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Rack of lamb with roasted vegetables

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If you’ve spent most of your holiday celebrations in the U.S., then traditional Christmas dishes like honey-baked ham, gingerbread cookies and gravy have likely been staples of your big holiday feasts. But those are the white-washed American Christmas foods. Millions of people around the world in very different cultures from our own celebrate Christmas, and their dinner tables looks completely different from what you find here.

In Africa, 350 million people celebrate Christmas. It’s a very festive time of year filled with street parades, large outdoor barbecues and foods that would excite your taste buds. If you’ve grown tired of traditional Christmas dishes with primarily American and Eastern European origins, you might want to try some of the mouthwatering, flavorful and colorful traditional African Christmas recipes. Plus, if you have African ancestors, making these dishes is a beautiful (and delicious) way to honor your heritage.


Side Dishes



Making mangoes sauces. Sambal Mangga, is a chili sauce mixed with slices green mango complete with onion and a pinch of sugar. Mango sambals, one of Indonesia food, the tasty is spicy and sour

Source: Joko Prasetyo / Getty

Sambals is the name for a popular side dish of which there can be many variations. The core of any sambals recipe will typically have finely chopped or grated raw vegetables with vinegar and spices. One common recipe calls for grated carrots and apples with garlic, ginger and rice wine. It all comes together as a bright and zesty slaw-like food that’s nice to pair with heavier items. In different parts of Africa, sambals can take on different core ingredients. Sometimes diced cucumber is the main ingredient and you wind up with more of a refreshing chutney-like dish to have with meats.

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