The festive season is upon us, and we all know what that means food, food and more food. So, I have decided to talk about food (one of my favourite subjects) but we are not necessarily going to talk about festive foods per se.
Maybe along the way we may consciously or unconsciously indulge you and drop one on the list.
We are going to discuss the delicious Ghanaian delicacies we love. My mouth is watering just saying that. So as not to offend any group of people, I would only do some common dishes that come to mind randomly. I hope all readers bear with me on this one.
As we all know Ghana has a diverse culture making it one of the few countries in Africa and even in the world that boasts of a wide array of delicacies. Generally, Ghanaians enjoy a rather simple, but flavorful cuisine.
The majority of meals consist of thick, well-seasoned stews, usually accompanied by such staple foods as rice or boiled yams. Stews come in a variety of flavors, the most popular being okra, garden eggs, egg plants (egusi), fish, bean leaf (or other greens), forowe (a fishy tomato stew), palava sauce (spinach stew with either fish, chicken or even minced meat), and groundnut (peanut), one of the country’s national dishes. Certain foods that make up the Ghanaian diet vary according to which region of the country people reside in or come from.
In northern Ghana, millet, yams, and corn are eaten most frequently, while the south and west enjoy plantains, cassava, and cocoyams. The northern regions boasts of a unique dish called tuo zaafi.
The people of the dry southeastern region eat mostly corn and cassava. Rice is a staple throughout most of the country.
On a more familiar terrain, we find foods such as kenkey and fish, banku and soup (tilapia and pepper) and many others. However, some food from the African sub region( especially Nigeria) like ebba and egusi stew has found its way into the hearts of many Ghanaians and could very much be considered or identified as Ghanaian as well.
Now let’s closely look at some of these Ghanaian foods. I am sure some of you readers eat these dishes regularly and religiously but have no clue what goes into these sumptuous Ghanaian dishes or have no idea how to cook them. So I might as well do the honourable thing and leave readers with the recipes to some (not all )of your most loved Ghanaian dishes. I will start with the object of my desire , Jollof rice! Now, remember this list is in no way biased to a particular group of people in Ghana. As such all foods have been randomly picked by me.
This list would not be complete without this spicy dish enjoyed by many if I am not mistaken by all Ghanaians
It is a common dish found throughout West Africa, but its origin lies from the Wolof people. Some people say that its lies in Ghana but I will like to believe otherwise. It is a very aromatic and flavourful one pot rice meal. It’s great on its own or even when accompanied with eggs, grilled or fried meats. Variations of ingredients include: veggie, chicken or meat.
- 1¼ cups white rice
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or any meat of your choice
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 can (6-ounce) tomato paste
- 3 cups chicken broth
- In a saucepan, sauté rice and onion in oil.
- Cover and cook until onion is translucent and soft.
- Cut chicken into ½-inch cubes and add to sauté mixture.
- Mix in tomato paste and then broth.
- Bring mixture to a boil.
- Cover pan and reduce heat to low.
- Cook until rice is tender, liquid is absorbed, and chicken is cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Makes 8 servings.
N.B: This dish can be prepared in many ways and this is only one of the ways the sumptuous dish can be prepared.
Another staple throughout West Africa and very popular in Ghana, is fufu (boiled plantain, cassava that is pounded with a large mortar and pestle into a round ball).This pulped gooed ball of crushed or pounded cassava, plantain or yam is mostly served with light soup, groundnut or palm nut soup with a hodgepodge of meats and fishes. Meat is considered a sign of wealth and luxury in Ghana and is seldom eaten with this dish. Fish, especially near the coast, is found more often in everyday dishes and stews in our soups.
- 6 cups water
- 2½ cups instant baking mix (such as Bisquick or Jiffy Mix)
- 2½ cups instant mashed potato flakes
- Boil the water in a large saucepan.
- Add the instant flour mix and potato flakes to the boiling water and mix well.
- Cook, stirring constantly for 10 to 15 minutes.
- This is best accomplished by two people working together: one to hold the pot while the other stirs vigorously with a strong, wooden spoon.
- The mixture will become very thick and difficult to stir, but the mixture must continuously be stirred.
- Fill a medium-sized bowl with water to thoroughly wet its surface, then empty the water out.
- Gather a large mass of the mixture (about 1 cup) on the spoon and transfer it to the wet bowl.
- Shake the bowl vigorously until the dough forms into a smooth ball.
- Serve on a large platter with soup or stew( groundnut, palmnut soup , light soup or any soup of your choice).
Makes about 6 servings
Some prefer to prepare this food the traditional way, pounding the yam, cassava ,plaintain in a mortar with a pestle. Either way, one is assured of a wonderful eating experience.