15 Jul How to prepare Banku and Okro Soup/Stew – a traditional Ghanaian dish
Whenever I travel a country one important thing that I always do is trying the local food. Especially with the African cuisine I fell in love with a long time ago. So far, I haven’t been to Ghana but I was introduced to the Ghanaian cuisine by my friend Eric, which I met in Cape Town. He is an amazing chef, originally from Ghana, a country in West Africa. We had a traditional Ghanaian dish called Banku and Okro Soup/ Stew. Okro is a vegetable with many health benefits (note: Ghanaians call okra “okro”). It is the main ingredient for a stew. In Ghana it is common to add meat or fish or both in the stew. Banku is one of the staple foods in Ghana. Basically, it is a mix of fermented corn and cassava, served on the side of many Ghanaian dishes. Banku with Okro Soup/ Stew is super yummy and fortunately, I convinced Eric to share his recipe with me. Would you like to cook it by yourself? Here you can find the recipe. At the bottom of this post you are going to find a video of how to prepare it.
What you need for 4 people:
- 2 medium onions
- 3 chilies
- 1 big silverfish but you can also use any other fish
- 100 g of baby spinach
- 200 g of okra (note: Ghanaians call okra “okro”)
- 3 garden eggs (substitute it with eggplants)
- 4 tomatoes
- palm oil (substitute it with olive oil)
- 1 Maggi cube
- ½ pounds of cassava dough (cassava is a vegetable and one of the major staple foods in Africa)
- 1 pound of corn dough
- 1 cup of water
- salt to taste
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How to prepare the Okro Soup/ Stew:
Wash the fish, remove the guts and cut the fish into 5 cm thick pieces. Blend garlic, onion, chili and ginger. Heat up some water in a pot, add the fish as well as the blended ingredients and cook everything for about 15 minutes.
Chop garden eggs, okro and tomato. Cook the garden eggs for about 10 minutes. Once they are soft, add okro and cook everything for another 10 minutes. Heat up palm oil in a pan and fry chopped onions. Then add the tomatoes and cook onions and tomatoes for about 5 minutes. Finally you add the fish soup, the fish, the Maggi cube as well as the garden egg-okro mix. Cook everything for about 5 minutes then add the spinach and cook it for another 5 minutes – done!
How to do the Banku:
Mix ½ cup of water with the cassava dough and pour it through a strainer to ensure that there will be no lumps. Add the corn dough, some salt and mix everything until the mixture becomes smooth. Put the mixture over medium fire, add another ½ cup of water and continue to mix. Stirring will become more difficult now (note: use a wooden spoon) as the dough is becoming thicker. Use a napkin to hold the pod while stirring. When the water is reduced, reduce the heat and knead the mixture until it´s smooth and sticky.
Ready to be served.
How to eat it:
In most African countries people don´t use cutlery for eating – they use their hands. Dish up a bit of the banku, the okro soup/ stew and the fish. Wash your hands 🙂 Form a little ball from the banku to dip in the okro soup/ stew and pick up a piece of fish.
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Would you like to check out more traditional recipes of the
countries I traveled to? Here we go!
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