Accra food guide

I’ve been introduced and reintroduced to some amazing local food. When I was younger my mum used to make a lot of African dishes, but I hadn’t had any in a while, and I’m loving all of the snacks and meals. We’ve explored a few market stalls, been fed in the host home and it’s worth noting that a variety of snacks are available from a trotro (local bus) when you’re stuck in traffic.

I’ll update as I go along, but here is everything I’d recommend so far (just remember Ghanaian food portions are quadruple our carb intake so at least ask for a half portion; around 4 Cedis worth):

  1. Fried plantain; boiled plantain I’m not a fan of, but fried plantain is awesome. Cut into large slices or chunks is the usual accompaniment style, but I’ve also had it chopped into small chunks and fried to a crisp which worked really well in a salad instead of croutons
  2. Garri; ground cassava used to carb up less carby meals or thicken stews. More recently I’ve also tried garri soakings (garri + water + sugar + peanuts) which they have as a drink/snack
  3. Redred; rice, beans, fried plantain and general goodness. A great veggie option that is usually served with garri
  4. Waakye (pronounced wah-chi); rice and beans. Often served with meat or a boiled egg, waakyi also comes with a spicy sauce. The boiled egg may sound random, but it’s quite a common alternative to meat with food for a hit of protein here. If you like your food spicy, you can also choose to add shito like a local (translates to pepper – a spicy fish sauce)
  5. Jollof rice; rice cooked in a stew rather than water or stock. It’s a game changer and is usually served with meat and sauce
  6. Tiger nuts; I can only describe these as milky pistachio nuts. After having a Google I learned it is a superfood that also goes by the name yellow nutsedge
  7. Fresh coconut; the only coconut I had ever tried was from a trail mix before coming, so it was really nice to have it fresh. The coconut water is an amazing nutrient boost if you’re dehydrated and tastes much nicer than the carton stuff I’d tried in the UK
  8. Kontomire stew; spinach and eggs in a sauce. I didn’t actually realise it was egg at first but I was a big fan. They put scrambled egg in a lot of spicy stew dishes and it works surprisingly well
  9. Rice balls; cooked rice compacted into a plastic bag/ball shape. I really liked the soft texture, but I didn’t realise quite how much compact rice I was eating until I stopped. Major food baby warning
  10. Peanut soup; teamed with your choice of meat and served with a rice ball
  11. Goat meat; I can only describe this as a beef joint texture with an odd taste. We had it with the peanut soup early on. I’d recommend trying it but it’ll be Marmite
  12. Tom Brown; their version of porridge which is powdered corn mixed with water. It is basically a brown paste that they serve with sugar. Don’t be shy to add a teaspoon or two as I wasn’t a fan until I sweetened it up
  13. Milo; hot chocolate branded as an energy drink. Often drank at breakfast as a meal supplement (one hell of a marketing ploy)
  14. Yams; a carby alternative for rice that is similar to potato. Most of the time it’s boiled but I’ve also seen roasted and fried options
  15. Corn on the cob; I know this is available in the UK, but it’s different here. Yes you can get your bog standard soft corn, but they have a variety available on the streets that is BBQ’d and it turns into a kind of popcorn/cooked corn on a stick. The corn is hard and often dipped in salt water before serving
  16. Plantain chips; their version of unsalted vegetable crisps are available either light or dark in colour. The dark version (coco) is made from riper plantain which makes it much sweeter

There are also a few things I wouldn’t recommend, but it’s all about personal taste so I’ll leave those for you to discover yourselves.

xo

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