From the land that brought us the Azonto dance craze, let’s dive into the world of Ghanaian cuisine!
Picture a bounty of food crops like cassava, plantains, yams, maize, and cocoyam – the building blocks of deliciousness. And hey, let’s not forget cocoa, Ghana’s gift to the world of chocolate.
Ghanaian food? Starchy, yes, but it’s not all about the carbs. Thanks to a global exchange of culinary ideas, you’ll find that traditional Ghanaian dishes are jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. We’re talking whole grains and an army of veggies, making these dishes a tasty and healthy treat.
Now, whether you’re a West African cuisine enthusiast or just a foodie on a quest, here’s a delightful list of five Ghanaian eats that deserve a spot on your menu.
Breakfast: Koko with Koose/Bread
Picture this: Koko, the Hausa porridge, or millet porridge, to kickstart your day. It’s like a warm hug in a bowl, with origins in the northern reaches of Nigeria. Made from millet or cornmeal, it’s a cozy companion for Koose (those lovely deep-fried bean cakes) or a slice of bread.
Koko isn’t just any porridge; it’s got a spicy, aromatic zing thanks to ginger and a whole lot of goodness. Feel free to toss in some nuts or dried fruits for an extra oomph. It’s a balanced breakfast, so you can conquer the day without feeling weighed down.
And if you’re feeling fancy, there’s Rice Water Porridge, the classy Omo Tuo (steamed rice balls), Tom Brown (a nutritious porridge mix), or the classic African trio: Tea, Milo, or Coffee with Bread. Ghanaians love it.
Now, brunch is where the magic happens, and Waakye is the star. Hailing from Ghana’s north, it’s the ideal brunch buddy. Imagine your favorite rice and beans, with a twist —millet or sorghum leaves that give it that cool reddish-brown vibe.
Garnish it with some spicy pepper sauce, fried plantains, spaghetti, salad, avocado, or even boiled eggs, and you’re in for a mid-morning delight that’ll keep your energy levels soaring.
For those brunch rebels, consider Koko with Buffroat/Boflot/Puff Puff (sweet and chewy doughnuts), MpotoMpoto (Yam Porridge), or the legendary Red Red (Beans Stew) with fried plantains. This combo is basically a party in your mouth.
Lunch: Banku and Tilapia
From the coastal regions of Ghana, we present the lunch sensation: Banku and Tilapia. It’s like a beach vacation on a plate. Banku, a soft, fermented corn and cassava dough, is a bit like Nigeria’s Eba. Paired with Tilapia, the fish with flavor to spare, and a side of spicy pepper sauce and fresh veggies, this combo is a taste of the seaside.
Feeling adventurous? Try Fufu and Goat Light soup (spoiler: it’s not light at all). Kontomire Soup or Ghanaian Groundnut Soup with boiled yam and plantain also make for a tantalizing lunch. Akple, a slimy delight from the south, is paired with Okra Soup, and Kenkey with fried fish is a must-try for the curious.
Dinner: Jollof Rice
Jollof Rice, the crown jewel of West African cuisine, is a dinner party favorite. Originating from Senegal, it’s a symphony of rice, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and a spice extravaganza. In Ghana, you can choose your protein adventure: chicken, beef, goat meat, seafood, or veggies.
Feeling bold? Opt for Tubani (Bean Pudding) or Agwanmo (fried rice with a twist). Etor, a mash-up of yams or plantains, served with hard-boiled eggs or cucumber, is a unique dinner choice. Tuo Zaafi with savory soup or stew, and Wasawasa or rice and Shito (spicy pepper sauce) also bring their fiery game to the table.
Snacking time! Kelewele is the undisputed champion—bite-sized cubes of fried spicy plantain, jazzed up with ginger, garlic, and chili. The aroma alone is an instant mood-lifter, and the flavors? Bold and beautiful.
So, where do you get your hands on these Ghanaian delights? Visit a store that stocks West African ingredients, check out a Ghanaian restaurant, or make a Ghanaian friend (best-case scenario, they’ll invite you for a feast). Or hey, take a culinary adventure and visit Ghana yourself. Just don’t forget to pack your appetite!