10 Best and Popular African Foods to Celebrate Christmas

Christmas traditions vary by culture, but nothing beats the fact that no holiday celebration is complete without a delectable spread of holiday fare shared with our loved ones over merry chatter and upbeat music.

It's been a few years since I last celebrated Christmas in Africa, and I had hoped to do so this year, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I'll be spending it with family and friends here in the United States. And the food will be mostly traditional.

I don't know about you, but during the holidays, my taste buds yearn for those bold, rich, and flavorful African dishes that have brought me joy in the past. Christmas is also about stews, chicken, rice, goat, and chin chin in most West African countries.

So, in the spirit of the season, I'm sharing with you some of the Popular African Christmas Food that would frequently, if not always, appear on the table.

1. Chicken Stew is at the top of the list – I have yet to attend a West African Christmas party that did not include chicken stew. Yes, Christmas wouldn't be complete without chicken stew, and I'd only use organic chicken from the farm. 

The meat is heavily seasoned with aromatics all the way down to the bone. You'll want to keep the bones to nibble on.

2. Goat Stew with Curry. Goat meat is the most widely consumed meat in Africa. These tender, spicy but not overly hot Curried Goat Stews are always a hit at get-togethers and parties. There are many ways to prepare goat meat, but the best way to bring out its full flavor and tenderize it is to cook it slowly and long.

 The goat meat in this recipe is cooked slowly for about 1-2 hours before being fried with curry, onions, garlic, ginger, and other spices. Juicy and tender, with a delicious earthy and spicy flavor!

3. Gravy made with Liberian chicken. This stew variation is everything a stew lover could want. It's packed with chicken, fish, and shrimp – after all, the more protein, the better. The bell pepper, on the other hand, makes all the difference in this recipe, adding yet another layer of flavor. Garlic, bell pepper, tomatoes, and herbs are a classic African stew combination that should be on everyone's Christmas table.

This list would be incomplete without some roast, grill, or fried meat in addition to stews.

4. Check out this grill chicken from Cameroon (my people). Fresh chicken that has been seasoned and grilled, 

then smothered in a spicy tomato sauce.

5. African Grill Tilapia If you're looking for a place to eat fish, look no further. After one bite of this African 

Grill Tilapia, everyone will be begging for more.

6. Peri Peri Grill Chicken from Mozambique. This grilled chicken has a hypnotic effect on you. With its spicy coconut cream sauce fortified with olive oil and coconut milk, you'll go crazy.

An African Christmas wouldn't be complete without some delectable rice dishes. This is something to savor!

7. Rice Jollof (Oven Baked). Jollof Rice is a simple, flavorful, and perfectly cooked rice that takes only 5 minutes to prepare and requires no blending or stirring. 

Check out this traditional version if you want to cook on the stove.

8. List is Nigerian Fried Rice. This Nigerian Fried Rice recipe is perfect for feeding a large group, whether for Christmas breakfast or dinner. 

Even picky eaters will enjoy it because it's so easy to make.

9. Spinach stew if you're looking for a side dish, try this spinach stew.

 It's so simple to put together.

10. Salad with Carrots, Pineapples, and Raisins One of those salads that always shows up on the Thanksgiving table. 

This is a great dessert to serve at Christmas that is also healthy.

Did I leave out any of your favorite African Christmas dishes? Leave a comment below and tell us what makes your holiday meal stand out. Everyone has a wonderful holiday season! I wish you a joyous and meaningful holiday season.

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