There is nothing like Hausa Koko with Koose (Akla) for breakfast
There is nothing better to set you up for the day like hot Hausa Koko with Koose and pinkaso in the morning. I have had a routine in the last few days. Gone is my normal coffee and croissant in the morning before braving the cold in London on my way to work. Over here in Accra, there is a new fad in town! If I’m not busy preparing a variation of Ghana’s chibom then I’m trekking into Ashaley Botwe for Hausa Koko with Koose.
Today I decided to take James with me. It’s amazing how much we take our surroundings for granted. I’m pretty certain no proper Ghanaian would have a conversation about a cockerel on the street running at break neck speed but, that’s what James wanted to talk about.
To him this was fascinating and caught his imagination in a way that it could never catch a Ghanaian’s. I’m sure if the tables were turned a Ghanaian on the streets of London will notice the hum drum everyday stuff that londonders also miss.
At this point my senses of what was odd around me had become a little bit more sensitive. The “Wardour street” sign and the “American Photos and Video Production” store both seemed curiously interesting. I had walked past both many times and had never noticed let alone thought about them.
The Hausa and koose seller’s spot, on the Nmai Dzorn Pappafio Hills road near the popular Agartha restaurant was no more than 15 minutes away from my home, so the “spot the oddity” game had to come to an abrupt end as we approached.
I had first bought my Hausa Koko from Asmau the last time I was in Ghana on holidays. She hadn’t changed one bit. Her smile and incredibly great customer service were as impeccable as ever and so was the queue for her Hausa Koko. This was a family business of sorts for her, one she run with her mum.
It was about 7 am in the morning and Asmau had just started to wipe down and to neatly place old newspapers in the small two shelf glass display unit as her customers fidgeted and looked on.
A few moments later she wrapped her fingers in a makeshift glove and began to slowly place handfuls of the pinkaso (on the top shelf) and the koose on the bottom shelf.
For the benefit of James, Asmau kindly explained what ingredients went into making koose and pinkaso. Hausa koko, they knew about as I it was what the had on their first morning in Accra and I had explained that it was porridge made from fermented millet. Asmau, told James that what made pinkaso different from Koose was that one was carbohydrate and the other (Koose) was protein.
We then watched as Asmau scooped the Hausa Koko into a small bowl, added and stirred in some sugar to taste.
The content of the bowl was then poured into long shaped rubber bag which was then tied to prevent spillage and to keep the Hausa Koko warm.
Each cost 1 GH Cedi which was incredibly cheap. Combined with the protein rich koose this breakfast provided the balanced meal needed to kick start virtually every day of the full two weeks when James and Matt visited.
The walk back to the house was quick and would have been quicker had it not been for the new Chief of Nmai Dzorn – James, who felt the need to befriend every Tom Dick and Harry or is it Kwame, Kofi and Kwesi? he came across.
The breakfast table was hurriedly set as Evans, James, Matthew and I got down to business. Before then, Matthew thought he’d try and be creative with the pinkaso 😅
The option to mix evaporated milk into the Hausa Koko proved a bit too popular. The small tin did not last long.
The rest of us though tucked in and within 15 minutes our hearty Hausa koko with koose and pinkaso breakfast had been devoured!