A magazine for Africans and friends of Africa...Our Voices, Our Vision, Our Culture

Ask Auntie Chambu: African Summer Recipe Advice
By Christina Nana

It's Summer time! A time for sunny days and family barbecues. As a mom of four and matriarch of a large extended family, I'm often asked for cooking tips and advice. Much as we'd love too, we can't put fufu on the grill so I'm giving you some delish summer recipes- courtesy of the year spent researching and writing my African cookbook- that bring tastes from the continent to your BBQ.

Soya is one of the most popular street foods found in market places or street corners in Cameroon and across West Africa. The aroma of grilling soya will lead you straight to its source. You are in for a treat.

1 ½ lbs (750 grams) beef cubes
Salt to taste
1 tbsp ginger powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 beef bouillon cubes, crushed,
5 tbsp unsweetened chunky peanut butter(optional)
3-4 Fresh green or red peppers, sliced in small pieces
2 large white or sweet onions, sliced into 1-2 inches chunks
4 baby carrots, cut up in 1-2 inch pieces
4 cherry tomatoes
Wood skewers

1. Wash and place meat in a bowl.
2. Sprinkle salt on meat.
3. Add ginger, garlic, bouillon, and peanut butter into meat.
4. Mix well and marinate for 2-3 hours.
5. Soak skewers in water for a few hours in the meantime.
6. Put meat on skewers with peppers, onions, tomatoes and carrots pieces in-between.
7. Brush with oil and place on grill or broiler. Brown for 20 minutes. Brush with spice mixture as you grill.
8. Turn soya and brown for 10 minutes on both sides.

Makes 6-8 servings. Soya is a favorite at parties during special occasions or cookouts.

Option: Use chicken (white meat) instead of beef

This dish is another Cameroonian street food favorite that's perfect for cookouts. Roasted plantains are often paired with soya or roasted fish served with pepper sauce.

4 yellow or green plantains
Foil paper
1. Peel, clean and oil plantains. (Deeply cut plantains lengthwise and use fingers to pull off skin).
2. Place on oven rack or on the grill.
3. Grill or bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
4. Turn plantains and brown on other side for 10 minutes.
5. When brown to your liking, take plantains off grill with a spatula.

Serves 2. Serve plantains hot with pepper sauce or with roasted fish or soya.

Option: Prepare sweet or Irish potatoes in same manner. Cook only for 20 minutes wrapped and 5 minutes on each side unwrapped.