The best way to enjoy authentic African food outside of Africa might be to look for an African restaurant. However, if you have an African store in town, then you may be able to find some pre-made and even partially prepared meals there. These can be an affordable and approachable alternative and a good way to dip your toes into African food. But what dishes, in particular, should you keep your eyes out for?

Jollof Rice

Jollof rice might as well be the hallmark dish of Africa. It's made in many different African countries, especially in the West Africa region. Basically, it's rice with a seasoned tomato sauce. It's usually served alongside meat or seafood as a side dish, but could absolutely be a lunch in and of itself. You might find dried, boxed versions or even frozen containers of it at an African store.

Egusi Soup

Egusi soup is a unique African soup hailing from Nigeria. One key ingredient is snails, and the good news is that snails happen to dry out or dehydrate well. So, you can often find dehydrated mixes to make egusi soup at an African store. Other ingredients in the soup include rice, yam, and potatoes. Some dried versions of the soup may include all of these ingredients, and others may call for you to add them in the cooking process. Either way, this can be a delicious soup to enjoy on a cool evening.

Chicken Muamba

Chicken Muamba is a sauteed chicken dish served in a sauce made with palm butter, garlic, and chile peppers. While you may not be able to find pre-made chicken Muamba at an African store, you can often find seasoning packets that you can use to make a sauce, creating an easy dish at home. This is one of those dishes you can easily pair with jollof rice.


Koki are a soft bean cake that is common in Central Africa. You can often find frozen versions in African stores. Or, you might be able to find a koki mix, similar to a cake mix, that you just made with the addition of water and eggs. These small, handheld cakes are delicious dipped in either sweet or savory sauces.

If you come across an African store, definitely take the opportunity to step inside and see what they have to offer. Chances are, you'll find some partially prepared or packaged versions of the classic African dishes above.