One of the best ways to enjoy your visit to a country is to taste their foods. And yes, Ghana has many delicious and traditional foods. Some of them are native foods, meaning they originate with a particular tribe or people, while others generally are enjoyed by all and cannot be traced to a particular group. In this article we take a look at five foods that every one in Ghana must, at least try, especially for foreign nationals. These are the tastes that will make you remember you once visited Ghana.
Top 5 best dishes you should try in Ghana
Oh yes, jollof rice will always come first. For us in Ghana we believe Ghana jollof tops all other kinds of jollof in West Africa. So, no question about that, the jollof battle is already won. Jollof is one of every Ghanaian’s favorites.
The ingredients and the process of cooking, makes it one of the country’s delicacies. Most common ingredients used for this meal include tomatoes (either fresh or processed), onions, spices (pepper, garlic, others), meat or fish, and, of course, rice.
Below is a preparation method prescribed by the African Food Map. Put tomatoes into the blender and set aside. Then, in a non-stick pot, fry pre-cooked meat in oil. When these have browned, remove and set aside.
Add onions and fry until soft before adding garlic and blended tomatoes. Add meat stock and/or stock cube(s), tomato paste, ground white and black pepper and stir. Remember to season strongly because rice will later be added to this sauce.
Cook for ± 10 minutes on medium heat before adding rice. Stir and mix well before covering. Cook on low heat for ± 20 minutes. Add vegetables and mix well. Add about 1 cup more of water and continue to cook on low heat until rice is done.
Your sumptuous jollof rice is now read to serve.
Fufu and goat light soup
Another popular dish and a favorites food for the Akan tribe in Ghana is Fufu and goat light soup. You don’t go to communities like Kumasi in the Ashanti Region or Nkawkaw in the Eastern Region and not try fufu, you will have a lot to miss.
The fufu is usually prepared with basically two ingredients—cassava and plantain. In some areas, people prefer to substitute the plantain with cocoyam or yam. The goat light soup is also another kind of soup that can be easily prepared. All you need is the goat meat, onion, tomatoes, some spices, and fish if you like.
Peel the cassava and plantain, cut them in pieces and boil for about 15 minutes. After that, pound the plantain in a wooden mortar and pestle specially made for this purpose. Then, pound the cassava also in the mortar and pestle. From here, combine both the pounded cassava and plantain and pound till u get a fine starchy texture.
Today, technology has made it possible for this rigorous process to be made in a machine or be stirred using the fufu powder. However, many indigenes prefer to go by the traditional method.
Goat light soup preparation
Wash tomatoes, pepper and onions. Remove stem of pepper and remove head of onions. Put whole tomatoes, pepper and onions into a clean pot and add 1 cup of water and bring to boil. In the meantime, steam meat.
Remove whole tomatoes, pepper and onions and blend. Don’t discard the boiled water. Pour back blended tomatoes into the boiled water, cook for 15 mins then pour the meat stock, add spices, salt and allow to boil for about 5 mins. Add meat and boil for another 10 mins. After the soup is ready, pour on the fufu or you can choose to serve it in a separate bowl. Your fufu and goat light soup is now ready to enjoy.
Banku and tilapia
Banku is another popular food in Ghana. Known as a heavy food for many, it is usually served with tilapia at most occasions in Ghana.
To prepare the banku, mix the cassava dough with water and sieve out the lumps. Pour into an iron cauldron. Add your fermented corn dough to the mixture and mix. Then, add some water until the mixture is smooth and slightly thick.
Put it on high heat until the mixture starts to thicken and lumps begin to form. After that regulate the heat to prevent the food from burning. Use a spatula and begin to knead the mixture with slight pressure whilst holding the cauldron in place. Do this intermediately until the texture is smooth and sticky. Keep kneading to prevent the dough from forming little hard lumps.
Wash your tilapia, descale it and spice it with your preferred natural spices. Leave for some minutes for the fish to be well seasoned. Then put on the grill and into the oven. From time to time, be glazing the fish with oil and turning as and when needed to prevent one side from burning.
Grind fresh pepper and tomatoes. Add some black pepper, popularly known as shito in Ghana. Garnish it with some onions and fresh tomatoes. Your mouthwatering banku and tilapia is ready.
At the mention of the name red-red, one might think it’s something else other than food. But it is actually a food in Ghana. It’s simply a combination of fried ripe plantain and beans sauce. This food is enjoyed all over Ghana. It is not really a food common only to a particular tribe or geographical area.
Many like it for its balanced nutritional value and keeping one full for a much longer time. It is simply prepared by frying the ripe plantain and preparing a beans sauce.
To prepare the beans sauce, soak beans for some hours or overnight in order to reduce cooking time from 30 minutes to 15 minutes. Add enough water to cover the beans in a saucepan and cook until tender.
Then, slice onions and add Kpakposhito (pepper) and fry in palm oil. Pour the beans into the palm oil and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve it on a plate and add the hot fried plantain. Some choose to add gari, another local grain. Food is ready!
Kenkey and fried fish
This is another traditional food that traces its history to the Ga tribe of Ghana which have their geographical location at the capital, Accra.
This food is made of corn and usually eaten with hot pepper and fried fish, usually garnished with sliced onions and tomatoes. Some prefer to add sardines or shrimps to make it more appetizing. Kenkey is also well known for its unique corn flavor.
The process of preparing this meal is quite tedious. We won’t bore you with it because, fortunately, this traditional food is sold in every community across the country. Just pass by your nearby kenkey seller, buy some, remove the husk wrapped around it and enjoy with your ground pepper and shito.