Monday, April 2, 2012

Food, Glorious Food

In sorting through pictures recently, I realized that we had written a blog on Liberian food dishes while in Liberia but have not yet written a blog on Ghanaian food dishes.  So it is time to reveal the delightful cuisine of Ghana.  Prepare your taste buds for an exciting journey.

Many Ghanaian meals involve a food that is pounded in a large wooden mortar, with a pestle.  Early evenings are frequently filled with the sound of pounding as food is prepared.  Most food is also quite spicy, served with a sauce called Shito (pronounced Shee-toe), which can be made a variety of ways but typically has the following in its base:  tomatoes, garlic, onion, ginger, pepper, herring and shrimp.  Be careful - it can be very hot!
Banku (on the left) and Tilapia
First on the list is Banku and Tilapia.  Banku is femented corn/cassava dough mixed proportionally and cooked in hot water into a smooth whitish consistent paste.  It is often served with soup, stew or a pepper sauce with fish (often Tilapia).  If you were to eat this in a restaurant, it would be served as is shown in the picture.  You are given a bowl of water and soap to wash your right hand; you then eat the food with your fingers with your right hand only.  The fish is served whole, with head and tail intact. 

A second favorite is Kenkey, which is a fermented maize meal traditionally prepared by boiling balls of mixed portions of fermented cooked maize meal and raw maize dough wrapped in cornhusks.  The picture shows a table of Kenkey, which can be found and purchased on the side of the road. It is often served in a similar manner to Banku.

Fufu and pepper soup.
Fufu is a conventional West African dish made by boiling starchy foods such as cassava, yam, or plantain, then pounding them into a glutinous mass.  In Liberia, fufu was mostly fermented cassava, but in Ghana it is not fermented and can be a variety of the above mentioned items.

Red Red
Red Red is a baked bean stew and is Noah's favorite. Though we eat it with rice, it is typically served with boiled plantain.

Waakye (pronounced wat-chee) is another popular dish, made of rice and beans, and cooked with a spicy sauce of prawn and tomato.  

Kelewele is my favorite.  Because it is fried in oil, I have to restrict myself to eating it just once a week but it is soooo good.  It is prepared from ripe plantain well seasoned with ginger, chilli, cloves and fried in hot oil to give it a great mouth-watering flavor.

Just in case your stomach is now rumbling and it's not time for lunch yet, let me distract you.  While in the process of sorting through pictures, I also was sorting through videos in preparation for Noah's graduation slide show and video.  I ran across the cutest video of Noah, at about eleven months, falling asleep while he eats.  Not Ghanaian food, but cute none-the-less.