West Africa

62. Equatorial Guinea: Sea bass with 3 Sauces

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Equatorial Guinea does not have the best reputation; failed coups, corruption, poverty. Of course the country does have some problems and I wouldn’t recommend you going there for a peaceful holiday, but despite everything the nature is supposed to stunning in Equatorial Guinea.

Rain forests full of endangered primates and shores of nesting sea turtles. On the mainland, white beaches, forest paths and junglescapes await. Just don’t forget to calculate some bribe money in your travel budget, because it is guaranteed you’ll need it.

Equatorial Guinea

Things you didn’t know about Equatorial Guinea:

  • Spain only had one colony in Africa, Equatorial Guinea. They relinquished control on Oct 12, 1968, which is relatively early by 20th century African independence statistics.
  • Although the coffee and cocoa industries are among Equatorial Guinea’s biggest economy boosters, the average resident there generally doesn’t consume these beverages themselves.
  • Extended families often live together. When a couple marries, it is traditional for them to move in with the husband’s family.
  •  Since the discovery, the country has flown into economic stardom, but this country remains one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and it is very common to see officials asking for bribes around the corners of the country.

This recipe is a so much better then you would expect, my first reaction was: fish with peanut sauce that can’t be good? But I was wrong it was delicious although my absolute favourite was the avocado sauce.

fish
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33. Cameroon: Afrika Grilled Chicken in Tomato Sauce (Kati Kati)

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Cameroon is Africa’s beating heart, a beautifull country with active volcanoes, white sand beaches, thick rainforest and memorable parched landscapes broken up by the bizarre rock formations of the Sahel. So Cameroon has basically everything you expect Africa to have. There are both French and English regions in Cameroon, btw have I mentioned the rest of the 230 local languages they in Cameroon! In contrast with it’s neighbours Cameroon enjoys stability. The infrastrucuture is great, so traveling in Cameroon is safer and easier then in many other parts of Africa.

Cameroon

Here are some fun facts about Cameroon

  • Masks of people there carrying different messages are a very important part of their culture.
  • Cameroon is the first African country to reach the quarter-final in soccer world cup.
  • Cameroon is home to the second wettest place in the world, Debuncha at the foot of the Cameroon mountains records annual rainfalls of 400 inches (10,000mm), this is about 20 times the annual rainfall recorded in England. (and here I was thinking I lived in a rainy country)
  • The name Cameroon (also Cameroun in French) is derived from Rio de Camarões (the River of Prawns) the name given to River Wouri by Portuguese Explorers in the 15th century due to its abundance of prawns and crayfish.

So this week I made Kati Kati or African Grilled Chicken! It was a delicious weeknight meal and I served it with spinach.

Cameroon

Ingredients: 3-4 pounds of chicken, skin- on cut up into desired pieces, 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 ½ tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon white pepper, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon bouillon powder (you may replace with salt),

Ingredients sauce: 2 fresh tomatoes, , ½ cup water or more as needed, chicken bouillon to taste

 Trim chicken of excess fat and pat dry with a cloth or paper napkin. In a small bowl combine the spices, onions, pepper, garlic, and Maggie. Season chicken with spice rub. Preheat a hot barbecue, grill, griddle or frying pan. Place chicken on the grill coated with cooking spray; grill for about 20~30 minutes, rotating sides or until browned and almost cooked. Blend tomatoes and set aside. Heat up a large saucepan over medium heat –add palm oil to the pan and tomatoes puree. Sauté for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally Transfer the chicken to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat, spooning the sauce over the chicken to coat. Add about ½-1cup of water cover and cook until the chicken is well flavored by the sauce 4 to 5 minutes and thoroughly cooked through. Adjust for seasonings and oil

Manu Dibango is one of Cameroon’s most renown musicians.

21. Benin: Mouton à l’Arachide (Lamb with Peanuts)

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Benin, a country with a dark history like no other, it’s last place the slaves saw when the were taken from their homes all around around Africa. Can you imagine them sitting on a boat not knowing where they are going, being so afraid of all the stuff around you that you have never seen before. Strange people yelling at you in a language you can’t understand. They must have been so scared! Luckily that’s history!

Elephants, lions and crocodiles can be seen in more animated form in the northern wildlife parks, notably Pendjari, one of the best in West Africa. Then there are the stilt villages, home to thousands in the southern lagoons. Not only is Benin a richly historical and cultural country, this politically stable nation is one of the easiest parts of West Africa to travel in. So here are some fun facts of Benin:

  • Benin is the birthplace of Voodoo: Benin is the only country that recognizes Voodoo as a religion, almost 2/3 of the population worships Voodoo Gods
  • Languages spoken in Benin: French, Fon, Haussa, Yoruba, Dendi, Bariba and Ge
  • Benin, formerly known as Dahomey, was one of the first countries in the 1990s to successfully effect the change from dictatorship to a pluralistic political system. Today, it is one of the most stable countries in Africa.

So here we go, the recipe! I really liked this one although I had my doubts when I started but it turned out really really well!

lamb stew with peanut sauce

Ingredients: 1.5kg lamb shoulder cubed ,6 tbsp peanut butter, 900ml water, 60ml groundnut oil, 2 onions, chopped 2 garlic cloves, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 tbsp powdered shrimp, 8  small carrots, cut into chunks 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 small cabbage, shredded, salt and black pepper to taste, splash of soy sauce to taste

Add the water to a large pan and bring to a boil. Mix-in the peanut butter and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Cool and remove any fat from the surface. Meanwhile fry the lamb in the groundnut oil until browned then add the onions and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic, thyme and powdered shrimp and season with salt. Stir to mix then add the carrots and cabbage. Fry for a minute then add the peanut butter and water mix. Bring to a boil reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes before adding the sweet potato. Add the soy sauce and do not forget to season well, don’t be shy with the black pepper, you don’t want it to be blend! Cook for a further 40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender then serve with rice.