Trending: African cuisine

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Trending: African cuisine

The food world’s interest in the Mother Continent is extending beyond harissa and ras el hanout. Enter sorghum, plantains and the new supergrain you need in your life right now.

“Africa, more than any other continent, needs to be seen by the world as both the place we all came from and where we are going” – Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown

The ingredients

Sorghum: 2017 is the year of sorghum, according to international food forecasters, who predict the gluten-free wholegrain will be cropping up in breakfast grain bowls, gluten-free bread and protein bars.

Teff: Hailed by health nuts as the new supergrain for its high protein and mineral content, teff is a grass seed that grows mainly in Ethiopia. There, it’s the main ingredient of the staple injera, a spongy, sour-tasting, pancake-like bread that’s made from fermented teff flour dough. Ethiopian Olympic gold medalist Haile Gebrselassie famously attributed his success to teff.

Plantains: Part of the banana family, but more starchy and less sugary, plantains can be enjoyed mashed, baked, deep-fried and in super-trendy chip form. They’re also becoming increasingly popular among the gluten-free and paleo set.

Baobab: The Western world is cottoning onto the fact that the fruit of this succulent tree is not only a superfood (it’s said to have twice the calcium of cow’s milk, among many other virtues), but pretty tasty, too. French chef Loïc Dablé, for example, serves it in a sweet condiment with pan-seared scallops.

The spice blend: berbere

Meaning “hot” in Amharic, Ethiopian berbere is considered the new “it” spice to add aromatic (read: not volcanic) heat to everything from stews to seared steak.

To make bebere: Roast 2 t cumin seeds, 2 1⁄2 T smoked paprika, 3⁄4 t cardamom seeds, 1⁄2 t black peppercorns, 1 t fenugreek, 1⁄4 t ground allspice, 2 t cayenne pepper, 1 t ground ginger, 1⁄2 t ground nutmeg, 1⁄4 t ground cloves and 1 t dried chilli flakes in a dry pan until fragrant, taking care not to let the spices burn. Grind to a powder using a mortar and pestle. Blend 1 chopped onion, 4 cloves crushed garlic, 2 red chillies and 4 T vegetable oil in a food processor. Add the ground spices and just enough water to make a paste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Discover more South African favourites here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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