This is the most basic of stews in Ghana. The ingredients are easy to find or common as Ghanaians will say and the cooking time is under half an hour. Ghana gravy is popular and goes with most Ghanaian staples such as rice and kenkey.
Garden egg stew with boiled yam and plantain reminds me of a bygone era in the more forested hinterlands of Ghana. It’s a meal to be had after a hard day’s work on the farm as you scurry back home skipping and dodging puddles of water on the way. In those days, muddy footpaths passed as tarmacs and cement pavements. Squelching chale wote sandals and slippers were the norm and a cutlass in hand to beat the creeping foliage away from the path was a necessity. Leaves danced on the horizon, trees, their bare branches stretched heavenwards like arms held high as they swayed in the wind.
Garden egg stew is one of the most popular stews in Ghana. It has the African egg plant commonly known as garden eggs or (known in Ghana as nyadua in the Twi language, s3b3 in Ga, ntrowa in Fanti and Agbitsa in Ewe and solanum aethiopicum in Latin) as its main ingredient.
Kuku Paka also known as Kuku na Nazi is an East African coconut curry sauce popular in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is thought that the word “paka” may have its origins in India. Kuku, however, is closer home. It means chicken in Swahili. This is a creamy, somewhat sweet, spicy and rich curry that had one of my guests asking if it was Mafe – groundnut stew. It shares the same yellowish sandy colour with groundnut soup.
Mafé (or Mafe, Maffé, Maffe, or Maafe) is similar to making countless variations of African groundnut or peanut stews. Mafé, however, has its own uniqueness and personality which has been undoubtedly imparted to it by the Wolof people of Gambia and Senegal where Mafé is said to originate.
Okra originated from the Nigerian Igbo word Okuru. The new world especially the creole world has championed it for centuries as gumbo. I crave my okro stew or soup with as much viscosity as possible. This tends to be the favoured African method with the addition of sodium bicarbonate to make it even more slimy. The recipe below is the traditional Ghanaian okro stew.
Quimbombo similar to gumbo is okra based and has it’s origins in Africa. It is a popular stew in Cuba and is known to have been introduced into Cuba through the slave trade.
Ghana Chicken stew with rice holds a special place in my heart. This dish signified new beginnings and transition from boyhood into manhood. This was the dish my family had every Sunday without fail. The day that we all put on our Sunday best and waltzed into church.
Red Red is simply black eyed beans in tomatoes, onion, pepper, palm oil mix sauce served traditionally with fried plantain and or tatale. This meal must have elicited so much red passion and excitement in folks that it was named twice! Red Red!
This stew will lovingly pepper you back with kisses hard and fast but if you prefer a little bit more T.L.C then i’d highly recommend that you move on to something else. This should really be had and enjoyed as it was dreamed up by our Ethiopian ancestors – spicy!