Kitchen Essentials List for African Cooking

Welcome to our pantry! We've prepared a kitchen essentials list to help you stock your cupboards with the supplies you'll need to cook delicious authentic African meals at home anytime you get the craving.

Essential Kitchen Tools 

Cast Iron Pot / Potjie

A cast iron pot or potjie is popular in African cooking. Recipes for stews and soups can be simmered slowly in these vessels, bringing out all the rich flavors.

Flat bottomed versions can be used on stove tops when the traditional method of cooking over a fire is not practical.


The tagine's conical shape allows steam to move up the cone during cooking and condensation to drip back down, thereby keeping the food moist and enhancing the flavours.

Cooking in a tagine requires less liquids and  fats, making it perfect for those dedicated to a healthy eating plan. Also, this vessel is used for both cooking and serving so clean up is simple. 

Mortar and Pestle

Pound, pulverize, and grind ingredients for your African dishes with a mortar and pestle set. They're essential tools in the African kitchen.

Though a food processor can achieve much the same results, there's just something about crushing food items into fine pastes and powders with your own hands. Besides that, the set is easy to clean and there's no electricity required.

Flat Turning Stick / Omorogun

This flat spoon-like utensil is used when turning starches into pastes in African cooking.

After the starch is boiled with water to a porridge-like consistency, the cook thickens it to their liking by adding more starch and pulling the paste up the side of the pot with the flat stick.

More Essential Kitchen Tools for African Cooking

Essential Kitchen Appliances

Hot Griddle

African flat breads like chapatis and injera are traditionally fried on a dry hot griddle, so an electric griddle is an excellent addition to your kitchen appliances when you want to replicate African breads in your own kitchen. 

Don't stop there though, cook up some vegetables and eggs or meat on the griddle and wrap it in your fried chapati. Yum!

Slow Cooker / Crock Pot

The crock pot is one of the best modern kitchen appliances to prepare African food in. If you want to achieve similar results to those using traditional African tools and methods (eg. cooking in a potjie over an open fire), then a slow cooker is something you'll want to add to your kitchen supplies.

Like a tagine, the food slowly simmers and maintains the full flavour and moisture throughout the cooking process.

Easy Crock Pot Meals with the Flavours of Africa

More Essential Kitchen Appliances for African Cooking

Essential African Spices and Herbs

  • All Spice
  • Anise
  • Bay Leaves
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Mace
  • Marjoram
  • Mustard Seed
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Peppercorns
  • Saffron
  • Tamarind
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

  • Spice Mixes

***Grated Coconut

More About African Cooking Spices

African Groceries

Okra - Popular African FoodOkra
Millet - African Food StapleMillet
Biltong - Cured Meat African FoodBiltong
Tamarind African FoodTamarind
African Cassava Yuka RootCassava / Yuka Root
African CoconutsCoconuts

Popular African Grocery Products

  • African Honey
  • African Spices
  • Bananas
  • Banana Leaves
  • Barley
  • Beans
  • Biltong
  • Black-Eyed Peas
  • Cane Sugar
  • Cassava/Yuka Root
  • Coconut
  • Couscous
  • Cornmeal
  • Eggplant
  • Fish
  • Lentils
  • Millet
  • Nuts
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Palm Oil
  • Peppers
  • Plantains
  • Rice
  • Semolina
  • Sorghum
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Yams

*** A variety of meats and vegetables

More About African Groceries

African Grocery Stores

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