Showing posts from October, 2013

Chic African Culture Blog

All about palm oil and how to make palm oil vegetarian stew

The palm oil tree is also known as Elaeis Guineensis and is native to West and Southwest Africa. Nearly 85 percent of the world’s palm oil comes from Indonesia and Malaysia; the other major growing countries are Thailand, Colombia, Nigeria, and Papua New Guinea. All About Palm Oil African palm oil aka macaw-fat is the world’s most popular and most purchased vegetable oil making up about 35 percent of the total international trade in cooking oils. The Palm oil tree has many uses and no part of the tree goes to waste. The tree is used to make world-famous palm wine and local medicines. The leaves may also be used to make thatches, which are often used as roofing material in certain areas. In West Africa, palm oil is a major food item and it is typically used for making goods with its natural flavor and red color having a unique effect on a dish. Palm oil can be harvested 12 months of the year accounting for 35 percent of the world's vegetable oil market.

Sierra Leone Fried Soup Recipe

Sierra Leone Fried Soup Recipe Easy Sierra Leone Fried Soup Recipe Sierra Leone Fried Soup Recipe is fast and easy to prepare, especially useful for families with busy schedules. Boiled yams, cassava tubers, bananas, rice and other starches can be eaten with the soup. Ingredients 1 teaspoon palm oil 2 chicken breasts cut into strips 2 large onions sliced 3 garden eggs diced 1 tablespoon chili pepper 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups of water Directions Heat oil in a pot and fry the chicken. Add sliced onions, garden eggs, and ground chili pepper. Cover the ingredients with water and add salt. Cook for 20-25 minutes, with a lid on the pot. About Sierra Leone Sierra Leone History Following the American Revolution, a colony was established in 1787 and Sierra Leone became a destination for resettling black loyalists who had originally been resettled in Nova Scotia. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, British crews delivered

Simple Pumpkin and Vegetable Stew

Simple Pumpkin and Vegetable Stew in 30-minutes Ingredients 1 cup of your favorite canned beans 1 cup mashed pumpkin 1 cup whole corn 1 large red tomato, chopped 1 large yam, diced 2 cups vegetable broth 1 diced hot pepper White pepper to taste Garnish with sour cream (optional) Directions Add all ingredients to a large bowl mix well and then add to a casserole dish, heat for 30 minutes. Serve from the casserole dish. Garnish with sour cream. Great with fish and rice. Did you know? Egusi seeds are the seeds of plants of squash, melon, gourd, pumpkin, etc which after being dried and ground is used as an ingredient in East and  West African recipes .

Off-Grid Challenge how to build a fire

Off-Grid Challenge how to build a fire Chic African Culture Sub-Saharan Africa's lack of electrical power, Off-Grid Challenge how to build a fire One of the most persistent problems to creating maintainable economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa is the lack of electrical power. Sub-Saharan Africa is considered the portion of Africa that lies south of the Sahara Desert : this portion includes all of Central, West, East and South Africa. More than 69% of the population of sub-Saharan  Africa has no access to electricity.  In the rural areas of Africa, the number of people without access to electricity rises to more than 85%. In other words, that is over 600 million people in the 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa lacking access to electricity. Twelve U.S. government agencies, whose combined capabilities form the backbone of Power Africa, are working closely with African governments to prioritize and address key legal, regulatory and policy

How to use a pestle and mortar

African spice recipe that makes full use of your pestle and mortar. Use a mortar and pestle to grind and mix spices, crush herbs and nuts. The mortar and pestle are one of the oldest most recognized pharmacy and kitchen tool used throughout the world. African spice recipe that makes full use of your pestle and mortar. The mortar and pestle is a kitchen gadget that was found in every urban and rural African kitchen . However, emerging technology in the African food culture is threatening the once commonplace mortars and pestles of old. Mortars and pestles were once used to husk and dehull grain but village electric grain mills are slowly replacing the hand labor intensive mortars and pestles. There are many recipes where hand mixing and grinding with a mortar and pestle put the consistency of the mixing and grinding in your hands. Place ingredients in the mortar or bowl portion, using the pestle end slowly move the rounded pestle end against the mortar to grind. In order to poun

Africanized Honey bees

What Are Africanized Bees What Are Africanized Bees Africanized Honey bees October 19, 1990, a honeybee swarm unlike never before took over a small south Texas town in the United States. Africanized honeybees dramatically labeled as "killer bees" are the result of honeybees brought from Africa to Brazil in the 1950s in hopes of breeding a bee better adapted to the South American tropical climate.  These honey bees reached the Brazilian wild in 1957 and then spread south and north until they officially reached the United States on October 19, 1990. Actually all honeybees are imports to the New World and are not native. Those that flourished here before the arrival of Africanized honeybees are considered European honeybees, because European colonists introduced them in the 1600s and 1700s. Africanized honeybees are so called because it was assumed that the African honey bees spreading out from Brazil would interbreed with existing feral Europ

Cameroon Smoked Bonga Fish Stew

Fresh bonga fish is used in cooking stews and fried fish recipes. Some boil the fresh bonga fish and use it as a side dish for local recipes. Other African home chefs buy bonga fish roasted, salted and dried, or smoked bonga fish.  It is estimated that nearly 70 percent of the total fish supply in West Africa is marketed in the smoked or dried forms.  Bonga fish is caught in the coastal and estuarine waters, and lagoons along West Africa from Senegal to Cameroon. During the dry season it is caught far inland when salt water penetrates the rivers.   Making Cameroon Smoked Bonga Fish Stew  Cooking fish in Cameroon Africa. Cameroon in West Africa, bonga fish is a popular fish to use in recipes, bonga is usually smoked with lots of fresh vegetables.  Prep time: 15 min  Cook time: 20 min  Total time: 35 min  Ingredients  4 smoked bongas or any smoked fish  2 green plantains cut in quarters  2 medium onions, chopped  2 green pepper

How not to overeat 10 rules to follow

How not to overeat 10 rules to follow How not to overeat 10 rules to follow, give definition to your mealtime, give yourself positive statements, do not immediately turn to food, the next time you feel a food urge, take a deep breath and relax, break your old dietary rules slowly, eat smaller portions and moderate portions, and seek counseling if needed. Consider the following ideas to help you handle the strong urge to overeat. How not to overeat 10 rules to follow  1.    Give definition to your mealtime. Have regularly scheduled meals with a healthy variety. Set an eating schedule that suits your needs. 2.    Give yourself positive statements while you examine your struggle to overeat such as: What am I thinking and feeling? What do I need to do with these emotions now, other than overeat? 3.    Do not immediately turn to food. Keep to your regularly scheduled meal plan. 4.    The next time you feel a food urge, take a deep breath and rela

Hausa Fried Black Eyed Beans Cake Recipe

Fried Black Eyed Beans Cakes are known by many different names in Western Africa. Below is a photo of Fried Black Eyed Beans Cakes For Sale In Nigeria in 1998. Here is the recipe for our Hausa Fried Black Eyed Beans Cakes which makes about 10 small bean cakes. Ingredients 1 can of black-eyed peas (liquid drained) 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 teaspoon red pepper Salt and pepper to taste Oil for frying Directions Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add all ingredients into a large bowl and mash well with your lightly oiled hands or a potato masher or add to a food processor and blend until smooth. Form the bean mixture into quarter-sized ball, flatten and fry until are a golden-brown in color. Hausa are the largest ethnic group in Sub-Saharan Africa found chiefly in northwestern Nigeria and adjacent southern Niger with 30% of Hausa people found in the north and northwest regions of Nigeria known as Hausaland. The Hausa culture is strongly linked to Islam with

Make in a hour Tea Biscuits Recipe

Tea Biscuits, known as cookies in The United States are eaten throughout the world and African food is a unique fusion of many different cultures. One influence over the centuries is that of European colonialists who colonized Africa from around the 1600’s to the 20th century. Anna Maria Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, is said to have made afternoon teatime a fashionable trend when she complained of "having that sinking feeling" during the late afternoon. Hereafter, a pot of tea and a light snack in the middle of the afternoon became a part of European culture. One very popular light snack is that of the tea biscuit. Make in a hour Tea Biscuits Recipe Ingredients 2 cups bread flour 4 teaspoons baking powder  ½ teaspoon salt  1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening  ¾ cup milk   Directions Sift the dry ingredients together, mix in fat with the tips of fingers, then add the milk a little at a time or cut it in with a knife. The dough should be as soft as can be e

The Missing Education on African Hair

The Missing Education on African Hair When kinky or Afro-textured hair is washed and not styled, it naturally forms into the coiffeur that is known as the Afro, and it is beautiful. African Hair Art Just as the human body is outfitted and decorated to look sexy, professional or devout, the human hair is a reflection of a person’s outward identity. Hair is looked at as an accompaniment to an outfit; an essential accessory that glams up the whole look. African Hair identity Why Hair Is Important Pay attention to your hair because everyone else does. Hair is considered a person’s crowning glory and when a bad hair day happens upon them, some believe they are unattractive and ugly. For centuries, African hair was treated as an artist’s canvas.  Unique African hairstyles were a fashion and status statement for women and men. Hair's the thing that makes a person unique. Ancient African Hairstyle Art One of the most famous and talented photographers of Nigerian Hairstyles, Johnso

Traditional Recipe for Eggplant Fritters

Popular in Central and West Africa, eggplant fruit and leaves can be fried, grilled, stuffed, roasted, and cooked in soups and stews. Eggplants and garden eggs in some regions of Africa are a vegetable grown in the subtropics and tropics. The name eggplant originates from the shape of the fruit. Eggplant has chemicals that can cause digestive upset if eaten raw, so is frequently cooked. The leaves and fruits of eggplants are eaten boiled, steamed, pickled, or in soups and stews with eggplant leaves, other vegetables or meats. The Igbo people in southeastern Nigeria traditionally welcome visitors into their homes by offering the fruits customarily along with kola-nuts and seeds of alligator pepper. Traditional Recipe for Eggplant Fritters Ingredients and Directions 1. Boil your desired amount of eggplants in salted water mixed with a little lemon juice. 2. When tender, skin, drain and mash the eggplant. 3. For every cup of pulp, add one-half cup full of flour, two well-beat

Akara Fried Black Eyed Peas African Recipe

Akara fried black eyed peas African recipe is popular street food in Nigeria. Nigeria is not only the cellular phone capital of Africa but also famous for rich, delicious Akara recipes. Easy-to-Follow Akara Fried Black Eyed Peas African Recipe Ingredients 1 15 ounce can black eyed peas with all liquid drained (press down on peas) 1 tablespoon self-rising flour 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes Oil for frying Directions In large bowl add all ingredients and with clean hands squeeze the mixture until smooth. Form into small balls, roll in flour and fry until brown about 2 minutes. Ten Akara Black-eyed peas facts 1. Cowpea is an important staple crop in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in arid Savannahs of West Africa and the Sahel. 2. Cowpeas are a valuable source of vegetable protein, vitamins as well as valuable income. 3. Western and Central Africa is the leading cowpea producing regions in the world pr

Mali Tea Ceremony

Welcoming guests with tea is a sign of friendship in the African country of Mali. Mali Tea Culture Tea Ceremony in Africa is a cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation and presentation to honored guests and even strangers. Welcoming guests with tea is a sign of friendship in the African country of Mali. Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture 10-4-2013 Mali tea ritual is common throughout North Africa. The custom in Mali is to welcome people with green tea simmering with mint leaves . The hot, sweet tea is poured from a small teapot into shot-glass size glasses from a great height in order to get a good head of foam on the tea. The glasses are then offered to guests, who slurp the tea loudly, to indicate politeness and respect for their host. Welcoming guests with tea is a sign of friendship in Mali. Around 17 percent of the population in Mali has access to electricity , much lower than in other low-

Timbuktu Elite University in the Desert

Timbuktu is located close to the river Niger which soon became known as a place for business due to its location. Timbuktu Elite University in the Desert Founded by the Imagharen Tuareg, Timbuktu Mali was established in the 12th century, almost nine hundred years ago as a place where nomads could pasture and water their camels after traveling through the Sahara desert. Tuaregs in Timbuktu, Mali Three important mosques were constructed in Timbuktu, Djingareyber, Sankore, and Sidi Yahia. The Djingareyber Mosque, the initial construction in 1327, the Sankore Mosque or The University of Sankoré date it was constructed is unknown, but probably in the 14th century, between 1325 and 1433, not long after the Djingareyber was constructed, and the Sidi Yahia Mosque, was built around 1400. The three mosques compose the famous University of Timbuktu. Beginning in the 15th century Timbuktu established itself as an important educational, spiritual, cultural, and business hub.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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