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Popular Office Lunches in Africa

The various cuisines of Africa traditionally combine locally available produce, such as fruits, cereal grains and vegetables. While various regions combine similar ingredients, there are often significant differences in their culinary habits, from preparing food to portion sizes.

Discover below four signature African dishes to spice up your lunchtime meal.

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Botswana - Sorghum and Beans

Sorghum is a group of flowering plants that consist of over 15 species. Most are are native to Australia, with the range of some extending to Africa, Asia and certain islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Once species is grown for grain, which is snow an important crop worldwide, used for food, animal feed and the production of alcoholic beverages.

Calories Prep/Cook Time 
210 1 Hour


To begin making sorghum and beans, you will need:

    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • ¼ onion, finely chopped
    • 1 clove of garlic
    • ½ cup white sorghum
    • 5 ounces of red kidney beans
    • 1 cup of broth (beef, chicken, vegetable or water)


  1. In a small pan, heat oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic, sorghum and broth and bring to the boil on a high heat.

    Reduce the heat to a medium temperate, cover and leave to cook for 30 minutes.

  2. Mix beans into the sorghum and cook for a further 10 minutes.

    Cook until the liquid has dried and the gran has puffed.

  3. Serve warm!

Egypt - Koshari

Koshari originated in the mid 19th century. It was based on foods from India such as lentils and rice and Italy's macaroni. Over time, the dish has made it's way from Egyptian soldiers through to Egyptian citizens and is now seen on food cards and in restaurants.
Calories Prep/Cook Time 
360 1 Hour 15 Minutes


To begin making koshari, you will need:

    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • ¼ cup medium grain rice
    • ¼ cup lentils
    • ½ cup macaroni
    • ½ cup of vegetable stock
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • ½ an onion, finely diced
    • 5 ounces of tomato sauce (cooked or pureed)
    • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the rice and fry for 2 minutes, follow by adding the vegetable stock and bringing to a boil. Decrease the heat and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

  2. Rinse lentils and add them to a separate saucepan with 1 cup of water. Add the garlic and cumin and bring to the boil.

    Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes.

  3. Cook the macaroni according to its instructions.

  4. Over a medium heat, heat oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic, tomato sauce and red wine vinegar.

    Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and leave simmering for 20 minutes.

  5. Combine the rice, lentils and macaroni in bowl and serve with the tomato sauce.

Nigeria - Jollof Rice with Suya

Known as one of the most common dishes in Western Africa, jollof rice and suya is consumed throughout the region including Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria and Cameroon. There are several regional variations in the name and the ingredient, with non-local versions labelled "inauthentic".
Calories Prep/Cook Time 
630 45 Minutes


To begin making your jollof rice and suya, you will need:

    • 1 lb beef
    • ¼ cup suya spice
    • ¼ cup peanut oil
    • 1 cup rice
    • 2 plum tomatoes
    • 1 red pepper
    • 1 habanero pepper
    • ¼ cup peanut oil
    • 1 small onion, finely chopped
    • 1 chicken stock cube
    • 2 tbsp tomato paste


  1. Slice the beef into thin slices, about ¼ an inch thick.

  2. Follow by pouring the oil into a small bowl and laying the suya spice on a small plate.

  3. For each beef slice, dip the beef into the oil and place the slices in the suya spice. Ensure each slice of beef is mostly coated.

  4. Thread the beef onto skewers and set aside for later.

  5. Using a food processor, blend the tomatoes, habanero pepper and red pepper.

  6. In a small saucepan, pour in the sauce and boil away the extra water. This sauce should be thick, and slightly chunky.

    Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside.

  7. In a small pan, bring water to the boil and add the rice. Cook for five minutes and remove from the heat, rinse with cold water and set aside to prevent further cooking.

  8. In a medium pan, add oil on a medium to high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent.

  9. Add the sauce and cook for a further 10 minutes.

  10. Stir the tomato paste into the pan and cook until the oil begins to separate.

  11. Add the chicken stock and boil on a high heat for 5 minutes.

  12. Add the rice and mix well, cover and simmer on a low heat until the rice has absorbed the sauce.

  13. While the rice is cooking, return to the beef and grill on a medium to high heat for 3 minutes on each side or until fully cooked.

  14. Serve warm!

Zimbabwe - Sadza

Sadza is considered the staple food of Zimbabwe, it has become the main source of carbohydrate as well as being the most popular meal for locals. 
Calories Prep/Cook Time 
220 45 Minutes


To begin making sadza, you will need:

    • 7 scoops of mealie-meal
    • 1 cup cold water
    • 750 ml boiling water


  1. In a medium pot, combine the mealie-meal with the cold water to make a paste.

  2. Place the pot onto a medium to high heat and stir in the boiling water.

    Continue to stir until boiling. Cover pot, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. Add mealie-meal in small portions and combine well. Continue to do this until your preferred consistency. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

  4. Serve with your preferred relish!

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