As a tourist visiting a new country, one fun idea or activity you have to include in your itinerary is trying out the local food. Ghana is a fertile ground for fabulous delicacies. I suggest you try as many of the top 10 meals as possible. To make it easy for you, here’s a selection of 10 popular Ghanaian meals to get you started on this journey of tastes.
1. WAAKYE (aka Waakye is bae)
The one dish Ghanaians can wake up as early as 8 am to queue for is the ever-famous Waakye, a unique Ghanaian dish of cooked rice and beans. Waakye can be served with a variety of toppings according to your preference. Waakye can be served with black pepper aka shito, meat, fish, eggs, salad, gari (cassava flakes), spaghetti, fried plantain, avocado pear. It is sold at street food stalls and in local cuisine restaurants. The food is also reasonably priced depending on the side dishes you buy to accompany your meal.
2. BANKU WITH TILAPIA
Ghanaians cannot deny the fact that Banku and Tilapia can always replace all the restaurant dishes with its unique Ghanaian feel and its sumptuous taste. Banku and Tilapia is a traditional Ghanaian dish that is very common amongst all regions in Ghana. Banku is basically a mixture of corn dough with cassava dough. It can be eaten with various sauces such as stew, hot pepper sauce, soup served grilled fish or pork.
3. FUFU & LIGHT SOUP
Fufu is a major menu in Southern Ghana, particularly of the Akan areas. Fufu is a popular Ghanaian staple food that is prepared with plantain and cassava or yam and eaten with soup.
The process of making Fufu is a painstaking process of cooking. Most Ghanaians tend to visit restaurants or chop bars to treat themselves to this sumptuous delicacy, this meal is usually accompanied with any soup of your choice e.g Light Soup, Palm nut soup, Groundnut and Abunubunu and assorted meat/fish.
Ampesi is a traditional meal in the Ghanaian cuisine and is prepared with boiled yam, boiled plantain, boiled cocoyam or boiled cassava or a mix of these and is served with a spicy gravy or vegetable stew or kontomire. This dish contains essential nutrients that help the body to grow and fight diseases.
Jollof rice is made with rice, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, spices and vegetable oil. These are the standard ingredients. Other varying ingredients include assorted vegetables and different types of local spices.
Jollof rice is a popular dish that is enjoyed by Ghanaians, Nigerians, and other West Africans but the Ghanaian recipe has proven to be the best. The uniquely coloured rice is often served at various parties, engagements and weddings.
6. OMO TUO (RICE BALLS)
Omo tuo is a classic Ghanaian Sunday lunch which is usually served with groundnut soup, Palm-nut soup or a mixture of both. The rice is usually cooked with more water than usual to make it softer. It is then beaten a little to make it smooth and then moulded into balls.
7. BEANS WITH FRIED PLANTAIN aka RED RED
Red-red is a Ghanaian stew made from black-eyed beans, and it gets the red colour from the red palm oil that they use to prepare the stew. It is one of the Ghanaian dishes that doesn’t use a lot of spice because the main taste comes from the ingredients it’s served with it can also be dished out with garri. Red-red is also a perfect choice for vegetarians as no animal products are used. The dish gets its name from the colour produced by the red palm oil and tomato paste used in the stew. This meal is not complete without a side of sweet fried plantains.
8. TUO ZAAFI (TZ)
One of the most cherished foods consumed in the northern part of Ghana is “tuo zaafi” (TZ). T.Z can be prepared using maize or millet. It’s served with Ayoyo, which is a green leaf soup and a flavour-packed stew. The greenish nature of the “dawadawa” (Locust beans) flavoured “ayoyo” soup gives it a distinctively aromatic smell which won’t go away three days after washing your hands. The Hausa tribes love this food and that is why most of them living abroad miss it so much.
9.ANGWA MO (BRAISED RICE/OIL RICE)
This is the easiest and quickest Ghanaian meal for a child/adult who wants a quick fix. “Angua mo” is a local Ghanaian dish that is easily prepared at home. Just add a little oil to the water at the start of your preparation, it can be enjoyed with hot ground pepper or shito, accompanied by hard-boiled or fried eggs, chicken/beef, or any accompaniments of choice. Make sure you don’t miss this.
10. KOFI BROKEMAN (ROASTED PLANTAIN & PEANUT)
Roasted plantain aka Kofi broke-man is very tasty when taken with groundnut, it is truly a delectable snack for Ghanaians and that is why they miss it most when they travel abroad. It is the affordability and value for money factor that inspired the nickname Kofi Broke man. That is, no matter how broke one was, one could afford that delicacy.
Ghanaian food is a unique experience. Open your mind and be prepared to enjoy your visit with our delicious cuisines.