Ghanaian cuisine is described by many as pleasing, savoury, and healthy. Ghanaians enjoy their cuisines and are always proud to share what they are consuming with visitors. Ghanaian dishes are easy to make as they include locally sourced ingredients and traditionally made seasonings.
Most of the main dishes in the West African countries are structured around a starchy staple food. This is always accompanied by a sauce or soup containing a protein sauce.
Ghanaian sauces are delicious, and sometimes too spicy. Both locals and foreigners enjoy the cuisines in whichever form they are served. Most soups and stews in the country contain canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes.
12 delicious Ghanaian dishes
Below are 12 delicious Ghanaian food recipes for any occasion.
1. Banku recipe
Banku is one of the many dishes enjoyed across Ghana. It is originally from the Ga-Adangme people found along the south-eastern coast of Ghana. What makes Banku great is its sour taste derived from days of fermentation of the corn to make corn dough. Banku is nicely enjoyed with okro stew. You can also take it with grilled fish, fresh salsa-like shito, and shitor din.
- 500g of corn dough
- 250g cassava dough
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups of water
- Combine the corn and cassava dough with water until smooth.
- Transfer to high heat and keep stirring. Ensure that the dough has the right amount of moisture. If not, keep adding water.
- Minimize the heat and allow the banku to steam in the pot. Let it steam for about 5 minutes.
- Stir the banku once more and remove it from the heat.
5. When serving, scoop the preferred amount into a wet bowl and swirl around until balls are formed.
6. Serve with okro stew, fante fante, or grilled tilapia with shito.
READ ALSO: Traditional Ghana food: 15 best recipes
2. Kontomire soup
Kontomire soup, also known as ebunu ebunu, is a delicious Ghanaian soup made from cocoyam leaves, smoked fish, mushrooms, and snails. The green colour is derived from the cocoyam leaves. Kontomire soup is enjoyed by many Ghanaians though it was traditionally consumed by the Akan people. It can be served with fufu, rice, or boiled ripe plantains.
- A bunch of kontomire leaves or cocoyam leaves
- 3 large tomatoes
- 1/4 cup of turkey berries optional
- 3 medium onions
- 2 medium smoked salmon
- 1 cup melon seeds
- 1/2 cup of palm oil
- 2 teaspoons grounded shrimp
- 1 teaspoon salt
Here is the method to follow:
How to prepare the ingredients
- Soak the melon seeds in water.
- Wash kontomire leaves with some salt. This is to reduce the itching of hands when chopping.
- Cut kontomire into preferred stripes.
- Put the cut kontomire into a saucepan with little water and place it on high heat.
- Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the kontomire after about 5 minutes of cooking to make sure everything is cooked through. Turn off fire and set aside.
- Mix two onions, tomatoes, pepper, and turkey berries and keep them aside.
- Get rid of the flesh of the salmon, break into two and remove the bones, break into desired sizes, and set aside.
- Wash the soaked melon seeds and place them into a blender. Add about ¼ teaspoon salt and a little water to blend into a paste. Set aside.
- Chop the remaining onion.
Making the stew
- Pour palm oil into a medium saucepan and add half of the sliced onions and momoni.
- Fry till onions are softened. Add the blended tomatoes, onions, turkey berries, and pepper. Bring to a simmer on medium heat.
- Add the salmon, salt, and grounded shrimp. Cover and let it simmer for 7 to 10 minutes till the sauce is bare thickened.
- Add in the blended melon seeds, cover, and reduce heat to low.
- Allow it simmer for about 10 minutes. Check if the blended melon seeds have set.
- Lightly stir in the steamed kontomire. Add the remaining chopped onions, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Check if the onions are softened.
- Serve with yam, rice, cocoyam, cassava, plantains, or sweet potatoes.
3. Ghana chichinga
Chichinga is a common Ghanaian street food item that is made with skewered and grilled meat that is rubbed with a spice mix known as suya. Suya is made with peanuts, ground spices, and hot chilli peppers. Chichinga is served best with jollof rice, Ghanaian salads, or fried plantains.
- 700g of chicken Ghana chichinga (Suya chicken kabob)
- Breast fillet, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of grated ginger
- 1 medium-sized onion
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 Maggie cube
- 1 large red bell pepper cut in cubes
- 1 large green pepper cut in cubes
- 1 large red onion cut in cubes
- Suya spice
- ½ cup grounded roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons chilli powder
- 1 tablespoon roasted paprika powder
- 1 tablespoon of garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 Maggie cubes (optional)
- Mix the ginger, garlic, onion, stock cube seasoning with the oil to form a smooth paste.
- Add the paste to the chicken and marinate for about an hour.
- Skewer the seasoned chicken pieces alternating with the peppers and onions and set aside.
- Combine all the ingredients for the suya seasoning and mix.
- Once the suya seasoning is ready, sprinkle some of it on the skewered chicken and grill till it is cooked and browned both sides.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle a bit more of the suya powder on it and serve.
4. Palm-nut soup
This is one of the tastiest soups from West Africa. Ghanaians enjoy this soup and prepare it using different ways. The soup is also loved across Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. This palm nut soup is made with smoked fish.
- 1 can of palm nut cream
- 2 smoked fishes
- 3 large tomatoes to be mashed
- 2 large onions to be grated
- 3 cloves garlic to be minced
- 1 tablespoon of black pepper
- Chilli powder
- Salt to taste
- Bouillon cube
- 2 Fresh chillies
- 1 cup of green onion to be chopped
- 1 litre of water
- Wash the smoked fish with hot water. Use boiling water if possible.
- Allow it to soak for about 5 minutes then cut it into medium pieces.
- Heat the pot, and add the smoked fishes. Season with black pepper.
- Add garlic, tomatoes, and onions and pour the palm nuts cream in the pot.
- Add the litre of water.
- Add bouillon cube, chilli powder if you have, and desired amount of salt.
- Add the fresh chillies and cover and let it simmer for slightly more than 30 minutes.
- Check if the soup has thickened. The red oil should appear on the surface of the soup.
9. Serve the palm nut soup with rice or fufu.
5. Cassava fish recipe
Cassava roots and leaves are consumed across Africa. The tuberous roots of the tropical, perennial plant are, however, consumed more as a vegetable. Cassava roots produce tapioca while the leaves have cyanide. The leaves have to be soaked in boiling water and pounded before consumption. The following recipe with smoked fish makes the cassava fish dish a wholesome meal.
- 1 bunch cassava leaves
- Boiling water
- 2 spring onions to be chopped
- ½ eggplant to be peeled and chopped into 1 cm squares
- Celery leaves, chopped
- ½ cup of crushed peanuts
- Smoked fish
- 3 tablespoon of palm oil
- Salt to taste
- Prepare leaves by removing stems.
- Put leaves in a bowl and pour boiling water over them to remove the toxins in the leaves. Squeeze remaining water from the leaves and pound them in a mortar and pestle.
- Place the blended leaves in a saucepan with about 200 ml of water.
- Crush the celery leaves, and peanuts
- Add the sliced eggplant, spring onion, and the crushed celery leaves and peanuts.
- Soak the fish in water for about 10 minutes. Break into pieces and add to the saucepan with the leaves. Salt to taste and finally add the palm oil.
- Blend everything and leave over low heat for 30 minutes.
6. Garden egg (Aubergine) stew
Garden egg stew is a widely loved Ghanaian food that consists of African eggplant or garden egg as the main ingredient. The eggplant is prepared as a vegetable together with tomatoes, onions, peppers, palm oil, dried fish, or shrimp. Seasonings like ginger and nutmeg make the meal better. Garden egg is mostly served with boiled plantains.
- 10 garden eggs
- 9 large tomatoes
- 2 large white onions
- 1 tablespoon of red pepper powder
- 1 habanero pepper
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 small ginger root to be grated
- 225g of steamed or dried fish
- 1 cup of dried shrimp
- 1 cup of palm oil
- Boil the garden eggs for 15 minutes,
- Remove the skin and seeds of the garden eggs.
- Dice the garden eggs and place them in a bowl.
- Heat palm oil in a cooking pot for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Dice one onion and fry for three minutes.
- Add pepper powder and nutmeg to frying onions and let simmer for three minutes.
- Add dried shrimp to the frying onions.
- Blend tomatoes, habanero pepper, and another onion, then add.
9. Let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat.
10. Add one cup of water to the sauce and let simmer for another 20 minutes.
11. Add the fish and diced garden eggs to the sauce and mix in well.
12. Let the stew simmer for another 40 minutes on low heat.
READ ALSO: Traditional Ghanaian Jollof Rice Recipe
7. Kokonte with groundnut soup
Groundnut soup is a nutritious and a favourite among local Ghanaian dishes. It is locally known as maafe in Ghana. This dish is easy to prepare when peanut butter paste is used. Any variety of groundnuts (peanuts) can be used based on one’s choice and availability of a particular type of peanuts.
- Kokonte flour (powder).
How to prepare kokonte
- Place water in a pot and let it boil.
- When the water begins to boil, fetch some of it and put aside.
- Add the kokonte flour to the boiling water and continuously stir to avoid the formation of lumps.
- Press the kokonte to one side of your pot, cover it, and allow the kokonte to cook for close to 15 minutes.
- Make balls with the Kokonte using your hands.
- Serve while still hot.
How to prepare groundnut soup
Here are the ingredients and steps to prepare the soup
- Garlic cloves
- Peanut butter paste
- Season the chicken with onions, salt, paprika, and pepper then put aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pot ever relatively low heat.
- Pour in the chicken and stir.
- Blend the onions, garlic, tomatoes, and parsley and add the mixture to the pot containing the chicken.
- Let it boil and simmer until the chicken is tender. Ensure it does not overcook.
- Add the peanut butter taste and water. Allow it to simmer for approximately 5 minutes.
- Serve with either rice, kokonte, or any other starchy meal.
Kelewele is a popular Ghana food made using fried plantains seasoned with local spices. The dish can be served with rice and bean stew or eaten without any accompaniment. Kelewele is a yummy vegetarian dessert or snack.
- 4 large plantains. They should not be too ripe.
- 2 teaspoons of Cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon of red-pepper
- ½ teaspoon of peeled and grated fresh ginger root
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of water
- Palm oil or vegetable oil to fry
- Peel and cut the plantains into bite-sized cubes
- Grate and mix ginger root, pepper, and salt in water.
- Toss plantain and spice mixture together in a bowl.
- Using a deep skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry plantains, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.
- Drain plantains on paper towels and keep in the warmed oven until all the plantains are fried.
9. Red red recipe (Black-eyed pea stew with fried plantains)
Red red is a renowned Ghanaian food made of beans, red palm oil, tomato paste, and flavorings like garlic, ginger, chili, and onions. Depending on your preference, you can add either meat or fish broth into the stew. The stew is commonly served with fried plantains on the side.
- 2 cups of black-eyed peas soaked overnight
- 2 large tomatoes
- 2 medium-size onion
- Red chilli
- ½ of cup palm oil
- Momoni (optional)
- 1 tablespoon grounded shrimp optional
- 5 plantains
- Cook the soaked beans till tender, set aside.
- Blend one onion, tomatoes, and pepper and set aside. Slice the other onion and set aside.
- Remove the peels from plantains and season with salt if you like, set aside.
- Put palm oil in a saucepan, add half of the sliced onions, and momoni if using. Cook till tender, and the momoni melts in the oil. Add the blended onions, tomatoes, and red chilli.
- Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook till thickened. Add grounded shrimp if using and the cooked beans.
- Stir in the remaining onions and a little water from the beans if the stew is too thick. Taste and adjust for salt.
Fufu is Ghana's national dish. The starchy side dish is often served with a variety of stews and sauce-based dishes. Fufu is also widely consumed in other West African countries and some Central African countries. Making fufu can be tedious as the process involves pounding cassava and unripe plantains together with a big wooden pole and mashing them while adding water.
- 6 cups of water
- 2 1/2 cups bisquick or any other flour equivalent
- 2 1/2 cups instant potato flakes
- Bring water to a rapid boil in a large, heavy pot. Combine the remaining ingredients and add them to the water.
- Stir constantly for 15 minutes. You can do this alone or ask for assistance. Stir well to get rid of any lumps.
- When the fufu is ready, 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.
11. Waakye recipe
Like most Ghanaian dishes, waakye can be taken during lunch, dinner, or even brunch. Waakye is a simple side dish of rice and beans cooked with dried millet stalk leaves.
- 1 cup of dried black-eyed beans/ peas soaked overnight
- 2 cups of rice
- 10 dried millet stalk leaves
- Water for cooking
- Salt to taste
- Pour over a litre of water into a saucepan together with the millet leaf stalks.
- Put on high heat to boil. The millet stalk leaves will start omitting its colour, and the water will start turning into a deep wine colour.
- Rinse the soaked beans and add to the boiling water. Cover and let it cook till tender. Meanwhile, rinse the rice until the water is cleared.
- Add the washed rice into the saucepan together with salt to taste. (You might need to add more water.) Add water if required. Stir and cover tightly.
- Do not remove the millet stalk leaves. When the rice boils over, reduce heat and simmer till the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Rest for three to five minutes, remove millet stalk leaves and fluff with a fork.
- Serve as a side dish with Ghanaian style beef stew or any stew of choice.
12. Jollof rice
Jollof rice is a one-pot rice dish popular in West Africa. The dish is also known as benachin in Wolof. Many people enjoy Nigerian jollof as well as the Ghanaian. The Ghanaian jollof is almost similar but can be made using various methods. Ghanian Jollof is among the tastiest in West Africa.
- 6 large tomatoes
- 4 large onions
- 6 cloves of pressed garlic
- 2 chillies (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- vegetable oil
- 500g of beef, chicken or lamb (alt: mixed vegetables)
- 800g long grain rice
- 1.5 litres of water
- Stock cube
- 1 teaspoon each of ground white and black pepper
- Place the tomatoes into the blender and set aside.
- Use a non-stick pan to fry pre-cooked meat in oil.
- Check to see that the meat is brown and remove from the heat.
- Add onions and fry until soft before adding garlic and blended tomatoes. Add meat stock, tomato paste, ground white, and black pepper and stir. Season thoroughly because the rice will later be added to this sauce.
- Cook for ten or more minutes on medium heat and add rice.
6. Stir and mix well before covering. Cook on low heat for about 20 minutes.
7. Add vegetables and mix well. Add about 1and 1/2 cups more of water and keep cooking on low heat until rice is done.
Ghanaian cuisines vary from one part of the country to the other. Urbanization has, however, led to the incorporation of some dishes by everyone. Popular Ghanaian dishes like the jollof rice and fufu are immensely enjoyed across the country. Some dishes take little time to prepare while others take longer.