Tastes of Ghana – Gari Foto

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2017) and taken from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh.

Gari – fermented, dried and ground cassava – has no real flavour of its own apart from the sourness of fermentation. But it can take on a great deal of flavour and bulk out meagre pickings in the fridge.

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Serves : 6

Ingredients:
120ml (4 fl oz) sustainable palm oil or groundnut oil
2 onions, finely diced
1cm (1/2 – inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic), or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon ground hot pepper or cayenne pepper
3 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 scant tablespoon tomato puree
250g (9oz) Gari (fermented, dried and ground cassava)
6 free-range eggs
Chopped coriander, to garnish (optional)

Step One : Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and saute over a medium heat for about 3 minutes until translucent.

Step Two : Add the ginger, garlic and chillies, and stir well to evenly coat the onions before adding the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Leave the stew to cook over the medium heat for about 25 minutes.

Step Three : As soon as you’ve added the tomatoes, start preparing the gari, which is a bit like making couscous. Place it in a bowl and gradually spinkle with 120ml (4 fl oz) lightly salted warm water to evenly moisten it, mixing it through with a fork as you go. Be careful to add the water a little at a time so that you don’t overdo it, as the mixture should just be damp, not drenched!

Step Four : Cover the bowl with a plate or clean cloth and set aside for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the eggs. At this point, choose how you want to cook your eggs. If it’s the weekend and fancy a treat, you could make poached eggs, but if you feel like something more everyday, just boil or scramble them. It’s up to you.

Step Five : Before adding your choice of cooked eggs to the dish, fold the moistened gari into the stew, which should be cooked by now, and stir through gently but thoroughly – you should get a nice pink colour to the mixture. If you’ve decided to make scrambled eggs, you can also fold them into the gari now to create a sort of gari omelette, or serve them on the side.

Step Six : Remove the pan from the heat and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Serve immediately, with the seasoned poached, boiled or scrambled eggs on top, garnished with some chopped coriander.

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Tastes of Ghana – Yam and Plantain Peanut Curry

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2017) and taken from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh.

This recipe combines Nkatsenkwan (groundnut stew) with the two simple staples of yam and plantain.

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Serves: 4

Ingredients:
300g (10 1/2 oz) puna yam
Cooking salt
2-3 medium-ripe plantains, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 quantity Peanut sauce, prepared up to the stage of adding the peanut butter and blending
Chopped red chillies and sliced spring onions or pureed basil, to garnish

 

Step One : Peel the yam and cut into slices, then rinse in cold water to remove the starch. Add to a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.

Step Two : Peel the plantains and cut into chunks. Add to the boiling yam at the 10-minute point and cook together for a further 10 minutes until fork tender.

Step Three : Strain, reserving the cooking water to use as stock for making the Peanut Sauce. Set the yam and plantain aside.

Step Four : Prepare the Peanut Sauce. Add the yam and plantain to the sauce and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring in a little water to prevent it from sticking.

Step Five : Serve garnished with red chillies and spring onions or pureed basil.

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Tastes of Ghana – Oto / Oetorh

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2017) and taken from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh.

Oto is a classic Ghanaian celebratory dish made with hard-boiled eggs, mashed yam and palm oil.  Yam has a very high starch content and will help to keep you fuelled all day long, if you eat a big enough portion.

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Serves : 4-6

Ingredients:
300g (10 1/2 oz) puna yam
4-6 hard-boiled free-range eggs, shelled and quartered
120ml sustainable palm oil or carotene oil
2 red onions, 1 finely diced and 1 sliced and fried to serve as a garnish or side
1-2 tblsp dried ground prawn / shrimp powder (optional)
A little butter, if required
Chopped spring onion or coriander, to garnish
Baked or Crispy Fried Kale, to serve

Step One : Have a bowl or pan of water ready, as you’ll need to put each peeled yam piece straight into water to prevent them oxidising and turning brown. Peel the yam and cut into 2.5 – 5cm (1-2inch) cubes, then rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove the starch.

Step Two : Add the yam to a large pan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 12-15 minutes, until fork tender. (Hard-boil your eggs in the pan at the same time to save on the washing up!) Drain and mash the yams; set the eggs aside.

Step Three : Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan, add the diced onion and saute over a medium heat for a few minutes until soft. Add the prawn / shrimp powder (if using) and stir to combine.

Step Four : Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the oil and onions to the mashed yam, mixing thoroughly, adding a little butter, if needed.

Step Five : Continue adding the oil and onions until it is a dense mash texture, but not a puree. You may not need to use all the oil, so taste and add extra oil and sea salt, if required.

Step Six : Serve in bowls with the hard-boiled egg and the fried, sliced red onion on top, with a green garnish, such as spring onion or coriander, or to really bring out the rich colour, serve with a portion of Crispy Fried Kale.

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Tastes of Ghana – Ghana-Fied Caesar Salad

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2017) and taken from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh.

How about putting a little extra bag into everyone’s favourite dish, the classic Caesar salad, with some tasty Ghanaian ingredients?

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Serves : 4

Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 heaped tablespoon Jollof Dry Spice Mix
1 tblsp rapeseed oil
5-6 dried smoked herring, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes, or 1 can of anchovies
1 large Cos (Romaine) lettuce, leaves separated and roughly chopped or torn into large pieces
1 tblsp sustainable palm oil or carotene oil, for drizzling

For the croutons:
4 thick slices of hard dough bread (butter bread), or crusty white bread
4 tblsp rapeseed oil or olive oil

For the dressing:
50g (1 3/4 oz) Parmesan, shaved
5 tblsp Shito Mayo
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tblsp white wine vinegar
1 tblsp rapeseed oil and olive oil

Step One : Make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180oC / 356oF. Cut the bread into 2-3 cm cubes and spread on a tray. Sprinkle over the oil and some sea salt, then toss together. Bake for 7-8 minutes, turning halfway so that they brown evenly. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Step Two : Season the chicken with the Spice Mix in a bowl, then add the oil and toss.

Step Three : Heat a frying pan, add the chicken and fry for about 4 minutes on each side. Set aside. Drain the fish and break up into smaller pieces.

Step Four : For the dressing, mix half the cheese with the Shit Mayo, garlic and vinegar in a bowl. Loosen with the oil and season to taste with sea salt.

Step Five : Put the lettuce in a large bowl and scatter over the chicken with half the croutons. Add half the dressing and toss together lightly. Top with the remaining chicken, croutons and fish, then drizzle with the dressing. Sprinkle the cheese on top and, or a dash of Ghanaian flavour, drizzle over the palm oil. Serve.

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