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Urban recipes​

Photography competition 2023

This year, the #AfricanCITYFOODMonth platform gave photographers across the continent the opportunity to share the ways in which inhabitants of their cities prepare tasty, affordable, and nutritious meals using locally produced ingredients. Submissions took us on a culinary journey all over Africa, and our final 12 shortlisted entries are show below. Alongside a series of three photographs, depicting their recipe from gathering ingredients to the final product, entrants submitted recipes that responded to one or more of the following themes: 

Comfortable and Nostalgic: This recipe is from my family or friends or gives me comfort to make and eat​
Fair and Sustainable: This recipe uses ingredients that are equitably and sustainably produced or processed
Cultural​: This recipe uses indigenous or traditional ingredients, uses indigenous or traditional ways of cooking, or is part of a cultural tradition (festival, gathering, etc)​
Plant-based​: This recipe is vegan or vegetarian​
Animal-based​: This recipe includes meat​
Under a dollar​: Good food that’s affordable to lower-income earners

Winners

A warm hearty Rice and Beans - Chisomo Gondwe

@gondwe.chisomo

Blantyre, Malawi

 

“In Malawi, the culinary symbol of celebration is a dish of steamed rice and bean stew made with Kilombero rice, grown traditionally in Northern Malawi’s fertile soils. This dish, served with a drink, represents joy without words. The versatile, aromatic rice pairs perfectly with various stews and side dishes, like the flavorful bean stew with its diverse varieties.”

Bean stew
2 Cups boiled Beans
1 Tomato medium size
1 Onion
6 Cloves garlic
3 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon molasses
1 Cup water

Steamed rice
4 Cups Kilombero Rice
5 Cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small carrot and bell pepper

I start by soaking the beans overnight prior to boiling, preparing a large batch that I then divide and freeze away the excess ready for the seasoning, this not only cuts the cooking time but saves on energy and ensures constant availability of this nourishing side dish.

Chop tomato, onion and garlic. Heat oil in a saucepan and add onion and garlic sauté till translucent, add tomato and simmer until mushy. Add in the beans salt and molasses mix and simmer for ten minutes.
In a thick base sauce pan, bring water to a boil, add salt and oil then rice thoroughly washed. Boil until all water is absorbed, cover and let steam for 10 minutes on low heat adding finely chopped carrot and green paper-on top for a garnished.

Serves 4 people

Hot spicey Akara - Kenny Oni

@hellokennyoni

Lagos, Nigeria

“Akara also known as bean cake is made of beans with little amounts of pepper, tomatoes, onions, and other ingredients that you may like to add. On the other hand pap is a corn extract made with sugar, milk, and water. It is best consumed while fairly hot. Akara is a type of food that is high in protein that comes from beans. Most houses in Nigeria serve akara and pap on weekends since they are filling and light. “

1½ cups black-eyed beans
¼ to ½ cup water (to blend)
1 medium onion
½ to 1 scotch bonnet pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon salt
2 seasoning cubes
4 cups vegetable oil (for frying)

For corn pap
1 cup of fermented cornstarch
½ cup of room-temperature water
3 cups or less of boiling water
Milk
Sugar or sweetener

Prepare the beans by soaking and removing the skin on them. The washing and skinning can be done days in advance. When ready to use, simply soak the beans for at least 2 hours.

Place the soaked beans into a sturdy blender and begin to pulse until smooth. Add a tablespoon of water at a time to facilitate the blending process. The batter should be quite thick, otherwise, the beans will disperse in the oil.

Add the onion and scotch bonnet pepper to the blender and pulse until smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the seasoning cubes and salt, then mix them into the batter.

Whip the batter for about 2 minutes to incorporate air into the mixture. For extra fluffy bean cakes, whip with a handheld whisk until the mixture doubles in volume.

Heat the cooking oil in a small to medium-sized saucepan. Test the readiness of the oil by adding a shaved piece of ginger. If it sizzles and rises to the top, the oil is hot enough.
Using a tablespoon to scoop the batter, spoon it into the oil. You will see them puff up into round balls. Fry and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn them in the oil to ensure they are evenly browned.

Once cooked, scoop them out of the oil and allow them to drain on a paper towel.

Corn Pap

Pour your fermented corn starch into a bowl and mix with 4 tablespoons of room temperature water to get a slurry (runny consistency).
Boil 3 cups of water. The water must be hot! Stir your fermented corn starch slurry well to crush any lumps and gradually add in your boiling water while continuously stirring the fermented corn starch slurry. 
Continue adding boiled water and stirring until the mixture thickens or to desired consistency.
Your Pap is ready to serve! You can add milk and sugar for more taste.

Matooke & G-nut Katogo​ - Benjamin Nsubuga

@hellokennyoni

Lagos, Nigeria

“Akara also known as bean cake is made of beans with little amounts of pepper, tomatoes, onions, and other ingredients that you may like to add. On the other hand pap is a corn extract made with sugar, milk, and water. It is best consumed while fairly hot. Akara is a type of food that is high in protein that comes from beans. Most houses in Nigeria serve akara and pap on weekends since they are filling and light. “

1½ cups black-eyed beans
¼ to ½ cup water (to blend)
1 medium onion
½ to 1 scotch bonnet pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon salt
2 seasoning cubes
4 cups vegetable oil (for frying)

For corn pap
1 cup of fermented cornstarch
½ cup of room-temperature water
3 cups or less of boiling water
Milk
Sugar or sweetener

Prepare the beans by soaking and removing the skin on them. The washing and skinning can be done days in advance. When ready to use, simply soak the beans for at least 2 hours.

Place the soaked beans into a sturdy blender and begin to pulse until smooth. Add a tablespoon of water at a time to facilitate the blending process. The batter should be quite thick, otherwise, the beans will disperse in the oil.

Add the onion and scotch bonnet pepper to the blender and pulse until smooth.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the seasoning cubes and salt, then mix them into the batter.

Whip the batter for about 2 minutes to incorporate air into the mixture. For extra fluffy bean cakes, whip with a handheld whisk until the mixture doubles in volume.

Heat the cooking oil in a small to medium-sized saucepan. Test the readiness of the oil by adding a shaved piece of ginger. If it sizzles and rises to the top, the oil is hot enough.
Using a tablespoon to scoop the batter, spoon it into the oil. You will see them puff up into round balls. Fry and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn them in the oil to ensure they are evenly browned.

Once cooked, scoop them out of the oil and allow them to drain on a paper towel.

Corn Pap

Pour your fermented corn starch into a bowl and mix with 4 tablespoons of room temperature water to get a slurry (runny consistency).
Boil 3 cups of water. The water must be hot! Stir your fermented corn starch slurry well to crush any lumps and gradually add in your boiling water while continuously stirring the fermented corn starch slurry. 
Continue adding boiled water and stirring until the mixture thickens or to desired consistency.
Your Pap is ready to serve! You can add milk and sugar for more taste.