With the prominence of tropical produce like corn, beans, millet, plantains and cassava, most ethnic groups creatively employ these foodstuffs to make mouth-watering dishes for their nourishment.
The culinary skills of Ghanaians go beyond just feeding themselves. Their cooking reflects their different beliefs, traditions, and habits. As such, experiencing and experimenting with local traditional foods provides an education of the culture, too.
Here are top Ghanaian foods for adventurous visitors on the Year of Return:
· Fufu and hot goat light soup
In the Eastern and Ashanti regions of Ghana, one meal guaranteed to work its wonder is fufu and goat light soup, the proud dish of the Akan.
Fufu is a staple food across West Africa but in Ghana, it is made by pounding a mixture of boiled cassava and plantains into a soft sticky paste to go along with aromatic and spicy tomato soup.
Fufu can also be found in Northern Ghana, although it is made with yam in this region.
· Tuo Zaafi
Northern Ghanaian food is dominated by the use of grains, herbs and meat as these are the main food products of the area.
Tuo Zaafi is similar to banku, although it is quite soft and less sticky, and is made by cooking corn dough and adding a little cassava.
What distinguishes Tuo Zaafi and makes it a popular meal nationwide is the nutritious and rare herbs used in making the accompanying soup, including dawadawa and ayoyo leaves.
· Kenkey and fried fish with hot pepper
Kenkey is another corn-based staple similar to banku, that is made by moulding fermented corn dough into balls and wrapping them around drying corn leaves, which are then boiled.
The meal is served with hot pepper sauce, fried crabs, octopus or fish and is a delicacy of the Accra people.
· Mpotor Mpotor
Mpotor Mpotor or nyoma is a one-pot meal made mainly from yam or cocoyam cooked in broth.
Although it is an ideal meal for everyone, it is also recommended for babies as a weaning food.
It is very delicious and travellers can try it.
Kokonte is a sumptuous gratifying meal and delicacy which is eaten in some parts of Ghana. It is usually served with peanut soup or groundnut soup with a tender finger of okra to go with it and any meat of one’s choice.
Depending on the flour, it usually turns out brown when prepared. It is usually eaten by ethnic groups such as Gas, Akans and the Hausa.
Interestingly, the food is nicknamed 'Face the wall'.
. Kpekple/ Kpokpoi
Kpekple or Kpokpoi is a kind of food eaten by the Gas of Ghana during the celebration of Homowo festival, which is to hoot at hunger. It is prepared with the primary ingredients of steamed and fermented corn meal, palm nut soup and smoked fish.
Etor is a local traditional dish for the Akans (ethnic group in Ghana).
It is a sacred dish served at ‘outdoorings’, purification during festive seasons. It is prepared from slightly riped plantain which is mashed and mixed with palm oil and usually served with groundnut, egg or avocado pear.
Aprapransa is not that kind of food you find on the streets of Ghana every day. It’s prepared specially and not everyone has the skill to make it come out right.
It’s very nutritious and fulfilling and you’ll enjoy it when you get your hands on a bowl.
Mostly the traditional recipe has been a delicious combination of cornmeal and palm nut soup.
This dish is perfect for the adventurous type. Enriched with numerous health benefits, it also supports a healthy lifestyle. Prepare yourself a plate with this recipe.
It is basically made from roasted corn flour, cooked beans together with other ingredients. It’s a food that is served on special occasions and is feared to go extinct.
Brukina is a Ghanaian beverage made from grounded millets and pasteurized milk. Needless to say, it is very nutritious and has lots of health benefits. It is usually served chilled in a cup or sold bottled, and for some reason, it is only recently gaining widespread popularity in the country.
Right now, the Ghanaian community is divided between those who already love Brukina and those who certainly will. Yes, chances are, if you’re not in the former, you must be in the latter. And anything in-between is simply Brukina.
Chicken Suya in Ghana is simply grilled chicken coated with suya spice. Chicken Suya can be made with whatever part of the chicken you prefer.
It is one food enjoyed by visitors in the country.
No list of traditional Ghanaian foods would be complete without this savoury side dish. Kelewele is an instant favourite among anyone who tries it, even those who aren’t big fans of peppery food.
Usually sold as a snack or side dish all over Accra, it is made by frying soft plantains that have been soaked in a medley of peppers, ginger and garlic.
The aroma is crisp and strong, while the pleasant plantain adds some sweetness to the sour.
Pito is a traditional alcoholic beer that is made from fermented sorghum or millet. Locally brewed. It is popular in the northern part of Ghana. It could be served cold or hot but usually, it is cool.
Traditionally, it is served in calabashes amongst a group of friends in an open garden or tent.
· Palm Wine
The alcoholic content in palm wine is very low.
It is tapped from a fully-grown palm tree and the process is enhanced by heat application. The longer the days the sap is stored, the higher the alcoholic content but it is mostly sold fresh. It is completely natural.
This beverage is very common in West African countries like Cameroon and Nigeria. The vitamin C in palm wine helps maintain good eye health. It is mostly served in calabashes
Sobolo is not just a refreshing drink, it is also medicinal as it helps improve a person’s health.
It is made from dried bissap flowers mixed with sugar and ginger juice as the main ingredients.
Tasting a notch, some sellers add pineapple peels and fruit essence. Lately, the drink is mostly bottled but you can still spot sellers who have the plastic tied ones.
It is popular to spot sellers in traffic and at bus stations.
Although not officially advertised, Akpeteshie is a very popular local alcoholic spirit brewed in Ghana using local means of distilling sugarcane juice or palm wine. It is referred to as APIO by older consumers and Akpet (short form of Akpeteshie) among youngsters.
Its production is very popular in the northern part of the country as the materials and labour are less costly for companies who produce and sell in larger quantities.
It is considerably cheap to buy.
Asaana is a caramelised corn drink also called Ahai in Fante language prepared from fermented corn and caramelised sugar.
Some Ghanaians take Asaana with milk.
Lamugin is a chilled ginger drink. It is prepared by blending a mixture of chopped ginger, lemon, soaked cloves and water. The blended mixture is then strained into a jar or if it is in large quantity into a big bowl. Add sugar to taste and more water if need be.