For those in Ghana, you know how the Ghanaian Kitchen looks like. A kitchen built on a variety of indigenous dishes irrespective of one’s ethnic background. What is special to the Ewe is special to the Akan. The means of cooking may be different, but the taste keeps you wanting for more. The Ghanaian kitchen is one of those fabrics which cements the bond and tranquility within the Ghanaian society.
The Ghanaian kitchen is evoked on special days if the dish is considered as a sort of a ritual. The Ghanaian kitchen has survived from generations to generations because of how mothers indoctrinate their children on what to cook and how to also cook. The Ghanaian Kitchen is the food we relish as Ghanaians.
For instance, when people eat a GA kenkey with grounded pepper, laced with fried fish after a hard day’s work ; that for us is the Ghanaian Kitchen exemplified. The Saturday Jollof, Mommy intrinsically prepares for her children in the morning or the Waakye we love to enjoy on Wednesday’s calling it Waakye Wednesday all highlight the Ghanaian Kitchen.
Ghanaians value their kitchen to the extent that just a bad remark on someone’s preferred meal can spark an argument. The passion with which we Ghanaians hold our Kitchen is astonishing. As they say, the way to a Man’s Heart is through his stomach. As a wife, if you fail to put your kitchen in order and you continuously fail to prepare your husband’s favorite local dish to perfection, then problems are bound to arise in your marriage.
It is not surprising that wives can use this same tactic to get their husband’s attention by preparing him a sumptuous Ghanaian meal to get their wishes granted to them. The story is even told of how a guy couldn’t break up with his girlfriend, because upon arrival at the girl’s house. He realized the girl was cooking jollof and so he lost track of his mission to the ladies house..
Every ethnic group has its delicacy, for the Ga’s, Ga kenkey with hot ground pepper sauce and fish, either grilled or fried. Ga Kenkey is popularly known as “Komi”, among the Ga’s. For the Ewes, they enjoy Akple also known as Banku with okro stew. Mind you, the Ewes Okro stew has a secret ingredient that makes the stew have a unique texture. The Akans hold Fufu with soup in high esteem. Fufu can be eaten with light, palm nut or groundnut soup. Omo Tuo (rice balls or Tuo Zafi) served with palm or groundnut soup. A Sunday afternoon special we call it ! is a favorite dish of the Northern & Upper regions of Ghana.
Ampesi another dish mostly eaten in the mornings is another delicacy among Ghanaians which is rich in nutritional value.
Interestingly some sweet local dishes in Ghana have fascinating names; tartare and krako.
Jollof rice ; rice with tomatoes, spices, and meat boiled together. This dish is common amongst every other Ghanaian. The feeling you get after eating Ghana made Jollof is second to none.
Etor, is a popular Ghanaian dish in southern Ghana. Etor is prepared with plantain and or with yam boiled and mashed, and mixed with palm oil. Groundnuts (Peanuts) and Eggs provide are used to garnish the Ghanaian dish. It is a tradition is some homes, to prepare this dish for people celebrating their birthday.
Waakye is consumed by all, the food has a mysterious purple color, the secret comes from an indigenous leaf which when cooked in the food, brings out the colour.
Not forgetting some palatable Akan dish, Kontomere, Okro and Garden eggs stew which is prepared with palm oil.
The latest revision to the Ghanaian Kitchen collection is a drink called Sobolo. Some people within the Ghanaian community have declared Saturday as a special day for the drink, naming it Sobolo Saturday.
Our Motherland is blessed with all these dishes and more yet to be discovered. The Ghanaian Kitchen, the story still remains untold.
Writer Kwesi Otoo, Writer threesixtyGh