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In 2023, the theme of Black History Month is Black Resistance and Eat the Culture is recognizing the remarkable and, frankly, underrated resistance of our ancestors in bringing culinary traditions across the Atlantic to shape the vibrance of Black cuisine that we know and love today. They physically and mentally carried African foodways across the deadly Middle Passage to pass down through generations. This year’s Black History Month Virtual Potluck traces popular dishes of the Diaspora from their West African roots to North America and beyond. You can see the full list of recipes from our amazing participants down below.

Features & Upcoming BHMVP Events

 

You can support this initiative by visiting and sharing comments on the sites of each of these amazing participants. You can also support by attending the digital events listed below.

  1. February 9 – Cuisine Noir Black History Facebook Live Event: Thursday, February 9th at 8 pm EST / 7 pm CST (like Cuisine Noir on facebook to receive notifications)
  2. February 24 – Black Food Fridays with Eat the Culture – Friday, February 24th @ 6 pm EST / 5 pm CST (Follow Black Food Fridays on IG for notifications)

Once you carry your own water, you’ll remember every drop – African Proverb

Okro Soup, Moqueca Baiana, Cachupa Pobre

Okro Soup is a West African dish that has influenced the development of similar dishes like Caruru Baiano and Okra Gumbo. These dishes share a love of hearty and flavorful meals made with okra as a key ingredient.

Despite regional differences, all three dishes demonstrate the influence of West African cuisine on dishes made with okra. The similarities and differences between Okro Soup, Caruru Baiano, and Okra Gumbo serve as a testament to the diversity and evolution of West African cuisine and its influence on dishes around the world.

by Dash of Jazz

Okro Soup is made with okra, palm oil, spices, and meat or fish. It is commonly found in Nigeria, Ghana, and other West African countries.

by Brazilian Kitchen Abroad

Caruru Baiano, from Brazil, is a dish made with okra, palm oil, onions, garlic, and spices. It also includes ingredients like cashews and dried shrimp, which set it apart from other dishes in the region.

by Food Fidelity

Okra Gumbo, from Louisiana in the United States, is a stew made with okra, roux, onions, celery, peppers, and other ingredients. The dish has roots in West African and French cooking and is a staple of Creole cuisine.

Muamba Chicken, Poulet Creole, Pollo Guisado

Muamba Chicken is a traditional dish from Angola, known for its bold flavors and rich spices. The dish migrated and evolved with enslaved African people across the Caribbean, Central America, and the American South. The influence of Muamba Chicken is evident in similar dishes like Poulet Creole and Pollo Guisado, which are both stewed chicken dishes with bold flavors and spices.

by Flights & Foods

Muamba Chicken is made with chicken simmered in a spicy tomato and palm oil sauce, making it a staple in Angolan cuisine. The dish is usually served with starchy sides, such as rice or cassava.

by Kenneth Temple

 

Poulet Creole, found in the Caribbean, is a chicken dish made with onions, peppers, and a tomato-based sauce, reflecting the cultural exchange between West Africa, France, and the Caribbean.

by A Girl Called Adri

Pollo guisado is a flavorful braised chicken stew popular in Caribbean and Latin America. Depending on the region the dish may include potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables, simmered in a flavorful sauce made with garlic, onions, and a blend of spices.

 

Waakye, Guyanese Cook up Rice, Jamaican Rice and Peas, Hoppin’ Johns

Waakye, originating from Ghana, is a dish that combines rice and beans with spices and other ingredients. This dish is representative of the flavorful West African cuisine that has left its mark on food in the African diaspora, particularly in the Caribbean and South America. Despite their regional variations, these dishes share the core concept of combining rice and beans and the use of spices to add flavor.

by Dash of Jazz

Waakye is a simple, savory rice and beans dish native to northern Ghana. The dish made with rice and beans. The rice is cooked with black-eyed peas, spices, and sometimes millet or maize. Our ancestors brought this versatile staple to the American South, Caribbean, and South America.

by Her Mise En Place

Hoppin’ Johns, a dish commonly enjoyed in the Southern United States, is made with black-eyed peas and rice and is often served as a New Year’s Day tradition.

 

by Coined Cuisine

Guyanese Cookup Rice is a combination of rice, black-eyed peas, meat, and vegetables that are simmered together in a flavorful broth. The dish has its roots in the country’s Afro-Caribbean heritage and is often served for Sunday lunch or special occasions.

 

by Big Delicious Life

Jamaican Rice and Peas is a traditional Caribbean dish made with rice and beans. It is a flavorful one-pot meal that is considered a staple food in Jamaica. The dish is made by cooking rice with red kidney beans, coconut milk, and a blend of spices, including thyme, allspice, and scallions. The result is a fragrant and aromatic dish that is both comforting and filling.

Thiakry, Trinidad Sweet Rice, Southern Rice Pudding

Despite the prevalence of bold and flavorful savory dishes in West African cuisine, Thiakry stands out as a sweet and comforting dessert. Its combination of grains and sweet cream is wildly similar to other dishes throughout the diaspora, such as Trinidad Sweet Rice and Southern Rice Pudding.

by My Sweet Precision

Thiakry is a traditional West African dessert that originated in Senegal and Gambia. Made from a mixture of millet flour, spices, and sweet cream, this dish has a sweet, creamy and mildly tangy flavor.

by This Bago Girl

Trinidad Sweet Rice is a traditional Caribbean dessert dish made from rice, coconut milk, sugar, and spices.  These ingredients are simmered together to create a sweet, fragrant, and creamy mixture that is then served as a dessert. Trinidad Sweet Rice is enjoyed during special occasions such as holidays and celebrations, and is known for its rich flavor and creamy texture. 

by Begin With Butter

 

Southern Rice Pudding is made from  rice, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sometimes raisins or vanilla extract. The main ingredients are cooked together until the mixture thickens into a creamy, sweet mixture. It is often served warm, but can also be served chilled or at room temperature. 

 

Babbake, Dibi Lamb, Jerk Chicken, Brisket Burnt Ends

Babbake is a Hausa term referring to the method of grilling, toasting, and building a large fire that has undergone a significant evolution throughout history and across cultures. This grilling technique originated in West Africa, but as it was carried to different parts of the world, it combined with the cooking traditions of the Indigenous peoples in each place to create unique variations of grilled meat dishes.

Throughout its evolution, the essence of Babbake remains unchanged, as it continues to be a tribute to the art of grilling, a celebration of community, and a symbol of cultural pride.

by Be Greedy Eats

Dibi is a type of grilled meat that originated in West Africa, particularly in the Senegal, Mali, and Guinea regions. It is made by grilling seasoned cuts of meat, often lamb or goat, over an open flame or coals and cut into peices before serving.

by This Worthey Life

In the Caribbean babbake evolved into jerk-style cooking, a combination of West African and Indigenous Caribbean cooking techniques. Meat is marinated in a blend of bold spices and seasonings, traditionally including allspice, thyme, and scotch bonnets, then slow-cooked over a fire or grilled until charred. Jerk is most commonly associated with chicken, but can be applied to any type of meat or fish. 

by Meiko And The Dish

Barbecue in the American South became a rich blend of cultural influences, including African, Indigenous, and European traditions, each adding unique flavors and techniques to the slow-smoked meats and sauces. An example might be “burnt ends,” a specialty dish of the Kansas City-style barbecue that consists of the crispy, caramelized ends of a slow-smoked brisket.

Fufu, Tomtom ak Kalalou, Mofongo, Ugali

Fufu is a staple food in many West African and Caribbean countries and has evolved over time through cultural exchange and adaptation. It is made from starchy root vegetables such as cassava, yam, or plantain that are boiled, mashed, and then shaped into a ball or a cylinder.

by Healthier Steps

Fufu is a staple food with a long history in West and Central Africa, where it has been a part of the local cuisine for centuries. It is made from starchy root vegetables such as cassava, yam, or plantain that are boiled, mashed, and formed into balls or dough. Traces of this cooking method can also be seen in dishs like Mofongo, Tomtom, and Ugali.

Haitian Tomtom

by Global Kitchen Travels

In Haiti, fufu is known as “Tomtom” a dish made from boiled and mashed breadfruit, often served with a seafood and okra sauce. The mashed breadfruit is typically shaped into a ball and eaten by dipping it into the sauce.

by Razzle Dazzle Life

 

Mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish made from mashed green plantains fried with garlic and then formed into balls or a half-dome shape. It is traditionally mashed in a mortar and pestle. It is often mashed with pork cracklins and sometimes stuffed with meat or seafood

 

by Kanyi’s Kitchen

 

Ugali is Kenyan cornmeal porridge but much denser. Maize is boiled and thickened until it can form a ball. The starch is commonly served alongside soups and stews.

 

Maafe, Jamaican Peanut (Pinda) Stew, Southern Peanut Soup

Originating from West Africa, Maafe is a spicy and creamy peanut stew made with a mixture of peanuts, tomatoes, and various spices to create a rich and flavorful sauce. The similarities and differences between Maafe, Jamaican Peanut (Pinda) Stew, and Southern Peanut Soup serve as a testament to the diversity and evolution of West African cuisine.

by My Pretty Brown Eats

Maafe is a stew commonly made in West African countries such as Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso. The dish is made with peanuts, vegetables, and sometimes meat, cooked in a flavorful tomato-based sauce.

by Britney Breaks Bread

Jamaican Peanut (Pinda) Stew is a traditional Jamaican dish that is made with ground peanuts, vegetables and seasonings. The dish is made by simmering ground peanuts, vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, onions and thyme, and a mix of spices such as allspice and scotch bonnets to create a thick, flavorful sauce.

by Savor & Sage

Southern peanut stew, is a thick, hearty stew made with peanuts, vegetables, and spices. The peanuts are simmered with onions, garlic, and celery in a flavorful broth made with stock, and a variety of spices. The result is a rich, savory stew with a slightly nutty flavor and a velvety texture that is warm, filling, and comforting.

 

Puff Puff, Barriguitas de Vieja, Beignets

Puff Puff is a popular West African snack made from a deep-fried dough mixture that resembles a doughnut. It is a staple food in many African countries and has been adopted into the African diaspora, influencing similar dishes in different parts of the world. Overall, Puff Puff and its descendants are examples of Africa’s strong cultural and culinary influence.

by Sims Home Kitchen

Puff Puff, also known as bofrot, is deep-fried yeasted dough that forms a ball while cooking. They are soft and spongy like pancake with a golden crisp exterior. These golden fritters can be served any number of ways — with pepper sauce as a savory snack, or sprinkled with powdered sugar for a sweet treat. These warm-spiced pillows of dough aren’t just beloved in West Africa, but across the entire continent.

by Sense & Edibility

Barriguitas de Viej isa traditional Dominican dish made from deep-fried dough balls and served with a sweet syrup. The dough mixture and preparation are similar to that of Puff Puff, and both dishes are enjoyed as a sweet, fried treat.

by Chenee Today

Beignets are a popular pastry brought to Louisiana by French settlers. Similar to African “Puff Puff”, Beignets are deep-fried doughnuts  covered in powdered sugar. They have a light, fluffy texture and are often served hot. While the ingredients and preparation are different from Puff Puff, the cultural popularity of deep-fried dough as a dessert or snack food in African cultures is clear.

 

 

Jollof Rice, Charleston Red Rice, Jambalaya

Jollof Rice is a classic West African dish with a rich history and cultural influence. It originated from the Wolof people of Senegal and Gambia and has since spread throughout West Africa and beyond. This crimson rice dish has had a significant impact on various rice dishes across the African diaspora, such as Charleston Red Rice and Jambalaya, each with its own regional twists and variations.

by The Prince Eats

Jollof  rice is one of the most beloved dishes in West Africa. It is long-grain rice cooked with a variety of spices, onions, garlic, and thyme, then simmered in a delicious tomato and pepper stew.

by Geos Table

Jambalaya is made from a mixture of rice, vegetables, and meat, such as chicken, sausage, or seafood. Additional flavor comes from diced onion, celery and bell pepper, the mixture known as the “holy trinity.” If you’re eating jambalaya in New Orleans, chances are it’s creole (red) jambalaya, getting its reddish tint from tomato.

by Food Fidelity

Charleston Red Rice is a similar dish that is popular in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Georgia. It is made from long-grain rice that has been cooked with a mixture of spices, tomatoes, and bacon or ham. 

1 Comments

1 Comment

  1. Julie Capell

    Amazing collection of recipes, but the best part is the history that goes along with each one. Thank you! I can;t wait to try many of these in my own kitchen.

    Reply

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