Ghanaian cuisine

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Ghanaian fruit pineapple and taro leaves (Ghanaian masterclass dish)

Ghanaian cuisine is the cuisine of the Ghanaian people. Ghanaian main dishes are organized around a starchy staple food, with which goes a sauce or soup containing a protein source.

Main staple foods[edit]

Ghanaian style Banku cuisine dish
Ghanaian produced sweet corn

The typical Ghanaian staple foods in the southern part of Ghana include cassava and plantain. In the northern part, the main staple foods include millet and sorghum. Yam, maize and beans are used across Ghana as staple foods. Sweet potatoes and cocoyam are also important in the Ghanaian diet and cuisine. With the advent of globalization, crops such as rice and wheat have been increasingly incorporated into Ghanaian cuisine. The foods below represent Ghanaian dishes made out of these staple foods.

Some of the main starchy dishes are:

Alternatives to the starch and stew combination are "Red Red" and "tubaani" or moimoi which are based primarily on vegetable protein (beans). "Red Red" is a popular Ghanaian bean stew served with fried ripe plantain and often accompanied with gari and avocado. It earns its name from the palm oil that tints the stew and the bright orange color of the fried plantain.

Soups and stews[edit]

Most Ghanaian dishes are served with a stew, soup or a spicy condiment made from raw red and green chilies, onions and tomatoes (pepper sauce). Ghanaian stews and soups are quite sophisticated with liberal and delicate use of exotic ingredients, a wide variety of flavors, spices and textures.

Vegetables such as palm nuts, peanuts, cocoyam leaves, ayoyo, spinach, wild mushroom, okra, garden eggs (eggplant), tomatoes and various types of pulses are the main ingredients in Ghanaian soups and stews and in the case of pulses, may double as the main protein ingredient.

Beef, pork, goat, sheep, chicken, and fish are common sources of protein in Ghanaian soups and stews sometimes mixing different types of meat into one soup. It is also common to find more exotic meat and sea food in Ghanaian soups and stews.

Koobi is dried tilapia that has been salted

They include crab, shrimp, periwinkles, octopus, snails, grubs, duck, offal, and pig's trotters.

Meat, mushrooms and seafood may be smoked, salted or dried for flavour enhancement and preservation. Spices such as thyme, garlic, onions, ginger, peppers, curry, basil, nutmeg and bay leaf are delicately used to achieve the spicy taste that often characterizes Ghanaian cuisine.

Palm oil, coconut oil, shea butter, palm kernel oil and peanut oil are important Ghanaian oils used for cooking or frying and may sometime not be substituted in certain Ghanaian dishes. For example, using palm oil in okro stew, eto, fante fante,[1] red red, egusi stew and mpihu/mpotompoto (similar to Poi).[2] Coconut oil, palm kernel oil and shea butter have lost their popularity for cooking in Ghana due to the introduction of refined oils and negative Ghanaian media adverts targeted at those oils. They are now mostly used in few traditional homes, for soap making and by commercial (street food) food vendors as a cheaper substitute to refined cooking oils.

Common Ghanaian soups are groundnut soup,[3] light (tomato) soup,[3] kontomire (taro leaves) soup, palmnut soup,[4] ayoyo soup and okra soup.

Ghanaian tomato stew or gravy is a stew which is often served with basmati rice or waakye. Other vegetable stews are made with kontomire, garden eggs, egusi (pumpkin seeds), spinach, okra, etc.

Breakfast meals[edit]

Most of the dishes mentioned above are served during lunch and supper in modern Ghana. However, those engaged in manual labour and a large number of urban dwellers still eat these foods for breakfast and will usually buy them from the streets.

In large Ghanaian cities, working-class people would often take fruits, tea, chocolate drink, oats, rice porridge (locally called rice water) or kooko (fermented maize porridge) and koose/akara or maasa (rice, banana and maize meal fritters).[5] Other breakfast foods include grits, tombrown (roasted maize porridge), and millet porridge.[5]

Bread is an important feature in Ghanaian breakfast and baked foods. Ghanaian bread which is known for its good quality is baked with wheat flour and sometimes cassava flour is added for an improved texture. There are four major types of bread in Ghana. They are tea bread (similar to the baguette), sugar bread (which is a sweet bread), brown (whole wheat) bread, and butter bread. Rye bread, oat bread and malt bread are also quite common. [6]

Savoury foods[edit]

Etor, is a popular Ghanaian dish in south Ghana. Etor is prepared with plantain and or with yam boiled and mashed, and mixed with palm oil. Groundnuts (Peanuts) and Eggs provide are used to garnish the Ghanaian dish.

There are many savory local foods which have been marginalized due to their low demand and long preparation process. Ghanaian savory foods (or confectionery) may be fried, barbecued, boiled, roasted, baked or steamed.

Fried savoury foods include cubed and spiced ripe plantain (kelewele) sometimes served with peanuts. Koose made from peeled beans (and its close twin Acarajé or akara made from beans which is not peeled), maasa,[7][8] pinkaaso,[9] and bofrot/puff-puff[10] (made from wheat flour); kuli-kuli,[11] zowey and nkate cake (made from peanuts);[12] krakro and tatale[13] (ripe plantain fritters); kube cake and kube toffee (made from coconut); bankye krakro, gari biscuit,[14][15] and krakye ayuosu (made from cassava); condensed milk, toffee, plantain chips (or fried plantain)[16] and wagashi[17] (fried farmer's cheese) are fried Ghanaian savory foods (confectionery).

Kebabs are popular barbecues and can be made from beef, goat, pork, soy flour, sausages and guinea fowl. Other roasted savoury foods include roasted plantain, maize, yam and cocoyam.

Steamed fresh maize, Yakeyake, Kafa, Akyeke, tubani/moimoi (bean cake), emo dokonu (rice cake) and esikyire dokonu (sweetened kenkey) are all examples of steamed and boiled foods whilst sweet bread, (plantain cake), and meat pie similar to Jamaican patties and empanadas are baked savoury foods. Aprapransa, eto (mashed yam) and atadwe milk (tiger nut juice) are other savory foods. Gari soakings is a modern favorite. It is a blend of gari (dried, roasted cassava), sugar, groundnut (peanut) and milk.


Ghanaian Beverages at a Convenience Store in Ghana

In south Ghana, Ghanaian drinks such as asaana (made from fermented maize) are common. Along the Ghanaian Lake Volta and south Ghana, palm wine extracted from the palm tree can be found, but it ferments quickly and then it is used to distil akpeteshie (a local gin).Akpeteshie can be distilled from molasses too. In addition, a beverage can be made from kenkey and refrigerated into what is in Ghana known as iced kenkey. Along north Ghana, bisaab/sorrel, toose and lamujee (a spicy sweetened drink) are common non-alcoholic beverages whereas pitoo (a local beer made of fermented millet) is an alcoholic beverage.

In urban areas of Ghana drinks may include fruit juice, drinks, cocoa drinks, fresh coconut juice, yogurt, ice cream, carbonated drinks, malt drinks and soy milk.[18][19] In addition, Ghanaian distilleries produce alcoholic beverages from cocoa, malt, sugar cane, local medicinal herbs and tree barks. They include bitters, liqueur, dry gins, beer, and aperitifs.[20][21]

Street foods in Ghana[edit]

Street foods are very popular in Ghana, both in the rural and urban areas. Most Ghanaian families eat at least three times in a week from a street food vendor. Almost all kind of foods can be bought from street vendors. Some of these foods includes, staple foods such as kenkey, tubaani and waakye. Other savoury foods such as kebab, boiled corn cob, bofrot and roasted plantain are sold mainly by street food vendors.

Gallery: Ghanaian Cuisine[edit]

Further information: Akan cuisine
The Ghanaian People Cuisine
Ghanaian Waakye (or Wache), Waakye is a Spicy Ghanaian cuisine dish, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style cooked Chicken and Ghanaian style Basmati Rice, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style cooked Banku and Ghanaian style Grilled Tilapia, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian "Red-Red" with Ghanaian style cooked Smoked Fish, in Ghana. 
"Red-Red": beans and plantain
Cooked beans, plantain (non-sweet banana) and Chicken
"One Man Thousand": cooked Shrimps and fried Tanganyika sardine
Ghanaian "Kɔkɔ a y'atoto"(nickname: Kofi Broke Man) (Charcoal Roasted ripe Plantain), in Ghana. 
Ghanaian "Banku Ne Mako" (banku and pepper-tomato sauce), in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style cooked Konkonte, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian "Fufu in Ghanaian style palmnut soup with goat" delicacy, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style Beans with Ghanaian style Fried Plantains and Ghanaian style Gari delicacy, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian "Fufuo and Ghanaian style light (tomato) soup with Ghanaian style meat delicacy, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style cooked Banku with Ghanaian style cooked Grilled Tilapia with Tomatos delicacy, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style boiled yam with Ghanaian style cooked garden egg and Ghanaian style cooked stew, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style fried yam with Ghanaian style hot chicken and Ghanaian style stew, in Ghana. 
Ground green pepper (Kpakpo Shito), a Ghanaian delicacy, mainly an accompaniment for Banku and Kenkey 
Ghanaian style cooked Jollof Rice with Ghanaian style Coleslaw and Ghanaian style Barbecue Chicken, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style Kenkey with Ghanaian style Fried Fish and Chili Pepper, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style cooked yam and Ghanaian style stew, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style Sweet Potato with Ghanaian style Hot Chicken, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style cooked Okra Stew with Ghanaian style cooked Crabs (Ghanaian Seafood, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style Chicken Kebab with Ghanaian Chilli Peppers and Ghanaian style cooked Jollof Rice delicacy, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style cooked meat and soups (Ghanaian masterclass dish), in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style cooked spicy sauce delicacy, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style cooked palm nut soup; palm nuts, salmon, and palm oil - this goes with the Ghanaian style cooked rice balls, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian Waakye, Kelewele and Fried Yaw, delicacy cuisine dish, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian style cooked spicy grilled kebab, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian Waakye served with boiled egg
Ghanaian Oto; Oto is made of mashed yam and palm oil with boiled eggs
Ground red pepper, a Ghanaian delicacy, mainly an accompaniment for Banku and Kenkey 
Ghanaian vegetarian style capsicum and taro leaves
Ghanaian vegetarian style onion and spinach
Ghanaian style cooked yam with spicy stew, at Ghanaian restaurant in Cape Coast, Central region, in Ghana
Ghanaian style cooked fried rice with variety of Ghanaian spicy stews, at Ghanaian Vic Baboo's restaurant in Kumasi, Ashanti region, in Ghana
Ghanaian made Pineapple Juice Drink (Blue Skies Pineapple Juice), in Ghana. 
Star Beer of Ghana, Ghanaian made Beverage Beer at a Ghanaian Convenience Store, in Ghana. 
Ghanaian made Soy Milk Drink (Ghana Soya Milk), in Ghana. 
The Ghanaian People Cuisine

See also[edit]


  1. ^ BetumiBlog: Search results for fante fante
  2. ^ BetumiBlog: Search results for mpihu
  3. ^ a b BetumiBlog: Search results for peanut butter soup
  4. ^ BetumiBlog: Ghanaian Gourmet-Recipe No. 49, continued: Palmnut Soup. (4 November 2010). Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  5. ^ a b Kokoking: Food and nutrition. Retrieved on 11 October 2013.
  6. ^ BetumiBlog: Ghana's Tea Bread Secrets. (5 March 2007). Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  7. ^ Breads, Cakes and Pastries. (9 September 2007). Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  8. ^ Snacks Maasa (Sweet Millet Fritters). (9 September 2007). Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  9. ^ selling pinkaso and kose | Flickr – Photo Sharing!. Flickr (16 September 2009). Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Alternative Bofroat (Ghanaian Doughnuts)". Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  11. ^ BetumiBlog. (11 November 2006). Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  12. ^ How To Make Ghanaian Peanut Brittle | Guide (4 Steps) « Wonder How To. (9 June 2011). Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  13. ^ Plantain Cakes (Tatale) Recipe from Ghana. (9 September 2007). Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  14. ^ Gari Biscuits Recipe from Ghana. (9 September 2007). Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  15. ^ Food in Ghana – Ghanaian Food, Ghanaian Cuisine – popular, dishes, diet, history, meals, staple, rice, main, people, favorite, make, customs, fruits, country, vegetables, drin. Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  16. ^ "How Its Made 02 Plantain Chips". Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  17. ^ Ghana savory foods.
  18. ^ Fan Milk Limited |. (30 June 2011). Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  19. ^ THE DIVESTITURE IMPLEMENTATION OF GHANA : The Divestiture Program. Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  20. ^ Kasapreko Company Limited produces alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages – an Accra, Ghana manufacturing company. Retrieved on 30 November 2011.
  21. ^ Guinness Ghana Brewery Ltd. | Association of Alcohol Manufacturers and Importers. AAMI. Retrieved on 30 November 2011.

External links[edit]