Africana By Lerato Umah-Shaylor

By leslie, 22 July, 2022

Introducing the world to African cooking Lerato Umah-Shaylor publication with HQ Africana is packed with traditional and innovative African recipes. Lerato a cook, a presenter, a food writer is a leading advocate a star of African cuisine. Her vision has always been to promote a healthy-eating life based on African food and as an entrepreneur she has hosted many supper clubs and cooking classes. Inspired from her time in the kitchen with her parents, traditional cooking is the basis of her ideas and passion into foods of her life. All the skills in the kitchen in Nigeria plus imagination with detailed research are required to her to launch this first book. Lerato takes foodies on a culinary educational adventure and for a first book this is a heavy weight beauty. The journey starts with the look. Deep rich colours are used throughout as well as Ghanaian Adinkra symbols intermingled with vibrate pictures of her dishes.

The book which is pushing back the frontier on cooking has recipes and a dish selection from not only Nigeria where Lerato family is from but also Ethiopian/Eritrea, Senegal, Morrocco and South Africa where the language of Swahili is spoken. We also love books where the writer gives us an insight into themselves. So, we get the story of her up bringing and reasons why she loves her craft. Lerato didn't mess around during lockdown, surprisingly East African recipe content is included in the book Which we did not expect. This means this book Africana food ingredients has been well researched in how berbere is cooked into tsebhis (stews) and spices unique to the regions produce. African regional areas in the east never ever touched in style in a publication.

African tradition meaning sharing so it has been a long time coming that Mother African's recipes have been presented to the world. African food revolution beings with the discovering of new and exciting flavours to a public who have a clouded view of what the regions food is about. East African fruit, vegetables grains, pulses and tubers need to be recognised.

Read Nigerian West African Vegan Cooking With Lerato Umah-Shaylor

Lerato's Recipes And Cooking Highlights

Find out how to make Egusi Soup, Nigerian Roast Veg, Corn Soup, Bean Fritters, Braided Agege Bread, Lagos Mess and the dessert Lerato and Coconut Cake. Here are some recipes for you to try Moin Moin, Fishwoman's Okra and Seafood, Crab And Yam Pepper Soup and Steamed Jollof Rice of which there are well over one hundred sectioned into the following:

  • My African food journey
  • African thread
  • Sumptuous stews and soups
  • Africana produce and pantry
  • Seasonal and sustainability
  • Roast, grills and cooking with fire
  • Fabulous fish and seafood
  • Spectacular salads and sides
  • Breads, grains and pules
  • Sauces and spice blends

Note: Lerato's recipes provide alternative or optional ingredients to cater for dietary considerations

Recipes and cooking techniques are presented. Split into section you will find the following, Sauces spice blends, Red Harrisa, Scotch bonnet and turmeric oil, Ras el Hannout, Suya Spice blend, Berbere Spice, how to cook plantains in the many ways, out of the oven too, kelewele, fried plantains, boiled plantains, baked or roasted plantains and plantain chips. We get a note on jollof with two recipes smoky and seafood jollof, plus cooking skills tips. Ingredients are using aubergine frying for the much-loved suya mixture and sweet pepper rolls with cauliflower crème, stuffed jollof rice in peppers with pomegranates and green peas.

Read Zoe's Ghana Kitchen Cookbook Review

Kachumbari With Hibiscus Onion

Spectacular salads and sides section includes kachumbari a vibrant salad that incorporates fruit such as watermelon

Lerato's Mango Lime Piri Piri Chicken

From the roasts, grills and cooking with fire section Mozambiquan-inspired pir piri

Lerato Hibiscus Pomegranate Chapman

Hibiscus Pomegranate
From the drinks, dips and sharing section the classic drink Chapman from Lerato's childhood in Ikoyi, Lagos

Lerato Ugandan Rolex

A recipe of rolled eggs, cloves, chilli and more. Also see Chapati the flat bread of East Africa and India

Fried Halloumi

With cherry tomatoes and red pepper sauce inspired from west Africa a mellow cheesy flavour comes to the taste buds

Inside The Cook Book Africana

Going to a Lago market or the field trip is one of the early chapters, writing up the Moin Moin mix (Steam baked black eyed beans with seasonal vegetables) and more means deadlines, photo shoots and editing. This is the business of publishing, money and hard work. Quality and detail this is not a five-minute job. I am therefore impressed. Telling the African story behind your cuisine is a skill in writing, which in this book is positive, clear and light. Lerato starts by giving us an introduction into her background, growing up in Africa, life in Lagos, Nigeria. Then London. We get to find out which Nigerian food's she focuses on. These are the largest of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria. The first section after the introduction is all about some of the exotic ingredients that you may not know. Highlighted are yam, cassava, scotch bonnet, orka, garden eggs and plantains. These all come under fresh ingredients. Lerato then describes herbs and spices. Here the reader gets to find out what is Lerato recipe egusi and her use of baobab plus many more.

Lerato talks to her reader with a smile. There are African stories of joy behind her cuisine in the description before the recipe. Here you will find stories about her mother and father, Nigerian roots and university. Read recollection of drinks in Ikoyi Nigerian clubs restaurant. Of course, pictures are included which means we get to see creativity and passion in words and images.

Expect traditional recipes such as groundnut stew, popular maafe, pepper soup, egusi with pounded yam, moin moin, black-eye beans and akra. There were some great collections of recipes from the west African group of foodies. We should be able to enjoy also Tagine from Morrocco, Roulet Yassa from Senegal.

Read Three Reasons Why You Should Document Your Recipes

Africana: Treasured recipes and stories from across the continent

Lerato's logo. Lerato a food writer and dinner party queen.

Leading cooking star of African food Lerato Umah-Shaylor has taken inspiration from her heritage to create Africana: Treasured recipes and stories from across the continent

Lerato looks back to her African culture. As an imaginative cook Lerato uses traditional Nigerian foods as a starting point, experiments with European ingredients and ideas then fusing this together with modern cooking techniques to present new recipes. There are glorious pictures love and joy for her craft. We wish her lots of success through sales.

Read Hibiscus By Lopè Ariyo

Support Then Review African Chefs

What helps sell a book? The cover image, author and reviews. Reviews are an important part of the foodie community. Please take a moment to provide the African chefs with some helpful feedback. As a community it is our responsibility to constantly and ‪aggressively support African‬ chef's career ‪and their businesses. There is a demand for African heritage all over the world, we are now seeing more talented individuals catering for this, let us promote it. Lerato's stands out due to the care in detail for readers new to her cooking. This book is fundamentally about the recipes which should appeal to a multicultural young audience because it has imagination and inspiration from heritage. African cooking skills into a career and business. In Lerato a first-time author, she has invested a lot of time and money in crafting this book. I encourage you to buy for yourself and cook her African recipes. If you then like them, buy for the family and friends as presents.

Africana By Lerato Umah-Shaylor is 288 pages, stories, recipes, adorned throughout with high quality pictures and Ghanaian Adinkra symbols
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HQ (29 Sept. 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0008458502
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0008458508

Buy the book Lerato by Lerato Umah-Shaylor – published Sep 2022 and write your reviews on amazon.

West Africa Cooks

Further Reading

African American culinary identity. The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W Twitty. Also see Cook Book Buys (US)


Search For African Grocery Online. Click Buy Now OR Search