20 Popular Traditional Ghanaian Foods

Traditional Ghanaian Foods

Ghana, although small in size, has a population of around 30 million people.

The country was on the front line in the struggle for independence from colonialism in the region. She also happens to be the first sub-Saharan country to achieve independence.

Ghana is not only known for its fight against colonialism but for its traditional Ghanaian food like Ghanaian Jollof.

She also happens to be among the countries in the region with good cuisine.

Every ethnic group is known for its special dish. Combining these various ethnic groups makes Ghana one of the countries in the area with different cuisine.

This article will discuss some of the traditional Ghanaian food you should try.

Table of Contents

1. Jollof Rice

A book can be written on Jollof rice, from the “Jollof war/debate” between Nigeria and Ghana to the types of rice used. However, Jollof originally comes from Senegal.

Jollof is considered one of Ghana’s traditional foods.

It is made by boiling rice in a tomatoes stew. The rice soaks up the juicy flavors in the stew and turns orange. It is served with salad, kelewele, meat, or fish.

Additionally, Jollof can be found in restaurants or street vendors at an affordable price.

2. Waakye

Waakye is another Ghana food that involves rice. Waakye is originally the delicacy of Northern Ghana; however, it is now a national favorite, sold in every country.

The named waakye comes from the Ghanaian word for millet leaves.

Waakye is a combination of rice and beans boiled with millet leaves and served with fried plantain, tomatoes stew, shito (black pepper sauce), spaghetti, avocados, boiled eggs, garri, meat, and fish.

3. Fufu

Fufu is quite tedious to make. It involves pounding cassava dough and unripe plantain mixed, sometimes cocoyam is included.

Additionally, pounding fufu involves two people, with one person pounding the fufu while another is turning the fufu in the big mortar in-between pounds.

Furthermore, fufu is starchy and tastes bland. Fufu is served in small balls and a soup (okra, palm nut, groundnut, or light soup).

Additionally, nowadays, there is fufu flour. It makes it easy to make fufu. The flour is poured into a bowl of boiling water and stirred. There is no longer a need for pounding.

4. Banku

Banku is prepared with cassava dough and fermented corn. They are both mixed in water. Put this mixture in a pot along with salt.

It is then stirred with the pot on fire until it has a dough-like consistency.

Besides, like fufu, it has a bland taste and is usually served with grilled tilapia. However, it could also be served with okra soup.

In addition, the Ewe people in Ghana refer to it as akple while the Fanti people call it Banku or estwe.

5. Kenkey

Kenkey is the delicacy of the Accra people. However, all parts of Ghana enjoy this dish. Kenkey is prepared with fermented corn dough.

The corn dough is shaped into balls, wrapped in dry corn leaves or fermented banana leaves, then boiled.

Also, it is called kormi, kokoe, or dorkuno. Besides, kenkey has a sour taste, with small tilapia, hot pepper sauce, or fried crabs.

6. Tuo Zaafi

Tuo Zaafi is the main course and also a delicacy of Northern Ghana. It is popular in Ghana because of its nutritious and rare herbs, such as Dawa Dawa and ayoyo leaves, used in preparation.

Tuo Zaafi is similar to banku because they are both prepared with corn dough. However, it contains more herbs and meat than banku.

Besides, it is softer and less sticky than banku. Tuo zaafi is a whole meal.

7. Red-Red

Red red is recommended for vegetarians because no animal products are used in preparation. It is prepared with black-eyed peas cooked with tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and palm oil served with soft fried plantains.

The name red-red comes from the palm oil used in preparing it. Sometimes, served with garri. Additionally, the non-veg variation contains fish.

8. Kelewele

The traditional Ghanaian food list is not complete without kelewele. Kelewele is a savory side dish. Street vendors sell it, and it can be prepared at home.

It is made primarily of fried soft plantains.

The plantain is soaked in a mixture of peppers, ginger, and garlic before frying. Kelewele has a crisp, strong feel with the taste of ripe plantain sweetness.

In addition, kelewele could be served with beans, stew, rice, or eaten as a snack in Ghana.

9. Omo Tuo

Omo Tuo is a rice ball. This shows how Ghanaians love to reinvent their rice in various ways.

It is made by stirring boil rice, molding it into balls, and serving with different soups. It could serve as an alternative for fufu.

10. Kontomire stew

Kontomire stew is also called ebunu ebunu. It is a delicacy of the Akan people. This dish is made of cocoyam leaves, mushrooms, snails, spinach, and smoked fish.

Served with fufu, boiled yam, boiled ripe plantain, ampesi, or rice.

The cocoyam leaves and spinach gives the soup its signature green color.

11. Amps

Amps are prepared with cassava, cocoyam, yam, plantain, and potatoes boiled together. However, two or more combinations are also called ampesi, served with tomatoes stew or Kontomire stew.

12. Apapransa

Apapransa is a typical dish in ceremonies, such as weddings or funerals. Palm-nut and cornmeal soup are cooked together to prepare apapransa along with carbs and kidney beans.

This combination results in a solid chuck piece.

13. Peanut/Groundnut soup

As the name implies, groundnut soup is made majorly from peanut butter. However, add fish, tomatoes, carrots, meat, fish, and other spices to the peanut butter.

It is prepared by mixing the peanut butter in boiling water, stir until the oil in the peanut butter rises to the top.

Then, the other spices are added to the mixture to give it a unique taste. In addition, this soup is served with fufu, banku, or plain rice.

14. Garden egg stew

Garden egg stew is a traditional Ghanaian food made majorly from African eggplant. In preparation, the African eggplant acts like a vegetable in the stew.

With a combination of tomatoes, onions, peppers, palm oil, meat, dried fish or shrimps, ginger, and other spices. It is served with boiled plantains or yam.

15. Koko

This traditional Ghanaian food is prepared with pounded dried cassava or yam, then adding water and salt. This dish is one of the cheapest main dishes prepared in Ghana.

Besides, it can be served with gravy or ground pepper on the side.

The dish color ranges from light brown to black, depending on the process used in drying the cassava.

16. Palm-nut soup

Palm-nut soup is quite a popular traditional Ghanaian food. There is a variation of this soup in the southern part of Nigeria.

This soup is prepared with palm nut pulp, meat or fish, onions, garlic, ginger, peppers, salt, tomatoes, and water. The mixture of these ingredients is cooked until it becomes thick.

This soup could be served alone as a starter before the main dish. However, it can also act as the main dish, served with fufu or plain rice.

17. Light soup

Light soup is also known as tomatoes soup. When compared to groundnut soup or palm nut soup, it is relatively light, hence, the name.

It is one of the easiest Ghanaian soups to prepare.

It is made by blending tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, garden eggs, and pepper, then filtering out the pulps. The liquid is boiled and an already cooked meat or fish, then salt is added for taste.

18. Rice Water Porridge

As earlier mentioned, Ghanaians love reinventing their rice. This dish is a popular breakfast option in the Southern and Middle belts of Ghana.

This dish is prepared with just three ingredients: rice, water, and salt. However, after the rice, water and salt are boiled to form a porridge, sugar and milk are added as sweeteners.

19. Okra soup

Okra soup is made primarily from the okra. There are two variations to this soup: dry okra and fresh okra soup.

However, both variations are prepared with okra, palm oil (sometimes), meat, fish, ginger, onions, salt, and other spices.

Additionally, okra soup can be eaten with fufu, banku, and Omo Tuo.

20. Tubaani

Tubaani can also be called beans pudding. This is a delicacy of Northern Ghana. This dish is made from ground black-eyed peas mixed with water and stirred into a pudding, then steamed over boiling water.

In addition, this dish has a very distinct, pleasant aroma that draws people. Fried onions and peppers are served along with tubaani.

These are some of the traditional Ghanaian food you can try when you visit Ghana or go to a Ghanaian restaurant.

Although not all the dishes might be suitable for your taste buds, you are sure to acquire a new favorite food among them.

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