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. 


Nancy said...

So precious!! Love it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the preview of foods to come! Makes me excited and nervous. I'm sure the Kenkey's are different there but we use to eat them as well in Barbados. I always enjoyed them. There was a desert version and a meal version.
Less then 3 weeks now! Look forward to seeing you when we arrive.
Stephanie W.

Little Wooly Mama said...

Interesting to read that a lot of food is fermented. I've read "a revolutionary" cookbook called "Nourishing Traditions" that recommends fermented food to us in the land of plenty of food.