Personal story

West African food tutorials

Missing travel, and missing the usual rich variety of life, attempting to recreate some of the dishes I’ve enjoyed over the years was an obvious way to try to recapture the memories and break the routine. Lockdown gave a chance to break out of the usual sources of inspiration, although I never managed to break out of my basic one-pot style of cookery. For family meals, I felt some of the classic dishes of West Africa might work well. Without claiming even the slightest degree of authenticity, I attempted the ‘maafe’ peanut stew common to many countries in the region. It was a success, and something of a crowd pleaser, so I progressed to chicken yassa (pictured). A basic version, equally unskilled and inauthentic, but my teenage offspring devoured it, so I deemed it another success.