Ghana Food Journal – Part III
Ready for more delicious Ghanaian cuisine? Then step right up to the For 91 Days Chop Shop, where we’ll slice and dice everything so nice! There’s no better fufu pounders in the country! You want rice-bean mash slopped out of a cooler with an ice scoop? Saucy noodles plopped into a plastic bag with a piece of dried fish? We got you covered! Take a seat! We’ll have your food ready in an hour and twenty minutes, just relax!
By the time we ordered kenkey, we had already encountered fufu, banku and omotuo: all of them gooey balls which you eat with your hand and dip into sauces. So, we weren’t overly ecstatic to discover yet another variation on Ghana’s favorite theme. But Kenkey’s a little different, if only because it’s made of cornmeal and served in corn leaves. It’s good, but with so many other similar dishes, was never likely to end up on our list of favorites.
Now here’s something which was new. Palava is a stew made of meat, tomatoes, onions, and kontomire (taro) leaves. Also eaten with the hands, it’s usually served with boiled yams or boiled plantains (ampesi). This dish has a rich flavor, delicious and familiar, made just the slightest bit exotic by the leafy green kontomire, which looks like spinach and comes packed with health benefits.
A dish from the north of Ghana, Tuo Zaafi is another fufu-like dish. This time, the gooey ball is made of millet or cassava, and served in a rich green stew that consists of ayo ayo (molokai) leaves and other veggies, such as okra. We discovered this at a stand outside our apartment in Kumasi, which was run by a family from the north. We went back a few times, not least because we were preparing our own trip to Tamale. Ordering at their stand gave us the chance to grill them about their hometown.
Kelewele competes with “fufu” as the Ghanaian food which is most fun to say. And it might also be the most fun to eat. Deep-fried plantains seasoned with a wide range of spices that include cinnamon, cloves, ginger and anise, this is a dish so rich and sweet that it’s equally popular as an appetizer or a dessert. We ordered it just about every time we encountered it on a menu, and never tired of it.
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It all looks delicious! Thanks for all the lovely Ghana posts. I hope to visit someday and wouldn’t have thought to before reading this blog.