Red Red Beans stew with fried plantains
Like me you may be a Ghanaian brought up on arguably the most captivatingly delicious and wholesome meals anywhere in the world and just want a reminder of how awesome your culinary heritage is. Who knows? you may just be wondering if all the fuss Ghanaian food enthusiasts make about Ghanaian food on the streets of London, New York, Amsterdam and elsewhere in the world is just mere hype. Perhaps you may be in the middle of planning a trip to Ghana and wondering what local foodie delights you’d be serenaded with.
We hope that this curated selection of 20 Ghanaian foods to try will not only whet your appetite but, will inform and give you a unique insight into the various foods and dishes and where you can find them to try in Ghana.
Tom Brown Porridge with nuts
A breakfast favourite that continues to garner a cult following amongst health conscious folks and one that has carved it’s own niche as a nutritious supplement for toddlers, Ghana’s Tom Brown is hit. Even though it lends itself to variations by adding nuts (see below) and other flavours, the basic Tom Brown is good to go with a sprinkling of sugar and evaporated milk. Have it with a slice or two of bread daubed with butter and you’d be set to go conquer the world! Normally bought in powder form to cook at home.
More on Tom Brown here – Ghana’s Tom Brown Porridge.
Kontomire stew (Palava sauce) with boiled yam and plantain
Kontomire stew or as it is affectionately called, palaver sauce, has a history that perhaps goes back centuries. Curiously enough it is also the only Ghanaian food that makes an appearance in our hall of fame for inserting itself into Ghana’s colonial history. It is often had with boiled yam pieces and sliced boiled ripe plantain. It is not unusual to have an assortment of meat including sea food and crustaceans in kontomire stew. It is a palm oil rich medley that will assault your senses and like Oliver Twist you’d come back to ask for more! Often made at home and can be found on typically Ghanaian restaurant menus.
More on Kontomire stew here: Kontomire stew with boiled yam
Tatale reminds me of how Ghanaians often vote in national political elections. Blouse and Skirt we call it. A strategy that sees voters vote for a President of a party but then intentionally vote for a local Member of Parliament of a different party to the President. I guess its a way of balancing things out nicely. President Tatale is not had on its own. It’s accompanying Member of Parliament is from the beans family locally called aboboi. The two go hand in hand like lovers yet to come out of that giggly infatuation honeymoon period. The best way to describe Tatale to our English speaking readers is that it is similar to pancakes in its preparation but, made primarily with mushed over ripe plantain. Tatale once in a while veers away from aboboi to set up home with “red red”, a black eyed beans stew popular in Ghana.
More on Tatale here: Tatale (Plantain pancakes)
Kenkey with grilled Tilapia
More on Kenkey here: Kenkey with grilled tilapia
Y3l3 Kakro (Yam Balls)
More on yam balls here: Y3l3 Kakro
Kenkey with fried fish and shrimps
Kenkey (mentioned above) is a predominantly coastal Ghana staple and, therefore, as expected it is traditionally had with fried fish. It is made out of fermented maize dough and it is probably the most common staple dish in Accra. I often joke that it is easier for me to find Kenkey to buy in London that it is for me to find in my particular suburban neighbourhood in Accra. Not surprising as it is a favourite of Ghanaian emigres around the world. I once watched as the fermented dough Kenkey is made out of, was processed and cooked. Fascinating but complex process which probably explains why Kenkey is often bought already made from vendors and very few people are skilled in the art of making it to be able to make it at home. Traditionally kenkey (both Ga and Fanti) goes with fried fish and shrimps.
Red Red Beans stew with fried plantains
More on Red Red here: Ghana’s red red stew with fried plantain
More on Kelewele here: Kelewele
Rice water porridge
More on Rice water porridge here: Nut flavoured rice water porridge
Abobie (Anchovy pepper sauce)
More here on Abobie: Abobie pepper sauce
Rice and black eyed beans stew with fried plantains
More here on Red Red stew with rice: Rice and black eyed beans stew
Banku and Okoro stew
More on Banku and Okro stew here: Banku and Okro stew
Waakye (Beans & Rice)
More on Waakye here: Ghana’s Waakye