Ghana has a rich and diverse culinary culture, with a wide range of traditional and modern dishes. One of the most popular foods in Ghana is Banku. Banku is a traditional dish that is made from fermented corn and cassava dough. It is often served with soup, stew, or sauce and is a staple food in many Ghanaian households. Making banku may seem daunting to those unfamiliar with the process, but with a little patience and practice, anyone can learn how to make this delicious dish.
- 2 cups of corn dough
- 1 cup of cassava dough
- Large pot
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- In a large bowl, combine the corn and cassava dough. Add enough water to cover the dough and mix until it is smooth and free of lumps.
- Leave the dough to rest for a minimum of 6 hours, preferably overnight. The dough will begin to ferment and rise, which is essential for the banku to have the correct texture and flavor.
- Once the dough has fermented, bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat.
- Take a small portion of the dough and shape it into a smooth ball.
- Add the ball to the boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until it forms a sticky, stretchy dough.
- Gradually add the rest of the dough to the pot, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
- Keep stirring the dough in a circular motion, using a wooden spoon or spatula to keep it from sticking to the pot.
- As the dough cooks, it will become more elastic and stretchy. Keep stirring and cooking until the dough is fully cooked and has a smooth, uniform texture. This will take approximately 30-45 minutes.
- Remove the pot from heat and let the banku cool for a few minutes.
- Use a wet spoon or spatula to shape the banku into balls or portions.
- It is important to stir the dough continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
- The amount of water needed will depend on the quality of the dough, so add more or less water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
- Adding salt to the water will help enhance the flavor of the banku.
It is often paired with soup, stew or sauce and is a favorite among Ghanaians. Here are some tips on how to enjoy banku:
- Pair it with soup or stew: It is best enjoyed with soup or stew. Popular choices include groundnut soup, light soup, okra soup, and palm nut soup. The soup is often cooked with various meats, fish or vegetables for added flavor and nutrition.
- Use your hands: Banku is traditionally eaten with your hands. Pinch off a small piece of the banku, form it into a ball, and use it to scoop up some soup or stew. Dip it into the soup and enjoy the flavorful combination of the banku and soup.
- Try different combinations: It can be paired with a variety of soups and stews. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite. Some popular combinations include banku and okro stew, banku and groundnut soup, and banku with pepper sauce.
- Add some spice: Ghanaian cuisine is known for its use of spices and herbs. Add some heat to your banku by trying it with shito (a spicy black pepper sauce) or hot pepper sauce. You can also add some fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or coriander for extra flavor.
- Enjoy with a refreshing drink: Banku is often paired with a refreshing drink to balance out the flavors. Try it with some chilled coconut water, sobolo (hibiscus tea), or freshly squeezed juice.
In conclusion, making banku requires patience and practice, but the result is a delicious and satisfying dish that is a staple in many Ghanaian households. By following these simple steps and tips, anyone can learn how to make this traditional Ghanaian dish.