by Linda Majzlik - £5.99 Jon Carpenter Publishing (2005)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781897766972 | ISBN 10: 1897766971
East Africa is a huge and geographically extreme part of the continent with pockets of very fertile ground that sustain various grains, sugar cane, nuts, tea, coffee, spices, and an abundance of vegetables and tropical fruits.
However, in many rural areas farmers have to contend with drought, soil errosion and even the occasional plague of locusts. Crops have to be relatively resistant to these natual hazards. Millett, teff and sorghum are all staple grains which grow in poor soils with little rainfall; peanuts thrive in semi-arid conditions; and cassava, a root crop, is resistant to locust attacks and drought. In the lowland swampy areas rice is widely cultivated.
Many foods now associated with East Africa were introduced by early explorers and settlers. Beans, cassavas, sweet potatoes, peanuts and maize were originally from America, taken to Africa by European explorers. Citrus fruits, chillies, peppers, tomatoes and pineapples were reportedly introduced by Portuguese settlers in the late 15th century, while plantains probably came from Asia. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are from Indonesia and are used to flavour both sweet and savoury dishes. The popularity of curry dishes in some areas is a legacy of the Indians who were brought to Uganda by the British to help contruct the railways. More recently parts of Ethiopia were occupied by Italy and Italian food has been incorporated into the traditional cuisine, especially in Eritrea.
East African cooking is often overlooked outside the region, with many people believing that it consists only of starchy tasteless stodge! This book will help dispel that myth and show that there are dozens of creative, richly-flavoured traditional dishes made from exotic and nutritious ingredients. All basic ingredients are plant-based. Many of the dishes are quick and easy to prepare so they should also appeal to people who have little time to cook.
(Price & availability last checked: April 2018)