Recipes

I’ve been learning to cook Ghanaian meals. I’ll share the recipes here just in case anyone wants to get a little taste of what I’m eating here in Ghana. Most of these meals are adapted without meat (trying to eat mostly a vegetarian diet). Although according to my counterpart, you can’t make soup without it, so I’ve compromised a little.

Kontomire Stew:

Kontomire are the leaves of the cocoyam plant. This can be substituted with spinach. I ate it with boiled yam, but it’s also eaten with rice, cocoyam, or boiled plantains.

Ingredients:

  • Kontomire or spinach
  • Palm oil
  • Water
  • Hot pepper
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Egusi

Preparation:

  1. Rinse and chop kontomire leaves into small sizes
  2. Pour palm oil into pot and start to heat
  3. Grind pepper, onion, and garlic with water in blender until smooth
  4. Pour mixture into oil and allow to boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning (about 5 minutes)
  5. Chop tomatoes and add to pot
  6. Add salt and boil for about 5 minutes
  7. Grind egusi with water to make a paste and add to pot (about 5 minutes)
  8. Add kontomire leaves to pot and allow to boil for about 15 minutes

(Undercooked kontomire can lead to mild allergic reaction, such as itchy mouth, but overcooking vegetables causes them to lose their nutrients. It will be important to find a balance)

Ground Nut Soup:

Ground nuts are the same thing as peanuts. I ate the soup with rice balls. Rice balls are easy to make. When cooking your rice, add extra water and a little salt so the rice becomes soft. Then using a spatula mold the rice into balls.

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • Ginger
  • Hot pepper
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Smoked Fish or chicken
  • Ground nut paste (peanut butter)

Preparation:

  1. Grind ginger, pepper, and onion with water in the blender
  2. Pour into pot and bring to boil
  3. Add whole tomatoes and salt
  4. Clean fish and add to pot (I made this with fish, but you can use chicken pieces)
  5. Simmer for about 15 minutes
  6. Remove tomatoes and grind in blender. Return to pot and simmer.
  7. Make ground nut paste sauce by mixing peanut butter with water in a bowl. Add a little water at a time until a smooth sauce is achieved.
  8. Add to pot and boil for 20 minutes or more. You should see oil rise to the surface of soup.

(You may have to add water periodically to avoid getting to thick. The soup should be very light.)

Jollof Rice:

One of my favorite dishes here in Ghana. I like to eat it with boiled eggs.

Ingredients:

  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Green pepper
  • Hot pepper
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Salt
  • Tomato paste
  • Rice
  • Any other spices (I’ve used nutmeg and curry powder)
  • Carrots
  • Spring onion

Preparation:

  1. Grind ginger, garlic, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and hot pepper with water in blender
  2. Heat oil in pot
  3. Add vegetable mix to oil and boil
  4. Mix in water, salt, and tomato paste
  5. Add uncooked rice and water
  6. Add desired spices and cook for 20-25 minutes
  7. Cut carrots, spring onions, and green pepper
  8. Add to rice when most of the water is gone, and finish cooking until vegetables are soft and rice is done

Red Red (Otherwise known as Bean Stew):

The bean stew is often eaten with fried plantains. Soak the plantains in salt and water for a few minutes and then fry in vegetable oil in a pan.

Ingredients:

  • Cooked Black eyed beans
  • OnionsTomatoes
  • Green pepper
  • Ginger
  • Palm oil
  • Tomato paste
  • Salt
  • Any additional spices (I used nutmeg and curry powder)

Preparation:

  1. Make sure to cook the black eyed beans in advance (Soaking overnight speeds up cooking time)
  2. Grind onions, tomatoes, green pepper, and ginger with water in the blender
  3. Heat palm oil in pot and add vegetables
  4. Add spices, salt, and tomato paste
  5. Mix in beans, mashing some in the process
  6. Cook for 10 minutes or until water is gone

If any of you tries to make any of these dishes, please message me and let me know how it goes. It may require some trial and error, but I assure you all of these are delicious.