One of the few cuisines that cannot be found easily in Qatar is the African cuisine. Although you might get a taste of the several, various flavours of African cuisine at festivals or restaurants serving quick bites, you will find difficulty finding family-friendly African restaurants to comfortably dine-in.
Of course, when looking at African cuisine restaurant choices in Qatar, the first one that comes to mind is Nando’s, which is originally South African or Afro-Portuguese. Learn more about Nando’s here. There are many branches across the city. But if you’re looking for more traditional and authentic African cuisine, you’ll find a few Nigerian, Ethiopian, Kenyan and Sudanese restaurants around town – due to their big population in Qatar. Most of the restaurants are small, casual and budget-friendly, serving quick bites. But there are also a few of that are spacious, luxurious and family-friendly.
With this ‘Food File’, Marhaba introduces you to a range of popular African food and destinations:
Popular Ethiopian Food
Beyainatu: Ethiopia’s most popular dish is an injera (a sourdough-risen flatbread), which arrives blanketed in piles of tasty and colourful vegetables, potatoes, curries, lentil stews and more, creating a riot of colours and tastes. It’s also a great vegetarian dish. For non-vegetarians, you can opt for meat dishes such as doro wot.
Doro wot: A curry-like companion of injera. While beef and goat are often used with wot, chicken or doro in Amharic is the most popular doro dish. Doro wot is made with chicken drumsticks or wings and hard-boiled eggs, served in a hot sauce of butter, onion, chilli, cardamom and berbere. It proves a delicious accompaniment – typically offered to a guest as a sign of respect.
Tibs: Sliced beef or lamb, pan-fried in butter, garlic and onion, tibs comes in a variety of forms, varying in type, size or shape of the cuts of meat used, and can range from hot to mild or contain little to no vegetables.
Popular Kenyan Food
Mandazi: A Kenyan doughnut cooked by frying dough in oil. Sometimes coconut milk is added into the dough for flavour. The main ingredients are flour, milk, eggs, yeast, and sugar to taste. It’s accompanied by tea.
Tilapia Fry: Tilapia is a widely eaten fish and very popular in Kenya because it is readily available and affordable. It is deep-fried and served with kachumbari (freshly chopped tomato, onion and chilli peppers salad), ugali or pilau (a popular Kenyan rice dish in flavoured broth with various special spices, and meat, chicken or vegetables, usually served at social gatherings).
Ugali: A Kenyan staple dish made of maize flour, or sometimes of millet or sorghum flour. It’s made by adding the maize flour to boiling water until you get a dough-like consistency. It’s accompanied by beef stew and/or bean stew. Chapati is also a staple dish in Kenya.
Popular Nigerian Food
Akara: Fried bean cakes which many Nigerians opt to have for breakfast. It is known as Akara in the south and Kosai in the North. It can be found very cheap from street food vendors, or can be prepared at home.
Jollof rice: This delicacy is food to many West African countries, not just Nigeria. Jollof includes rice, onions, tomatoes, chillies and a variety of spices. It can be served with vegetables and desired meat, chicken or fish. Jollof rice is commonly served on special occasions and at social events.
Pounded yam: One of Nigeria’s most popular dishes that can be served with a variety of soups like Egusi, Ogbono, vegetable and okro soup. Yam, which is widely available, is boiled and pounded into a smooth mash. Pounded yam is usually eaten with Egusi, Banga, Ogbono or some other dish.
Popular Sudanese Food
Mulah, waika or damaa: Stews; the Sudanese cuisine is rich with stews made of meat or vegetables – specifically dried meat, onions, okra and tomato paste.
Foul: Cooked or mashed fava beans made with tomato, cheese and/or sesame or olive oil.
Tamiya: Sudanese falafel.
Aseeda: A jelly-like staple dish made of sorghum flour; Gourrassa: Flatbread made of wheat and baked in a circular shape; and Kisra: Flatbread made from sorghum flour in a circular shape – typically accompanied or paired with a form of mulah or waika (a meat and vegetable stew).
Marhaba Picks: African restaurants to try in Doha:
Al Zanj Restaurant (Kenyan/Nigerian – V/NV), Parco/Al Maamoura Mall | 4488 9328
King of Istanbul & Mama Africa Restaurant (Turkish, Arabic, Nigerian – V/NV), Al Wakra | 4444 9464, 5090 0918
Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant (Ethiopian – V/NV ), Muaither | 3131 5100
Mesob Habesha Restaurant (Ethiopian – V/NV), Al Muntazah | 5024 0500/6679 0019
Nigerian Season Restaurant (Nigerian – V/NV), Parco/Al Maamoura Mall | 7702 1624
Saj Al Samak (Sudanese – V/NV), Qanat Quartier, The Pearl-Qatar | 5080 5533
Author: Ola Diab
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