Continental and local dishes from Ghana are one of the best you can get around africa. Let’s look at some of them.
Originally from Senegal, Jollof is a pot dish of rice prepared with tomato sauce and served with meat or fish that stirs up plenty of interesting debate online. The rice soaks up the juicy flavours and turns orange when cooking, and is a national favourite that can be found in most restaurants or dished out by street vendors at affordable prices.
Waakye is another food that exhibits Ghanaians’ creative use of rice. The recipe is a medley of beans and rice and was originally a Northern dish, but it can now be found almost everywhere on the streets of Accra. Eating Waakye will open the door to a range of Ghanaian tastes and flavours as the main dish is served with other sides such as fried plantain, garri (grated cassava), spaghetti and avocado.
Banku and tilapia
When you see fish being grilled on the streets of Accra it is most likely to be tilapia, a delicacy among Ghanaians, who spice then grill the succulent freshwater fish. It complements banku, a Southern mix of fermented corn and cassava dough, and very hot pepper, diced tomatoes and onions. Banku is one of the main dishes of the people who live by the Ghanaian coast.
Red-red is a filling traditional dish that consists of cowpea beans boiled to make a broth, served with palm oil and soft, fried plantains. It is one of the Ghanaian dishes that doesn’t use a lot of spice because the main taste comes from the ingredients it’s served with – it can also be dished up with garri to make it even more hearty. Red-red is also a perfect choice for vegetarians as no animal products are used.
Fufu and goat light soup
In the Eastern and Ashanti regions of Ghana, one meal guaranteed to work its wonder is fufu and goat light soup, the proud dish of the Akan. Fufu is a staple food across West Africa but in Ghana, it is made by pounding a mixture of boiled cassava and plantains into a soft sticky paste to go along with aromatic and spicy tomato soup. Fufu can also be found in Northern Ghana, although it is made with yam in this region. This weekend delight is relished across the country, albeit with slight differences made to the core recipe.
Northern Ghanaian food is dominated by the use of grains, herbs and meat as these are the main food products of the area. Tuo Zaafi is similar to banku, although it is quite soft and less sticky, and is made by cooking corn dough and adding a little cassava. What distinguishes Tuo Zaafi and makes it a popular meal nationwide is the nutritious and rare herbs used in making the accompanying soup, including dawadawa and ayoyo leaves.
Kenkey and fried fish
Kenkey is another corn-based staple similar to banku, that is made by moulding fermented corn dough into balls and wrapping them around drying corn leaves, which are then boiled. The meal is served with hot pepper sauce, fried crabs, octopus or fish and is a delicacy of the Accran people.
No list of traditional Ghanaian foods would be complete without this savoury side dish. Kelewele is an instant favourite among anyone who tries it, even those who aren’t big fans of peppery food. Usually sold as a snack or side dish all over Accra, it is made by frying soft plantains that have been soaked in a medley of peppers, ginger and garlic. The aroma is crisp and strong, while the pleasant plantain adds some sweetness to the sour.
Omo Tuo (or rice balls) are another traditional Ghanaian food that shows how the population often reinvents the myriad ways of eating rice. It comprises soft boiled grains that are moulded into balls and served with a variety of soups, and makes a great accompaniment to many dishes like fufu.
Here are a few others you may also love from a guest house in Accra
This guest house is called the Moon & Star Guest House and this is their addition to the list
- Mpoto poto– A stew of yam (our potato) and a spicy tomato sauce. We usually make this dish vegetarian and it is by far the number 1 according to many guests. Mpoto poto is a dish from the Volta region, Ashanti’s prepare it as well, but then from plantain and they use a lot of oil.
- Yam with a beef stew– Cooked yam served with a beef and vegetables stew, we serve a nice fresh salad at the side. This dish is a created by me. Tomato sauce is something that is widely used in Ghana. A different taste every once in a while is very nice.
- Yollof rice– A delicious spicy tomato rice, the rice is cooked in a tomato stew. We serve the yollof with chicken / fish and a fresh salad. Yollof rice is widely cooked in both Ghana and Nigeria, there is even a ‘battle’ where the tastiest yollof comes from. We know it! From the kitchen of Moon & Star, cooked by Justice or Bismark.
- Red red– A bean stew served with fried plantain. This Ghanaian dish is easy to find at the coastal areas. The name comes from the ripe / red plantain in combination with a bean stew prepared with red palm oil. In our kitchen we hardly use red palm oil.
- The Moon & Star version of light soup – A delicious soup filled with the vegetables that are available. Sometimes we add chicken or fish, but more often this soup is vegetarian. This soup can be served with many Ghanaian (side) dishes, such as fufu, banku, rice ball or gariba. We always choose a side dish from which we know that it will be appreciated by our guest.
- Homemade lasagna – mmmmmm, also a favorite, but definitely not Ghanaian recipe from us! Lots of work, but also very tasty. Vegetable lasagna with spinach and bechamel, sometimes with minced meat.gehakt.
- Gari foto– Gari is a very versatile ingredient, it is dried and ground cassava. In this case we make it into a kind of couscous, baked with an onion and tomato, we serve the gari with lots of veggies and a spicy tomato sauce.
- Omo tuo– A classic Ghanaian recipe. Rice balls with a delicious rich groundnut soup with or without fish / chicken.
- Noodles – Before I moved to Ghana I didn’t like noodles, I thought they were kind of boring. Until I tasted the noodles of one of my colleagues here. Wonderfully seasoned and filled with vegetables. Our guests agree with me, which is why the noodles have a place in their top 10.
- Yam balls– Last but certainly not least. We cook and mash the yam with nice spices, shape them into small balls which we fry with some batter. Amazing!! We serve the yam balls with veggies, a salad and some fish or chicken.
We hope the next time you are in Accra, you would try out one of the amazing meals on this list.