri: Gbegiri is also a bean soup but more specific to Nigeria. It is usually served with pounded yam flour known as Amala.

Waache (Waakye): Waakye is a rice-and-bean dish from Ghana. It is usually served with a hot dark pepper condiment called shito.

Jollof Rice

Well, there’s one rice that is the king of all – the mighty Jollof Rice. This is the party food of West Africa, particularly Nigeria and Ghana. To serve, you can add chicken, fish, fried plantains, or Moin Moin to finish the art!





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