3 meals from the Ghanaian kitchen

Food is a thing in Ghana! Eating together on a dinning table isn’t so common in Ghana, but literally eating food is. The portions are often very big, the food is heavy (to give you more energy) and if you are eating at someone’s home the chef probably doesn’t let you go home until you have eaten all your food.

Ghana’s kitchen isn’t very various, but the meals are basic so if you like you can add more vegetables and other ingredients. Also beware meals are very spicy. In the beginning of your stay in Ghana your stomach has to get used to it, but if you really don’t like spicy tell your chef you don’t want any pepper. Speaking from experience, saying “just a little bit pepper” is mostly not enough… Better safe than sorry, and without pepper the meals are still delicious!

Jollof rice (rice cooked in tomato sauce and vegetables on the side) on a plate at a restaurant in Cape Coast, Ghana
Jollof Rice

Jollof rice is a common dish in the whole of West Africa. It’s made of rice cooked in tomato sauce, together with vegetables. Mostly they add chicken, but of course you can eat this dish as a vegetarian too.

There is a long discussion about where jollof rice really is from, as well as who has the best jollof: Ghana or Nigeria. We know the answer, but more importantly we know we like the “home made” jollof better than jollof in a restaurant or from the street. Try both and decide for yourself!

Waakye (rice, beans, spaghetti, egg and stew) packed in a plantain leaf. This is the traditional way of packing waakye in Ghana.

Another rice dish, it’s rice with beans and spaghetti. Yes spaghetti, and it fits very well. Waakye is often a dish you can find in chop bars (small restaurants) on the streets, and is very tasty. You can eat it with or without meat.

Funny thing: the package of waakye is very sustainable. When you buy it for take away and sometimes in restaurants too, the package is a plantain leaf. Unfortunately this is not everywhere, but try to find a spot with the leaves or eat it from their plates to avoid plastic waste.

Fufu has to be eaten with you right hand. The dish is a dough made of mashed plantain and cassave, and added to a soup.

Fufu is something complete different. No rice this time, but mashed cassave and plantain. After mashing (pouding) this in a big pot, they make balls from the dough and add it to a soup. The soup is mostly light soup or palmnut soup. Fufu is not a vegetarian meal, unless you go to a vegetarian restaurant. The soup is made of broth from chicken or goat.

And then the final moment is there: eating fufu. Your hand is your spoon, so make sure you wash your right hand very well. Right hand because you use this hand for eating, waving, giving and taking things etcetera. The left hand is for bathroom visits…

During our food tours we will absolutely try to make fufu at least one time, and then we will teach you how to eat fufu.

Do you want to try this at home? Check some Ghanaian cookbooks here.