Being a mostly landlocked country, the Democratic Republic of Congo does not see as much tourism as other African countries, but travelling foodies would be depriving themselves by missing this dining destination. Here are 10 Congolese dishes sure to bring out your culinary curiosity– and your cameras.
Wild spinach is nearly impossible to find these days, but it grows all over the DRC and is in a league of its own flavor-wise. This colorful recipe combines spinach, green chili, garlic, green pepper, tomatoes and onions.
The Congolese eat a lot of tilapia because it’s an inexpensive, freshwater fish. Cassava and yams are popular produce in the DRC, so in this burger you’ll find yam mash and cassava greens.
This traditional Congolese dish looks like a little present and is light and healthy. The fish usually stews with onions, tomatoes and lemon juice inside the banana leaves, which helps the fish absorb the flavors.
Fufu is a staple food in the DRC—many natives eat it several times a day and it is highly nutritious. It makes a delicious base for almost any vegetable, meat or fish. Congolese often make it with cassava leaves and have it for lunch and/or dinner. Its main ingredients are plantains, corn, rice and yams. Lovers of grits would eat it up. In this photo, the fufu are made into balls and served in a stew.
These burned-looking cake balls are made from a baked custard with a base of milk, coconut, sugar and eggs. They’re topped off with grated, toasted coconut, giving them this burned appearance, and are meant to look like small rocks. They’re a delicious and light dessert.
This vibrant yellow soup is a traditional Congolese offering made from coconut milk, chicken stock, crème fraiche, toasted coconut and several spices. It’s satisfyingly sweet and spicy, and the creaminess gives the stronger flavors a nice smoothness.
This beautifully plated dish is both spicy and sour, and tastes delicious over fluffy couscous or basmati rice. It’s made with thigh cutlets, and the chicken marinates up to 12 hours in some versions, making it super juicy and succulent. The dish is bursting with seasonings, like Dijon mustard, red chilis and lime juice.
In the same family as South African bobotie, babute is a minced-beef casserole that is partially sweet. It’s made with milk, cream, eggs, curry powder and dried apricots. The sweet apricots compliment the spicy meat really well.
Quail is often hunted in the DRC, and tastes great with this simple marinade made from onions, garlic, ginger and chilies.
This is the national dish of the DR of Congo and has a very special flavor. The sauce is made with peanut butter, tomato sauce, chilies and nutmeg. It shares some similarities with satay, but is much more dynamic in flavor. It’s served over couscous or rice.