A Taste of Africa: Veggie Cakes

Tue, May 17, 2016 @ 05:16 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

We don't know what others call these delicious little patties, but in our house, they're called "veggie cakes". They are vegetarian (maybe even vegan), so make a terrific meal if you're trying to eat less meat. About the consistency of a crab cake, they are very flavourful and relatively easy to make.

We try to have several "meatless" meals per week so this really fits the bill! You have to make sort of a paste with the chickpea flour but it isn't at all difficult.


 Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse 

These veggie cakes are terrific with a little chutney on the side.  We usually serve with a small salad or (sometimes) rice.

We love sharing our family recipes with you but please remember you can search online and find lots of variations on this dish and other terrific African recipes.  An online recipe site we use over and over again is The Congo CookbookMy East Africa Journal is also a great source for recipes.  

afrolems.com - A food blog for Nigerian, African and Interational recipes is a great source. Visit them - they have a really nice selection of recipes and the instructions are laid out in a really easy to understand manner. 

AllRecipes and Food.com are also good resources.  Just a simple web search will turn up a wide variety of recipes for you to try.


  • 2.5 to 3 cups of roasted vegetables, roughly chopped. Pretty much anything you want to roast (and enjoy). Try squash or pumpkin, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes (cut in half), green onion, cauliflower, carrots. Don't mince the vegetables. You want some nice chunks of veggies in your "cakes".
  • Salt and pepper to taste (we use about a half teaspoon of salt and about the same of black pepper)
  • 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (we get ours at the "Bulk Barn" or most health food stores carry it as well).
  • 1.75 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of chickpea flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric (cumin works well too)
  • Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Now make a paste by mixing the chickpea flour with one cup of water. It should be quite gooey and thick.
  • Put all the rest of the ingredients (except the roasted vegetables) into a large saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  • Then stair the chickpea flour paste into the mixture in your saucepan and stir it in well.  No lumps, please!
  • Turn the heat down to just a nice simmer and continue to stir until the mixture thickens up.
  • Now turn your roasted chopped vegetables into the thickened mixture. 
  • Have a pie tin or cake tin, oiled (we use canola spray) at hand.
  • Turn your thickened mixture into the pie or cake tin and spread out evenly.
  • Now bake it in the oven for around 30-35 minutes.

We find that sometimes our mixture might be a tiny bit too wet or, conversely, a bit dry. Just add a tiny bit of flour if too wet, or a tiny bit more vegetable stock or water if it is too dry.  

Let it sit for a good ten minutes before turning it out of the pie plate/cake tin. If you do it right away, it tends to break up. Cut into pie-shaped wedges to serve.

If you are going to a potluck, this is a great thing to take. Travels well and is easily reheated. Cover it loosely with foil if you reheat or it will dry out.

The four of us can eat the entire pie so if there are more than 4 for dinner - make two! 

Enjoy!  And please let us know how you enjoy this recipe and any creative culinary modifications you make. 


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Mustafa Salemwalla

Written by Mustafa Salemwalla

Mustafa hails from Tanzania and spent 30 years getting to know the magnificent continent of Africa. Hence his passion for African art, sculpture, fashion and empowerment of artisans.

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