Are you a food enthusiast looking to learn how to prepare African dishes? African Cookbooks can help you get started and even become a pro cook.
As you may know, cooking your food has a lot of benefits—health and social.
According to a study by John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, people who cook frequently eat healthier meals compared to those who don’t. Besides, cooking your own food can also help you save money. A comparison of the cost of eating by cheapism showed that eating out is more expensive than cooking your food. This includes accounting for waste that comes with cooking.
So, it’s great if you’ve decided to purchase a cookbook to hone your cooking skills. However, there are certain things you should consider before getting one. You don’t want to buy a cookbook that only makes sense on its cover with nothing to offer.
So for your needs, we will be recommending the best African cookbooks that can give you what you need. Also, we have discussed factors to consider before buying any cookbook out there.
Let’s get started!
6 Best African Cookbooks to Help You Hone Your Cooking Skills
If you’re wondering how to get started with African foods, you’re in the right place. We’ve helped you compile a list of six excellent cookbooks that deal with African foods.
1. Jubilee: Recipes from two centuries of African American Cooking: A Cookbook
This is one of the African cookbooks that has earned a lot of positive feedback from users.
In this cookbook, Toni Tipton-Martin presented not just recipes but also the history of the food.
With more than 100 recipes, you have an abundance of food to choose from. These are meals that the author herself has prepared. In this book, she laid bare her experiences working as a culinary expert.
So, you want to learn the history of African food and how to prepare tasty African dishes? This is the book for you.
2. The Soul of a New Cuisine
With more than 200 recipes and high-quality images, Marcus Samuelsson, an award-winning chef, takes you through the streets of Africa to experience what African food is.
He adds history to the food by appending a picture of the local area where the food originated. That can also be an opportunity to learn about Africa.
You’ll need a little experience of cooking, which is something common, for you to appreciate the book.
In a nutshell, if you are keen to learn how to make African dishes, this book is an excellent guide.
3. Afro-Vegan Cookbook
This cookbook contains a mix of farm-fresh African, Caribbean and southern flavors as clearly written on the book title.
Bryant Terry wowed readers by combining African cooking style with that of veganism to create a vegan cookbook.
With his personal experience, Bryant dug into his life as a vegan chef and presented a mouth-watering list of dishes and their recipes, of course! From over 200 recipes, you have more than enough dishes to cook throughout the year.
So, if you’re looking to learn how to prepare African dishes the vegan way, this is the book for you.
4. Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook
The Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook contains 109 recipes of the most in-demand foods in the cafe. African dishes, of course. The recipes here are quite practicable, and you do easily find the ingredients in your local grocery store.
The book is authored by top African American chefs and culinary historians; you’ll find the book a valuable asset in your kitchen. Whether you already know how to prepare a handful of African dishes or looking to learn from scratch, this book will serve as a great boost. And you do learn more culinary skills.
5. South African Cooking in the USA
South Africa is known to be one of the African countries with ample culinary ideas. From the aborigines South Africans to the Indians and Europeans living in SA, you have a wide range of cuisines to choose from. Over the years, there has been an evolution of cooking, which is a blending of the various cooking styles.
In this cookbook, Aileen Wilsen takes you to South Africa, where you experience the cooking without the actual travel.
With ingredients you can get almost anywhere, Aileen shows you how to make that sumptuous meal you crave for. The book contains over 170 South African dishes. Sounds great, right? Of course, you don’t want to miss getting your copy.
6. “My Cooking” West-African Cookbook
This is one of the oldest recipes books about African meals in the United States, and it has lived up to expectations. This book takes you through various culinary arts of the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria, as well as other West African countries.
Dokpe Lillian Ogunsanya, the writer of the cookbook, did a great job on this book. The book, which is about 104 pages, is concise and captures the true essence of African cooking.
With its straightforward language, it’s an African cookbook you won’t regret buying. It can even make good reading for kids to learn about African cooking.
Why Use an African Cookbook?
It is as simple as saying if you want to learn how to cook African meals, you need an African cookbook. Yes, that’s just it! If you barely have any knowledge about preparing African dishes or you want to learn new culinary arts from Africa, you sure need a cookbook.
However, you might want to ask why you should buy a cookbook when you can get recipes online. While that may be of help also, a cookbook works better.
Here is why:
Unlike an online recipe that anyone can post without trying the actual recipe, it’s almost impossible to publish recipes that you have not tried as a cookbook.
It’s possible for a cookbook author to not test a recipe, but the odds of that happening is very low.
Most publishers do vet the cookbook author’s profile. This way, they can be sure that the author isn’t lying about anything.
Thus, the chances of you getting a low-quality recipe in a cookbook are very low.
Besides, most cookbook authors write a cookbook to boost their profile. This made them invest in professional services in publishing the cookbook. This is very different from a random food blog that might appear on your Google search.
So, buying a cookbook is the right step to take if you really want to learn and master the art of cooking.
ALSO READ: 11 Most Popular African Foods and How to Prepare them
A cookbook appears to be more convenient for use than some websites. With the structure of a cookbook, you’ll find almost everything laid out in the correct order, often chronologically.
Besides, there are inconveniences in the kitchen that might spill on your tablet or phone screen when using it to look at recipes. With a good old paper, dirt might not do serious damage.
Value for Money
Learning and knowing how to cook is rewarding! And it is even more satisfying if you can prepare any dish you crave for. As you probably know, cooking your own meals can help you save money and also eat healthily.
On the one hand, cookbooks can aid your journey to become a professional chef or cook. So, a good cookbook gives you great value for your money.
The Food Tells a Story
Most cookbook writers take their time to write a cookbook that you’ll get more than recipes. Some authors add their motivations and their stories. This goes more than cooking and will make you appreciate the food when you’re eating it.
Since food is a big part of African culture, you’ll find yourself implanting yourself into African culture.
Africans are big on spice. It’s not uncommon to hear stories about why using a certain spice will work as opposed to using other spices. These exciting stories will ignite your passion for cooking.
You might find yourself going back to an African cookbook–not for cooking this time but to read thrilling stories of African foods.
What You Should Know Before Buying an African Cookbook
Hey there! You don’t want to find out that the cookbook you purchased has recipes you can’t find the ingredients around you, right? So, before you buy any of these cookbooks, keep in mind that no book covers all dishes in Africa. So you want to know the foods that a cookbook covers before buying. That way you will know what to expect from the cookbook.
ALSO READ: 10 African Foods that Help You Gain Weight
Be sure to check the descriptions to know the foods it covers to help you make a decision.
Can I Learn How to Cook from Cookbooks?
Cooking is no magic. You just need to learn some techniques, which a good cookbook will teach you, and you’re up and running. Some foods offer a whole new way of cooking them entirely. If you spend time reading about the food, you’ll be able to cook it.
What Will You Do with an African Cookbook?
Cooking African meals is a great way to benefit from the rich history of Africa and get healthier in the process. The above list will help you make a choice on the types of African cuisines you’ll want to cook.
Won’t it be great for you to benefit from this knowledge of cooking? What you eat determines how healthy you will look, and it’s best to make your own tasty meals with ingredients that contain the right nutrients—you do get them from African meals!
You might not know; African meals are one of the healthiest in the world. This is a fact confirmed by a 20-year study carried out by a team led by Dr. Fumiaki Imamura of the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.
We hope this post will help you hone your cooking skills by getting any of the recommended cookbooks.
Have you used any of these cookbooks? Let us know about your experience!