UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
Below are some recipes for dishes from Ghana. They are garnered from five cookbooks:
ANC -- African News Cookbook: African Cooking for Western Kitchens, Africa News Service, Inc., edited by Tami Hultman, Penguin Books (Viking Press), ISBN 0 14 046.751 3 (pbk)
CAC -- Caribbean and African Cookery, by Rosamund Grant, Distributed in the U.S. by Seven Hills Books, Cincinnati, OH, ISBN 0-948817-13-5
BCIC - Betty Crocker's International Cookbook, NY: Random House, ISBN 0- 394-50453-4
FC --- Fiery Cuisines: A Hot & Spicy Food Lover's Cookbook, by Dave Dewitt and Nancy Gerlach, Chicago: Contemporary Books, Inc., ISBN 0- 8092-5148-5
TH --- Totally Hot! The Ultimate Hot Pepper Cookbook, by Michael Goodwin, Charles Perry, and Naomi Wise, Garden City, NY: A Dolphin Book (Doubleday & Co), 1986, ISBN 0-385-19198-7.
The source of each of the following recipes is noted by the corresponding abbreviation.
=== HOT PLANTAIN CRISPS -- (Snack or Appetizer), ANC
4 plantains [should be firm] 4 tsp lemon juice 4 tsp ground ginger 4 tsp cayenne pepper oil for frying
Slice the plantains into rounds 1/2-inch thick, and sprinkle lemon juice over the pieces, stirring to moisten. In a separate bowl, combine the ginger and pepper. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a heavy skillet until a test piece of plantain sputters. Roll plantain pieces a few at a time in the spice mixture to coat surfaces, then transfer to the skillet. Fry until outsides are crisp and golden. With a slotted spoon, remove plaintains to an absorbent cloth [or paper toweling] for cooling [slightly]. Serve hot.
=== HKATENKWAN (GROUNDNUT STEW) -- (good served with FuFu, or dumpling), ANC
1 chicken, cut into pieces 1-inch piece of ginger 1/2 of a whole onion 2 tblsp tomato paste 1 tblsp peanut oil, or other light cooking oil 1 cup onion, well chopped 1 cup tomatoes, chopped 2/3 cup peanut butter 2 tsp salt 2 hot chiles, crushed, or 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and cubed 2 cups fresh or frozen okra
Boil chicken with ginger and the onion half, using about 2 cups water. Meanwhile, in a separate large pot, fry tomato paste in the oil over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add to the paste the chopped onions and tomatoes, stirring occasionally until the onions are clear. Remove the partially-cooked chicken pieces and put them, along with about half the broth, in the large pot. Add the peanut butter, salt and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes before stirring in the eggplant and okra. Continue cooking until the chicken and vegetables are tender. Add more broth as needed to maintain a thick, stewy consistency.
=== FUFU -- ANC
Note: Conventional west African fufu is made by boiling such starchy foods as cassava, yam, plantain or rice, then pounding them into a glutinous mass, usually in a giant, wooden mortar and pestle. This adaptation for North Americans may trouble you if you try to stick to minimally processed foods. But it's worth trying at least once with west African groundnut stews.
2 1/2 cups Bisquick 2 1/2 cups instant potato flakes
Bring 6 cups of water to a rapid boil in a large, heavy pot. combine the two ingredients and add to the water.
Stir constantly for 10-15 minutes -- a process that needs two people for best results: one to hold the pot while the other stirs vigorously with a strong implement (such as a thick wooden spoon). The mixture will become very thick and difficult to stir, but unless you are both vigilant and energetic, you'll get a lumpy mess.
When the fufu is ready (or you've stirred to the limits of your endurance!), dump about a cup of the mixture into a wet bowl and shake until it forms itself into a smooth ball. Serve on a large platter alongside a soup or stew.
=== ABENKWAN (PALM NUT SOUP) -- (a seafood soup), ANC
2 cups palm oil (no substitutes) 1 cup onions, choped 1 chile pepper, crushed, or 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 2 cups tomato, chopped 2 cups okra 1 medium eggplant, cut into chunks 1 lb fish or crab meat 1/2 tsp salt
In a large, heavy stew pot, boil the palm oil for 10 minutes. Add onions and pepper and continue cooking on high heat for another 5 minutes. Reduce heat, add remaining ingredients and simmer for an hour or more, until soup is somewhat thickened. Stir from time to time. If there is too much palm oil on the surface for your liking, skim it off with a large spoon before serving.
=== KENTUMERE -- (FISH & SPINACH IN TOMATOES), ANC
1 cup palm oil (no substitutes) 1 cup onions, coarsely chopped 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1 cup tomatoes 1 cup kippered herring 4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
Heat the oil in a large skillet or heavy pot, then saute onions and pepper together. Mash or grind the tomatoes and stir them in, along with the remaining ingredients. Cook at a moderate temperature for 15 minutes, or until fish is tender and flaky. If there is too much oil on the surface for your liking, skim some off with a spoon. Serve kentumere with cooked plaintain or rice.
=== COOKED (OR BOILED) PLANTAIN -- ANC
Note: Boiled plantains make an easy-to-prepare base for meat or vegetable stews. Because of the amount of agricultural chemicals used in fruit cultivation, we suggest a good soap and hot-water scrub before cooking plantains this way. If you prefer, you may peel them before boiling.
4 large plantains
Drop unpeeled plantains in boiling water. Cook for 15-20 minutes until a test plantain is tender when pierced with a fork. Peel before serving.
=== AVOCADO WITH SMOKED FISH -- (serves 4 as appetizer, 2 as entree), ANC
1/2 lb smoked fish 4 eggs, hard-boiled, with whites separated from yolks 1/4 cup milk 1/4 cup lime juice 1/4 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 cup light cooking oil 2 tblsp olive oil 2 large ripe avocados 1 large red bell pepper, or a dozen pimentos from a can or jar
Remove the skin and bones from fish and flake the flesh with a fork.
In a deep bowl, mash the egg yolks with the milk until they form a smooth paste. Add sugar, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice. Then beat in the vegetable oil, a teaspoon or so at a time. Add the olive oil in the same gradual manner. chop egg whites finely and add them to the bowl, along with the fish. Combine thoroughly but gently.
Just before serving, cut the avocados in half, remove pits, and fill cavities with the fish mixture. Garnish with pepper or pimento, and pass around the remaining lime juice to sprinkle on individual servings.
=== AKOTONSHI (STUFFED CRABS) -- (makes 16, to serve 6-8), ANC
2 lbs crab meat [I think this recipe assumes raw crabmeat to start; refer to instructions below about boiling crab meat and alter technique if using pre-cooked crab meat, perhaps by just boiling some ginger and cloves in small amount of water and adding a bit to flavor crab. -- cmt]
1 tsp salt 1-inch piece of fresh ginger 4-6 cloves 4 tblsp cooking oil 1 small onion, minced 1 tsp ground ginger 2 tomatoes, finely chopped 1 tblsp tomato paste 2 green bell peppers, finely chopped pinch of paprika 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tblsp dried shrimp [available in Oriental food shops] 1/2 cup whole-wheat breat crumbs 1 egg, hard-boiled and finely chopped 1 sprig parsley
Put crab meat in boiling salted water along with ginger piece and cloves. Cook about 15 minutes, until meat is tender enough to flake with a fork. Drain, flake and set aside.
In a heavy pot, heat oil to a moderate temperature and add other ingredients in the following sequence, stirring for a minute or so between each: onions, ground ginger, tomatoes, tomato paste, green pepper, paprika, cayenne, and dried shrimp. Reduce heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until vegetables are cooked. Add crab meat and stir another couple of minutes to heat it through. Then spoon the mixture into clean crab shells or ramekins (small individual baking dishes).
Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of each crab and toast under an oven broiler, being careful not to let the crumbs scorch. Garnish with egg and parsley.
=== AVOCADO WITH GROUNDNUT DRESSING -- CAC
2 avocados ripe but firm 15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice 30 ml (2 tbsp) shelled groundnuts or peanuts 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) paprika 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) cinnamon chile powder [cayenne], to taste salt, to taste fresh chives, to garnish
Peel the avocados; cut out the stone and cut into cubes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside. Grind the peanuts roughly with a rolling pin or in a grinder for a few seconds. Mix the peanuts and spices well. Sprinkle over the avocados with finely chopped chives. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
=== TATALE (GHANAIAN PLANTAIN CAKES) -- (appetizer), CAC
2 over-ripe medium plantains (black and soft) 1 small onion, finely chopped or grated 25 to 50 g (1 to 2 oz) self-raising flour 5 ml (1 tsp) palm oil (optional) salt and hop pepper, to taste oil, for frying
Peel and mash the plantains well. Put into a bowl and add enough of the flour to bind. Add the onion, palm oil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and leave to stand for 20 minutes. Fry in spoonfuls in a little hot oil until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.
=== AVOCADO AND CRAB -- (appetizer), CAC
15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice 1 clove of garlic, crushed pinch of sea salt freshly ground black pepper, to taste pinch of paprika 1 avocado 175 g (6 oz) white crab meat spring onions to garnish
Mix together the lemon juice, garlic and seasonings. Peel and remove the stone from the avocado and mash the flesh with the lemon mixture. Mix in the flaked crab meat, with a fork. Garnish with chopped spring onions. Serve on fingers of toast.
=== GARI FOTO -- (vegetarian, vegan side dish for stew), CAC
25 g (1 oz margarine or palm oil 1 medium sized onion, chopped 2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped 175 g (6 oz) carrots, chopped 175 g (6 oz) mushrooms, chopped 175 g (6 oz) green peppers, chopped 300 ml (1/2 pt) vegetable stock or water hot pepper, to taste 100 g (4 oz) gari (gari is a coarse-grained roasted, grated fermented flour, made from cassava and used as a staple food in a similar way to ground rice)
Cook the onion and tomatoes in the margarine or palm oil, stirring until pulpy, in a non-stick saucepan. Add carrots and fry for a few minutes. Stir in the palm oil, then add the mushrooms, green peppers, stock and hot pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix the gari into the sauce in handfuls, stirring constantly until all the liquid is absorbed. Serve hot with a vegetable stew or fish stew.
=== JOLLOF RICE GHANA -- BCIC
2 1/2 to 3 lb broiler-fryer chicken, cut up 2 cans (16 oz each) stewed tomatoes 2 cups water 2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper 1 cup uncooked regular rice 1/4 lb fully cooked smoked ham, cubed (3/4 cup) 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground red pepper [or more to taste] 3 cups coarsely shredded cabbage 8 oz green beans (1 pkg, 10 oz, frozen French-style green beans, thawed can be substituted for fresh) 2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices 1/2 tsp salt
Heat chicken, tomatoes (with liquid), water, 2 tsp salt and the pepper to boiling in 5-quart Dutch oven; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Remove chicken. Sttir in rice, ham, cinnamon and red pepper. Add chicken, cabbage, green beans and onions. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until thickest pieces of chicken are done, 20 to 30 minutes.
[Note: There are lots of versions of Jollof rice. It is a common West African dish. One I particularly like uses chicken, rice, onion, chopped tomatoes, and a bunch of fresh thyme. Saffron added is also good as a variation. -- cmt]
=== BRAISED CHICKEN WITH CHILES -- FC
3-4 green chiles, skinned, seeds removed, chopped 1 3-lb chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces 2 tbsp butter 1 tbsp peanut oil 1 onion, sliced and separated into rings 1 cup chicken broth 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter and oil and brown the chicken, a few pieces at a time. As the chicken browns, remove and keep warm. Add the onion rings and saute until soft.
Add the broth, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and chile and bring to a boil. Put the chicken back in the pan, cover with the stock, reduce the heat, and simmer until the chicken is done -- about 45 minutes.
Variation: Make a stew by adding coarsely chopped onions, tomatoes, and corn while the chicken is simmering.
Note: Fresh tropical fruits such as pineapple, papaya, or mango along with baked yams will complete this easily prepared chicken dish.
=== SHOKO (BEEF AND SPINACH STEW) -- TH
6 small canned tomatoes, with juice 1 whole fresh hot chile 4 medium onions, whole 1/4 cup green bell pepper 6 tbsp vegetable oil 1 lb stewing beef, cut in cubes 1 cup water [or beef broth] 1/4 tsp sugar 1/4 tsp salt 2 tsp cayenne [more or less to taste] 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger 3/4 to 1 lb fresh spinach
1. Reserve 1/2 cup of juice from the canned tomatoes, and discard the rest of the juice. Combine the chile, tomatoes, onions, and green bell pepper in a food processor, and process until the vegetables are minced but not pureed.
2. Heat the oil in a large, cast-iron pot, and saute the vegetables and beef for 5 minutes over high heat.
3. Add the reserved tomato juice, water sugar, salt, cayenne, and ginger. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally to keep from burning.
4. Meanwhile, soak the spinach in warm water for 15 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly, separate, rinse again (and even a third time if you want to be extra careful), shred coarsely, and set aside.
5. After 2 hours, add the spinach to the pot and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, until the water is gone and the spinach is cooked.
6. About half an hour before serving, prepare boiled rice. Serve Shoko with rice. [Also good served with Yam Foofoo.]
=== YAM FOOFOO -- TH
Note: Foofoo is a ubiquitous and much-beloved staple through most of West Africa, whether topped with a fiery Palava sauce (or Shoko) or served as the bland accompaniment to a main dish. Foofoo is traditionally made with cassava (aka yucca and/or manioc), but it can be prepared as well with everything from rice, yams, and plantains to instant mashed potatoes! It is also somewhat harder to make than it would seem. Ellen Wilson quotes a traditional proverb that goes, "If a woman were like foofoo, a man could get to know her before he married her." What this has to do with foofoo (or women) is anyone's guess. In any case, this version of yam foofoo -- traditionally made by pounding and beating the yams in a mortar with a wooden spoon -- has been adapted for a food processor.
2 lb yams 1/4 tsp black pepper 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp butter
1. Place the yams in cold, unsalted water, bring to a full boil, and cook 25 minutes, or until soft.
2. Remove the yams, cook, and peel. Mash with the other ingredients.
3. Place in a food processor, and run briefly to remove lumps. DO NOT PUREE! (If a processor is not available, go directly to step 4.)
4. Remove foofoo to a bowl, and beat with a wooden spoon or wire whisk until smooth. The foofoo should have a sticky, slightly resilient consistency.
5. Shape the foofoo into balls with your hands, and serve warm.
*** That's my collection.
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