Waakye is the local Ghanaian name given to this rice and beans combination. I recall having this in plantain leaves with assorted meat and fish, shito, waakye stew, gari, boiled eggs and macaroni as sides as a kid. Now the presentation on the streets seems to discard my beloved plantain leaves for ceramic plates. Waakye like Ghana style roast guinea fowl originates from Northern Ghana. This is one of Ghana’s favourite street food and is usually made and sold by folks with a Northern Ghana heritage.
There’s a whiff of culinary greatness about rice and beans combos in general. I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with the fact that the combination provides both protein (beans) and carbohydrates (rice). Or perhaps the fact that it is vegetarian or simply because it is one of the most basic meals in the world. Whether it’s Caribbean style rice and peas (beans) with jerk chicken or Cuban style Arroz Congri, rice and beans transcends cultures and continents. Waakye and other African rice and beans combos are the mother(s) of all Caribbean, South American and North American style rice and beans combos. With the exception of millet stalks, which gives waakye its red colouring, rice and beans were easily found in the new world and re-created by African slaves into a variety of flavourful rice and beans combinations. Some have the beans separately on the side whilst other combos like Waakye have it all as a mixed combo.
Making Waakye is super easy if you have the patience to soak the beans (black eyed beans) for over 4 hours and boil it to make sure it’s almost soft.
Click to Get the recipe for Waakye