African Cuisines: Cookbooks for Exploration and Discovery of Superb Flavors

Cooking with fire rs
Cooking in Burkina Faso (Credit: C. Bertelsen)

Only one of this year’s new releases in print cookbooks covers the cooking of Africa, unless you count books about Moroccan cooking by Fatéma Hal and Z. Guinaudeau, as well as Kittee Berns’s Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking. The rest only come in Kindle editions, a medium which is not my first choice for kitchen-ready cookbooks.

The following list, as with any such, fails to be comprehensive, but attempts to entice you, Dear Reader, into trying the cuisines of the vast continent of Africa. Africa is not just one country, but many: 53, if you include the islands like Madagascar, Mauritius, and others. Note that many of these books have been around for a while. And some you will find only in libraries.

One more thing: as I said above, this list is not comprehensive. You may not find your favorite country listed here. As for the cooking of North Africa, primarily Middle Eastern/Arab in nature, please look elsewhere for material on that.

I personally use Elizabeth A. Jackson’s book constantly. Note that Igor Cusack has compiled an exhaustive bibliography of cookbooks related to Africa. Take a look HERE. Click on Bibliography of Sub-Saharan Cookbooks.

The following are my choices, most related to sub-Saharan Africa.

A Slice of Africa: Exotic West African Cuisines, by Chidi Asika-Enahoro

Physics in the Nigerian Kitchen: The Science, the Art, and the Recipes, by Deji and Iswat Badiru

Principles of Cooking in West Africa: Learn the Heritage of African Foo Foo and Soup Cooking, by Raymond Essang

Taste of Uganda: Recipes for Traditional Dishes, by Jolly Gonahasa

Traditional African Recipes: Authentic dishes from all over Africa adapted for the Western kitchen – all shown step by step in 300 simple-to-follow photographs, by Rosamund Grant

Modern Zanzibar Cuisine, by Benn Haidari

A Zimbabwean Cookery Book, by Yvonne Hayward, ed.

African Recipes: Liberian Cooking, by Selena Hoffman

The Africa News Cookbook, by Tami Hultman

South of the Sahara: Traditional Cooking from the Lands of West Africa, by Elizabeth A. Jackson

Zainabu’s African Cookbook with Food and Stories, by Zainabu Kpaka Kallon

The Modern African Vegetable Cookbook, by Barbara Kimenye

Taste of Tanzania: Modern Swahili Recipes for the West, by Miriam R. Kinunda

Contemporary Nigerian Cuisine, by Funke Koleosho

Swahili Kitchen, by Elie Loseleben and Javed Jafferji

African Flavors: Recipes with Proverbs, by Annetta Miller

“My Cooking” West-African Cookbook, by Dokpe L. Ogunsanya

The Ghana Cookbook, by Fran Oseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

African Cookbook: Recipes from Ethiopia, Nigeria and Kenya, by Rachel Pambrun

The Imperial African Cookery Book: Recipes from English-Speaking Africa, by Will Sellick

Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed, by Bryant Terry

Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl, by Pierre Thiam

The Kudeti Book of Yoruba Cookery, by E. M. Tooleyo and J. A. Mars (first published in 1934)

Manna from the Motherland, by Tee-Tee Weisel

© 2014 C. Bertelsen

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5 comments

  • I remember that you used the mushroom recipe. Thanks for your kind words. I read your blog regularly and love the history, the travel and especially the photographs. Have a great holiday!

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  • Elizabeth, so good to hear from you. I asked your permission to use one of your mushroom recipes in my book, Mushroom: A Global History. I really hope you get the book back into print,because it is terrific!

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  • Thanks for this list. I am looking forward to taking the time to peruse it further. I’m the author of South of the Sahara: Traditional Cooking from the Lands of West Africa. I’m working on getting a revised version of the book back into print. Maybe this will be the year!

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