Breakfast, the first meal of the day and the most important one. Breakfast in Ghana is not the most popular meal of the day, as many locals prefer to wait until around brunch time or even until lunch (they do tend to have lunch pretty early as they wake up very early) to eat a bigger and heavier dish.
6 traditional meals you can have for breakfast in Ghana
Here are 6 examples of traditional ghanaian breakfast meals that you should try at least once. Who knows, maybe they’ll become a fixture in your everyday life. All breakfast dishes mentioned below are also suitable for vegetarians. You can even order some for takeaway.
Waakye (pictured above) is now one of the most popular breakfast dishes amongst locals. So popular that you will find corporate workers, manual workers, students, etc, queuing at the local food stalls in the morning just to get hold of this dish. So what is it exactly?
Waakye is a dish high in carbohydrate and protein content. It is a mixture of red or black-eyed beans and rice, accompanied by salad, boiled egg, fried plantain, spaghetti, fish or meat (or both) and the local hot pepper sauce “shito”. It is pronounced as “waachey”.
The waakye is served in a very sustainable way. It is wrapped inside banana leaves (only if they would avoid putting it inside a plastic bag). A very affordable dish and also a very good option for vegetarians who want to try out a local dish, as it can be eaten with all the ingredients mentioned previously, taking out the meat.
2. “Hausa Koko” (Millet porridge) with Koose
This is another heavy breakfast option that will surely hold you up until lunchtime. It is called “Hausa” because it is believed that it was first made by the hausas (ethnic group originated from northwestern Nigeria and adjacent southern Niger, mostly found in Northern Ghana as well). Early in the morning, you can find many sellers along the street. These are usually Muslim women from the North.
It looks like a thick soup which is made from millet and has a few added local spices to it. Sugar, milk and peanuts are also added, giving it a sweeter taste. Hausa Koko is mostly served with Koose, a millet based paste which is made into balls and fried in vegetable oil.
3. “KOKO with Bofroat” (corn dough porridge with buffloaf)
Mostly found around the coastal areas of Ghana, “koko’’ is mainly a paste made by boiling a mixture of corn dough and water. The corn dough is allowed to boil in water for a while and is stirred till a uniform paste is formed.
To give it a great taste, sugar and milk are added to it. The koko is accompanied by what is known as a “bofroat”. The bofroat is the equivalent of a Ghanaian donut, which are deep fried and enjoyed with koko or just as a street snack.
4. Rice Water
Just as the name implies, rice water is simply rice boiled with a lot of water until it softens into a soluble paste (very similar to porridge). Sugar and milk are also added to it, to give it more taste. It can also be accompanied by bread or biscuits.
It is said that this breakfast option is for busy people because it is very easy and fast to cook (as well as to eat).
5. Tom Brown
Tom Brown is another popular porridge dish made from roasted corn. The roasted corn is grinded and prepared into a very thick paste mixed with milk and sugar to taste.
This is another dish which is high in carbohydrates, also accompanied by either biscuits or bread. Very similar to Hausa Koko.
Although it is not the most typical Ghanaian tradition to have a proper breakfast, there are still a variety of options for you to integrate into the Ghanaian eating culture. They do not live by any food rules. For them food is food.
6. Tea/Milo/Coffee with bread
This may be the most popular “on-the-go” breakfast option. Actually, not only a breakfast option but also consumed as a snack or even as dinner. Milo is the equivalent to “Cola Cao” but much more sugary (despite that, Ghanaians still add sugar to it).
Coffee is actually the less consumed drink. Coffee drinkers may be opposed to calling it “coffee” as it is sold in the Nescafe instant coffee packs. Your choice of drink is accompanied by the Ghanaian white/sugar bread (like a brioche in France) and you can add margarine to it or just have it on its own. The dinner option would be Milo, accompanied by toasted bread with omelette.
As we have seen in these six breakfast options, Ghanaians tend to mostly always add sugar to their drinks and breakfast dishes and the milk they use tends to be powdered milk or condensed milk. They are all heavy on carbohydrate dishes.
Nonetheless, they are still very nutritious and can be adopted to any dietary requirements. We invite you to try any of these (or why not, all of them), our garden at Green Views is open for all kinds of tenant’s gatherings, so don’t be afraid to try new things… you will surely adopt one of them as your favourite!