Life in the kitchen.

African winter reads and spicy dinners.


With ‘inside-time’ being what winter holidays are all about, we thought we’d do another great food –  book pairing this month.

And we thought we’d keep it African this time, and introduce you – if you don’t already know her – to a Nigerian author who is one of Africa’s best literary talents: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Born in Nigeria to academic parents, she started studying medicine but changed her mind and at 19, left for the USA where she completed a master’s degree in creative writing.

With many international literary awards and academic accolades to her name, Adichie is the author of four novels. If you haven’t read anything by this remarkable young woman, we recommend you start with her first novel, Purple Hibiscus.

It’s the story of fifteen-year-old Kambili and her brother Jaja whose life of privilege in Nigeria hides a secret. While her father is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and a tyrant at home, where the atmosphere is oppressive, and the children and their mother live with the constant threat of violence.

We recommend you start
with her first novel,
Purple Hibiscus.

Then the country falls under a military coup, and the teenagers leave the city to live with their aunt, where life changes.


We suggest you try something else that’s precious to Nigeria: Jollof Rice with chicken – a dish that’s spicy and distinctively African.

You could compare it to a jambalaya or paella in its ricey spiciness, but it’s uniquely Nigerian – although the Ghanaians will claim their version is superior. (We won’t take sides in that debate.)

Try this easy recipe.


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