Ghanaians enjoy a rather simple, but flavourful cuisine. The food of Ghana is wonderful, there is a freshness about it that you do not find abroad. I think this is due to the fact that the food is home-made from very fresh ingredients.

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 flavours, the most popular being okro (okra), fish, bean leaf (or other greens), palava sauce (spinach stew with either fish or chicken), 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 live in. In the north, millet (a type of grain), yams, and corn are eaten most frequently, while the south and west enjoy plantains (similar to bananas), cassava, and cocoyams (a root vegetable). The people of the dry southeastern region eat mostly corn and cassava. Rice is a staple throughout most of the country. Jollof rice, a spicy dish that includes tomato sauce and meat, is enjoyed by most of the population (refer to image below).

Pito, a fermented beverage made from sorghum (a type of grain), is a popular drink in the north, while those living in the south prefer palm wine.

A staple throughout West Africa, including Ghana, is fufu (boiled plantain, cassava, or rice that is pounded with a large mortar and pestle into a round ball). Most Ghanaians eat “banku“, a fermented corn dish (refer to image below). “Kenkey” (ken-KAY) is a ground cornmeal soaked in water and left to ferment for up to two full days before it is shaped into a ball, boiled, and wrapped in plantain leaves. Both Banku and Kenkey are popular eaten with fish and hot sauce or stew.

There are many treats for Ghanaians to enjoy after meals. Surprisingly, not many of them include chocolate as an ingredient, despite Ghana being one of the world’s leading producers of cocoa. Kelewele, a dessert or snack, is made of fried plantains seasoned with ginger and ground red pepper or fresh chili peppers (refer to image below). Another dish that may be served for dessert is a pancake made of mashed plantains, deep-fried in palm oil.

Refer to Ghanalinx food blogs for more information on Ghanaian grocery stores in your area, Ghanaian recipes, and some Ghanaian restaurants.

Nat Brew – Wogbe