The 10 Best African Cookbooks, these recipes are a one way trip! ✈️

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African cookbook

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Hi, I am Chef Zara. I have reviewed all of the best African Cookbooks.  I love exploring new foods and recipes and cooking with friends and family. Come join me on this journey of taste and discovery.

Food made from Tradition and Family

African cuisine is a rich, diverse, and complex blend of traditions, customs, and flavors that have developed over the centuries. It is a melting pot of cultural influences from all over Africa and its diaspora, with distinctive native ingredients and methods of preparation. The continent has been home to some of the most important empires in history, including those of Egypt, Ethiopia, Mali, and Songhai. (check out our guide on the Best Egyptian Cookbooks). The region’s varied landscape has also influenced its diverse culinary landscape. From savanna grasslands to tropical rainforests and deserts to rocky shores, African cuisine has adapted to suit its environment.

You can’t miss our careful selection of the 10 Best African Cookbooks! ✔️


1. In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean

Why We Love It ❤️

The mouth watering recipes are easy enough for anyone to follow—but if you’re a seasoned chef who wants something more challenging than your average weeknight dinner plans, there are plenty of options here too!

What the Readers Are Saying 👂

“The book takes us into the kitchens of grandmother and allows us a glimpse to their lives. That makes this book more than a recipe book, but a cultural heirloom.” – Therese Neson

Review 📖

The cookbook In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries by Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen offers readers a unique opportunity to learn about traditional African cuisine and its history. The authors have collected favorite recipes from bibis (grandmothers) from all eight African countries, including South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea. The book includes both traditional dishes and new twists on old favorites as well as anecdotes about how these recipes came to be part of their grandmothers’ lives.

The authors are clear that their intent is not to promote any one culture over another or to disparage any specific African country or cuisine. Instead, they want readers to appreciate the diversity of the cultures in this corner of the world—and see how cooking can bring people together despite differences in language or religion.

About the Authors ✍️

Hawa Hassanis is a Somali chef and the founder and CEO of Basbaas Sauce. Julia Turshen is a New York Times best selling cookbook author.


2. Flavors of Africa: Discover Authentic Family Recipes from All Over the Continent

Why We Love It ❤️

At first, you might be skeptical about an cookbook with recipes from all over the African continent—Africa is a huge continent. How could that possibly work?

But Flavors of Africa gets the job done. The recipes in this book are so diverse and so delicious that you’ll never want to cook the same thing twice. The author has done an incredible job of organizing the dishes by region and then helping readers find their own unique flavor profiles by providing a little bit of history about the region.

What the Readers Are Saying 👂

“This is must have for anyone who loves deep flavors, and amazing taste!” – Annezetta

Review 📖

The recipes are also written in such a way that even if you’ve never cooked before—or if you’re just starting out—you can still follow these directions with confidence. They’re easy to read and understand, even if they are long-winded at times (which is totally understandable). And because each recipe comes with its own photo as well as a brief description of what it is and how it’s made, there’s no room for error! You can’t mess up these recipes—they’re perfect!

About the Author ✍️

Evi Aki is a food blogger and a travel writer. She is the founder of the food blog Ev’s Eats.


3. Vegan Nigerian Kitchen: 100 classic recipes with a plant-based twist

Why We Love It ❤️

The recipes are all based on Nigerian cuisine, which means they’re authentic and delicious—but they’re also easy to make! You will love how much variety there is in this cookbook. There are recipes for every occasion, from breakfast foods like porridge and corn fritters to more elaborate fare like efo egusi. There’s even a section on homemade sauces and spices, so you can take your vegan cooking up a notch without having to worry about missing out on delicious flavors!

What the Readers Are Saying 👂

“This cookbook is a remarkable work by Tomi. It’s got everything you need – from the fundamental ingredients, to techniques, cultural details and context, and, obviously, to recipes and photos.”  – Emi

Review 📖

Tomi Makanjuola’s Vegan Nigerian Kitchen is an impressive collection of 100 recipes that will appeal to anyone who loves cooking. This vegan Nigerian cookbook features a lot of great recipes, but it also has some great notes on how to make them if you’re not familiar with the ingredients or techniques. It’s easy to follow and full of tips and tricks that will help you get your food right the first time.

About the Author ✍️

Tomi Makanjuola is a vegan chef and founder of the blog The Vegan Nigerian.


4. The Ethnic Vegetarian: Traditional and Modern Recipes from Africa, America, and the Caribbean

What the Readers Are Saying 👂

“An excellent cookbook. Good tasting recipes for someone moving towards vegetarian life style or just cutting down on meat.” – Rommel Upshur

Review 📖

The Ethnic Vegetarian is a great book for vegetarians who want to explore new and complex flavors and traditions. The recipes are easy to follow, and the ingredients are readily available. Medearis does a good job of explaining how to substitute different ingredients or recalibrate your taste buds if you’ve never tried something before. The book pulls recipes from Africa, America, and the Caribbean (check out our guide on the Best Caribbean Cookbooks).

This vegetarian cookbook is suitable for anyone looking for an easy-to-follow guide to cooking ethnic foods.

About the Author ✍️

Angela Shelf Medearis is a celebrity chef and cookbook author. She is also known as “The Kitchen Diva”.


5. Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa

Why We Love It ❤️

If you love Ethiopian food (check out our guide on the Best Ethiopian Cookbooks) and want to try your hand at making their flavorful dishes, then this book is for you.

You will find these African recipes easy to follow, and even if you are a beginner at cooking, this cookbook will guide you well!

What the Readers Are Saying 👂

“This book is beautifully illustrated. The recipes are perfect. Cannot fault it.” – Sandra Morgan

Review 📖

The first section of the book contains recipes that are easy and quick to make, while the second section contains more complicated dishes that take longer to prepare. If you are looking for simple meals or snacks, then this book has plenty of options for you!

I would definitely recommend this book as it is full of delicious recipes that will leave your taste buds begging for more!

About the Author ✍️

Yohanis Gebreyesus is an African chef and a James Beard award-winning cookbook author.


6. The Soul Of A New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa

Why We Love It ❤️

The book includes traditional African recipes for both savory dishes as well as sweets like jasmine rice pudding and gingerbread-filled cookies. Each recipe is accompanied by step-by-step instructions and photographs from actual meals that Samuelsson has prepared himself over the years.

This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about African cuisine—or just getting into cooking in general!

What the Readers Are Saying 👂

“This is a really excellent cookbook. The recipes are consistently delicious, and the directions are well written. There are a variety of skill levels, which makes it a good cookbook for building cooking skills.”  – Big Moose

Review 📖

The Soul Of A New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson is a cookbook that’s as much about culture as it is about food. The author explores his personal journey with food, from his childhood experience with Ethiopian cuisine to his discovery of cooking traditions from south to north Africa. It’s written as an exploration into what makes African food so distinctive and presents recipes for some of the most popular dishes from across the continent.

About the Author ✍️

Marcus Samuelsson is a celebrity chef and cookbook author. He has published several cookbooks.


7. The Africa Cookbook: Tastes of a Continent

Why We Love It ❤️

The Africa Cookbook is a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in learning about the history and traditions of Africa and African food. It’s a comprehensive collection of traditional recipes from across the continent, with a focus on foods that are both savory and sweet. The book is broken down into sections by region and contains over 200 recipes, all of which are accompanied by a short narrative about the dish’s origins.

What the Readers Are Saying 👂

“The recipes are easy to follow! The flavors are exotic but can be made with ingredients from local supermarkets. The book also gives a little history of the places you eat from. Overall an excellent book.” – Seth Reed

Review 📖

The recipes themselves are very easy to follow, and many of them can be made with ingredients that are easily accessible at any grocery store. I especially liked the section on lamb, which includes multiple cooking methods, including braised, stewed, roasted, and grilled. The author also includes a section on how to prepare goat meat in several different cooking styles—something I’ve never seen before!

You will also love learning more about African food culture through this book—it will make you want to try new things like buffalo sauce or peanut paste, for example! This is an excellent resource for anyone looking for practical information about African cooking methods; it will give you inspiration for your next meal!

About the Author ✍️

Jessica B. Harris is an author, culinary historian, and journalist. She has authored 15 books.


8. East African Cookbook

East African Cookbook
$19.00
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09/28/2022 04:01 pm GMT

Why We Love It ❤️

My favorite thing about this cookbook is that it’s not just one country: it’s an entire region! So when you open it up and see a recipe for lemongrass chicken curry, you know exactly what kind of dish it’ll be before even looking at the ingredients list. That being said, there are also plenty of vegetables and seafood options, which makes this book great for vegetarians too!

What the Readers Are Saying 👂

“This book is highly recommended. Tasty, delicious recipes with ingredients easily available.” – Beobachter

Review 📖

East African Cookbook is jam-packed with delicious dishes that will make you want to be sitting in the middle of the continent, surrounded by nature—or at least pretending like you are. The book features recipes for everything from curries to pasta and even desserts.

If you’re looking for a new way to spice up your meals or want to try something new without having to travel too far from home, East African Cookbook is definitely worth checking out!

About the Author ✍️

Shereen Jog is a fifth-generation Tanzanian, cookbook author, and entrepreneur.


9. “My Cooking” West-African Cookbook

Why We Love It ❤️

In addition to providing clear instructions on how to cook each dish, the book also provides tips for making them tastier and healthier by substituting ingredients or adding spices that will make them more flavorful without being too spicy for those who don’t like spicy foods!

What the Readers Are Saying 👂

“It’s an excellent book for lovers of West African dishes. The author is vastly knowledgeable in West African cooking, Lagos style. Look no further.” – Humphrey E.

Review 📖

The book includes a variety of delicious recipes from simple fish stews to complex mixtures of meats and vegetables. There are also recipes for soups, salads, side dishes, and desserts. Each recipe is accompanied by an explanation of what it consists of and how to prepare it to create delicious meals.

This West African cookbook is a practical guide to cooking delicious, traditional dishes from Nigeria to Ghana (check out our guide on the Best Ghanaian Cookbooks). The recipes are easy to follow, even for those with no prior experience cooking these kinds of dishes.

About the Author ✍️

Dokpe L. Ogunsanya is an author, executive and professional coach, and the founder and CEO of Dupsy Enterprises.


10. Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora

Why We Love It ❤️

Terry writes with great affection for his subject—in fact, the book contains much more than recipes. It has visual art, essays, playlists, and poems gathered from various people. This makes it clear right away that this isn’t just another “cookbook” or “how-to” guide; it’s an exploration that aims to deepen our understanding of African culture through food—and it succeeds admirably at doing so.

What the Readers Are Saying 👂

“This book is chocked full of stories as well as recipes. A joy to read even if you don’t cook but are interested in the culture & traditions behind “Black Food.” – Mary H.

Review 📖

Bryant Terry’s cookbook Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora is a stunning introduction to the diversity of food in Africa. The dishes featured in the book demonstrate Terry’s commitment to showing that food is not just about taste—it’s also about context, history, and culture.

This book includes a lot of African-inspired recipes like collard greens with pot likker, cornbread dumplings & green tomato chowchow, peach hand pie, and pili pili oil. Some of the dishes are traditional while others are innovative or even experimental; all are interesting and engaging.

About the Author ✍️

Bryant Terry is an award-winning author, chef and activist. He has written several cookbooks.


Final Thoughts on African Cookbooks

African cuisine is diverse and complex, but the recipes in these cookbooks offer a glimpse of the continent’s rich history. The recipes are easy to follow and adapt for home cooks. The ingredients can be found at your local grocery store or are readily available online. Themes range from traditional to contemporary, though these books are not limited to one particular theme. Each book has its own strengths, but overall, it is clear that there is an appetite for food in African cultures. While the recipes are not always identical to one another, they all focus on the same themes: celebration and festivity, comfort foods, healthful eating, and special occasions.

These 10 African cookbooks have provided us with a glimpse into the lives of Africans through their cooking habits. It demonstrates that the way we eat is deeply rooted in our culture and history, which can help us understand how people in other parts of the world live their lives.

About African Cooking 🎇

While there are many styles of cooking throughout the region, there are some constants, including the use of natural, local ingredients. They use fresh vegetables, maize (corn), cassava (manioc), rice or millet, palm oil, beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, chilies, and spices such as ginger, turmeric, coriander seeds, and cardamom pods. African cooking also uses a lot of dried fish and meat including beef, chicken, and lamb. There are also vegetable dishes such as okra stewed in tomato sauce with chili peppers and sliced, fried plantains baked with groundnut paste, and many more. 

African cuisine is so much more than just a fancy, exotic way to cook. It’s an amalgam of all the flavors and spices from all across the continent, brought together by history and culture. Whether you’re looking for something simple or complex, there’s something for everyone in this list of African cookbooks.



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AUTHOR

Chef Zara is the founder and chief editor for Bakeaholic. He loves bringing smiles to people with the delicious visuals, smells, and tastes of food. Chef Zara's passion for baking started at a very young age, and he has never looked back since. He enjoys experimenting with different flavors and combinations, and takes great pride in creating unique recipes that will tantalize your taste buds. When he’s not whipping up something delectable in the kitchen, Chef Zara can be found exploring new culinary delights around the world.

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