Taste of Africa.

Taste of Africa.
Get to know the recipes of Africa for the superfan of African food who loves to cook and eat.

Pro Tips and African Recipes

The African Gourmet has all the best quick & easy dinners for delicious meals on a busy night. Skillet suppers. Easy lunches. Everyday Meals. Easy African Desserts. From our African kitchens to yours, all the tips, advice and recipes you need to make life more delicious, from everyday dinners and desserts to special occasion African feasts.

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Have You Tried Cooking with Dates

Have You Tried Cooking with Dates

The date fruit is one of the most ancient crops, growing for thousands and thousands of years.


When cooking with dates, California or African remember large portion of the calories in dates food come from sugars.

Have You Tried Cooking with Dates



Dates are the fruit of the date palm, a tree native to Northern Africa. Botanically the date fruit is a berry. It takes about 200 days from pollination for the date to reach full ripening. One medium size Deglet Noor date has about 44 calories and almost no fat.

A large portion of the calories in dates food come from sugars. Deglet Noor dates have many nutritional benefits; antioxidants, sodium, cholesterol and fat free, and being nutrient in dense both fiber and potassium.

Hababauk is the term used for the female flower and the period just after pollination when the young fruit is still creamy white before gradually turning green at the kimri stage. Stages of the ripening of a Deglet Noor date:

Kimri 
Early ripening of the date remaining green

Khalal 
The date reaches its full size and changes from green to yellow or red in color depending on the variety of date. Weight gain is slow but sucrose content increases. At this stage, dates are still crunchy, like an apple and considered a delicacy.

Rutab 
Dates decrease in weight due to moisture loss, a mixture of glucose and fructose, browning of the skin and softening of the fruit. The moisture content goes down to about 35% and the dates at this stage are sold as fresh fruit.

Tamr 
When the dates are left to ripen further. The most traditional way of producing tamr is sun curing and drying usually on mats. However, in some areas of Africa such as Tunisia, the highly sought after Deglet Noor date is cured on the hanging stems remaining intact with the cluster of dates gives a better result than when the dates are stripped off then cured on mats.

Cooking with dates is easy. North African recipes use Deglet Noor dates as an ingredient for breakfast, lunch, dinner or appetizers and dessert. Often cooking with dates in African recipes, Deglet Noor dates are stuffed with sweet or savory fillings or simply enjoyed on its own.

Sweet Date Couscous Dessert Recipe


Ingredients

3/4 cup instant couscous

1/2 cup dried dates, chopped

1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped

1/4 cup honey

1/8 teaspoon orange flower water

1/4 teaspoon salt


Directions
Cook couscous according to package directions toss with remaining ingredients, serve warm as a dessert or add milk for a warm cereal breakfast.

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Simple Cooking Tips

Make sure your cooking work area has good lighting so you can safely see what you are cutting, seasoning and cooking.

Get comfortable with the recipe, read it all the way through. Always read and re-read your recipes before you start cooking.

Season and taste as you go. Always taste your food before seasoning.

Spices and herbs are essential to African food cooking and baking. Keep your spices away from sources of heat like the stove or lights. Herbs and spices can lose their flavor when exposed to humidity and heat.

Recipes are only a guideline so feel free to substitute items that you like.

When cooking with chili peppers, protect your hands and eyes by wearing rubber gloves. Or coat your hands in vegetable oil and wash them with soap and water immediately after handling.