The Best Ghanaian Recipes
Ghana, located on the coast of West Africa, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in West Africa. It offers some of the finest cuisines from the West Africa sub-region of the continent.
Recipe #1: Banku Served with Tilapia and Pepper
Banku is the most popular grain dough meal processed into a thick paste and eaten with veggies, fish, and soups.
Preparation time: 1 hour
- 1 or 2 fresh Large Tilapia fish
- 1 mix of natural spices like ginger, rosemary, cloves, or garlic)
- 2 cups of corn dough
- 1 cup of cassava dough
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 large raw pepper and 1 large tomato
- 1 diced bulb onion.
- Descale and clean the Tilapia before spicing with 2 teaspoons of the spice. Allow the seasoning to soak into the fish for a few minutes, then place it inside the preheated oven.
- Glaze the fish with oil in the oven and turn it when necessary to prevent burning. Remove them from the oven after 15-20 minutes when cooked.
- Clean your hand thoroughly and then use it to mix equal portions of cassava and corn dough inside a pot of water. Remove the lumps and fiber pieces inside. Mash and mix until you get a paste with consistency. Add a pinch of salt before putting the paste on high heat fir. Stir the mix in the pot gently until it thickens.
- With time, the Banku will thicken more and gather at the bottom of the pot. You may have to apply more force of stirring when the paste becomes thickened.
- Reduce the heat to slow and hold the pot in place when the Banku has cooked. Beat through with the wooden spoon for about 6 minutes.
- After 6 minutes of beating, use the wooden spoon to create perforations in the thick Banku and add a little water before you increase the fire again and allow Banku to cook.
- Keep glazing and turning the Banku; your Tilapia should be ready by now.
- Wash the tomato, onion, and pepper, then grind the mix till it requires consistency. Add a pinch of salt for added taste.
- Check The Banku to ensure that it is not entirely dried up. Repeat the kneading until the Banku becomes smooth. Use a smaller bowl to shape the Banku to your preferred sizes.
- Serve immediately with the pepper mix.
Recipe #2: Toasted Corn Meal Porridge
A delicious West African porridge to start your day.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups of finely-ground roasted corn (Ablemamu)
- 3 ½ cups of hot milk
- 8 teaspoons of brown sugar.
- To make your Ablemamu, dry-roast 2 ½ cups of popcorn kernels, or roast the corn yourself, but remove the corn or kernel from heat when they are about to pop. Cool and grind the corn until it becomes powdery and fine- You may use a coffee grinder.
- Cool the mix overnight
- Place the Ablemamu inside four cereal bowls, pour an equal portion of hot milk inside each bowl, then share some sugar.
- Stir and mix thoroughly and watch as it thickens into a porridge.
- Serve immediately.
Recipe #3: Ghanaian Jollof Rice
There has been a food war lately, and it is about which West African country makes the best jollof rice.
Preparation time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 2 roughly-chopped large yellow onions
- 1/3 cup of vegetable oil ( plus 2 spoons divided)
- 2 cans or 14oz. diced tomatoes
- 1 can or 6 oz. tomato paste
- 1 large Habanero pepper
- 2 teaspoons of curry powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon of mixed dried herbs
- 3 crushed chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 ½ cups of rinsed long-grain rice
- 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 ½ cups of water
- Get a clean blender, and inside add the 2 teaspoons of oil with onions and pulse until smooth. Pour into a medium-size bowl, then add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and habanero pepper before pulsing further and transferring into a medium-sized bowl.
- Heat the remaining 1/3 cup of oil inside the heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add onion once the oil is shimmering, then cook further until all the water evaporates and the puree begins to brown. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Stir in your tomato puree and add the garlic powder, curry powder, dried herbs, ginger, and crushed bouillon cubes. Cook for about 30 minutes while occasionally stirring until the stew has reduced to about half its original size. The stew must also appear more intense in color at this stage.
- Add the rice alongside mixed vegetables plus sufficient water. Bring the mix to boil before reducing the heat to low before covering the pot with foil. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the rice is cooked and all the liquid is absorbed.
- Serve while hot.
Recipe #4: Waakye Recipe
This is another traditional Ghanaian recipe that the locals widely enjoy.
Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 9oz. of dried black-eyed beans or kidney beans
- 14 oz of medium or long-grain rice
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 finely-diced onion
- 3-4 dried millet or sorghum leaves (or 1 teaspoon of Bicarbonate of soda)
- 1 thinly-sliced Anaheim chili
- ½ teaspoon of dried sea salt
- 1 liter of boiling water or chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 shelled and halved soft-boiled eggs
- Finely-sliced 1 green chili and a finely sliced bunch of chives
- Rinse the beans and place them inside a large saucepan, then cover with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about an hour until the beans become tender enough to be squeezed between your fingers. Drain and set the beans aside.
- Wash the rice under water until the water becomes clear.
- Heat a large and heavy-based saucepan over high heat, then add the oil and onion, and sauté for about 2 minutes until they turn golden brown.
- Wash the dried millet or sorghum leaves and cut them into 3 or 4-inch pieces.
- Add the rice, alongside the beans, chili, and salt, to the sautéed onions and toss the mix lightly. Stir in the 1-liter water, chicken, or veggie stock, and the optional bicarbonate soda. Cover this for about 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the mix stand for about 15 minutes until the rice becomes tender and water has been absorbed.
- Garnish with eggs, green chili, and chives, and serve with a side sauce or vegetable stew.
Recipe #5: Kelewele Recipe (Spicy fried Plantain)
Ghanaian recipes are incomplete without this traditional plantain side dish.
Preparation time: 35 minutes
- 5 large ripe plantains
- ¼ diced onions
- 1 teaspoon of cayenne or chili pepper
- 1 tablespoon of chopped ginger
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder
- 4-5 tablespoons of vegetable oil for deep frying
- Cut both ends of the plantain with a sharp knife, then slit a shallow line along the seam before pulling the skin of the plantain back.
- Cut the plantain as deep as the peel before cutting it into diagonal pieces. Set the plantain aside.
- Get a blender or food processor, then blend the ginger with the onion, and garlic, with a bit of water. Add the cayenne or chili, lemon, salt, nutmeg, and bouillon to the mix. Set the mix aside.
- Get a large bowl, and inside toss the plantain cubes alongside the ginger spice mix. Let the mix rest for about 20 minutes to absorb the flavor.
- Heat a large skillet or cast iron with the oil at medium heat, then fry the plantain cubes in batches while turning once to prevent burning. Fry for about 5 minutes until they turn golden brown.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried plantain into a pan lined with paper towels.
- Serve the plantains warm.