Anyone who’s ever been to Ghana, West Africa, will tell you that the food there is delicious. However, if you’re not used to African cuisine, finding some of the traditional Ghanaian foods in restaurants back home can be hard.
The good news is that many traditional Ghanaian foods don’t require much preparation.
Plus, they can be enjoyed by people of all ages, even if you don’t happen to have any Ghanaian restaurants in your area.
Here are some of the best traditional Ghanaian foods that are simple to make and burst with flavor.
Since Ghana is a country in West Africa, foods that are popular elsewhere in the continent can also become common there.
The first on our list of traditional Ghanaian foods, Boflot, is no exception. It is a common African sweet dish created with ingredients including flour, sugar, yeast, butter, and others.
Locals occasionally substitute baking powder for yeast to produce a fluffy texture. These deep-fried balls can be coated in sugar or various flavors, including vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and more. Also, you can find it rather comparable to the French beignet and the Italian zeppole.
In addition to its name in Ghana, this treat is known as Legemat, Vetkoek, Amagwinya, and other names in other nations. It is known as Mandazi in Rwandan cuisine.
Millet is a grain that humans have eaten for centuries. It’s the main staple food in Burkina Faso, making up the base of these traditional Ghanaian food recipes. Burkina Faso is located in Western Africa, just south of Mali and Niger.
Further, Millet can be ground into flour to make flat bread or used as porridge. It can also be cooked with leaves from palm trees, making it easy to digest for people with stomach issues.
A millet smoothie made with sugar cane juice is very popular in West Africa, and its taste buds will sing after one bite!
Sobolo is a traditional bissap drink in Ghana that’s usually consumed during funerals. But it is also served at other events such as birthdays and New Year celebrations.
It’s often served with fried plantains or boiled eggs, and the drink itself is made of water, sugar, ginger, and bissap fruit.
Being one of the traditional Ghanaian foods, Bissap comes from a tropical tree known as the bissa bush.
The berries grow on the tree year-round with different flavors depending on when they’re picked. They can range from sour to sweet to tangy to pungent, depending on what time of day you pick them!
Despite being from Ghana, where it originated, fufu is a popular dish in Central and Western Africa. It first appeared in the 16th century due to Brazilian Portuguese commerce.
Instead of “Fufu,” as many people do today, the initial name was “Fufuo.” Young Ghanaian women must learn the fundamentals of making fufu.
They must understand the right methods for fermenting cassava and rolling it into balls. To achieve the appropriate texture, folks will additionally boil green plantains or cocoyams with cassava.
The natives adore the thick texture, but it becomes tender and chewy when combined with soups like tomato, egusi, or groundnut. It is likewise one of the traditional Ghanaian foods that are so filling!
What’s more? Fufu is widely available in most supermarkets and grocery stores in West Africa. However, try it at an African restaurant near you for a more authentic taste. Fufu is abundant in Nigeria as it’s one of the most popular dishes there.
5. Local Yam Flour Meal
Traditional Ghanaian foods are known for their diversity and attention to detail in the dish’s preparation. One such dish is the local yam flour meal. This dish comprises yams, ground crayfish, palm oil, pepper, and salt.
First, the yams are boiled until they are cooked and then mashed into a smooth paste with a little water added to it. A few palm nuts are crushed and mixed with this paste, giving it its distinct flavor.
Then, the mixture is flavored with salt and pepper before being wrapped in banana leaves or foil paper.
After that, they are finally steamed over boiling water. The steaming process takes around 30 minutes before the final product can be removed from the pot to cool off enough. This is so that it can be eaten without burning oneself on the hot food!
6. Steamed Black
Steamed black-eyed peas pudding is one of the most popular traditional Ghanaian foods. It is a steamed dish that originates from Northern Ghana, but it is eaten all over the country. This dish is made by cooking yellow cornmeal with black-eyed peas and water.
It forms a thick paste that can be steamed for a few minutes or boiled until it becomes pudding-like in texture. The dish may be served alone, with fish, groundnut soup, or soup beans.
Traditional African dishes like kokonte can be found in Togo, Ghana, and other countries. Numerous ethnic groups consume it, including the Hausa, Akan, and Ga.
The meal is made differently by each tribe using various components. Kokonte can therefore be found in various hues, including gray, green, and brown.
Due to its use by the lower classes in earlier societies, some people commonly refer to it as “Face The Wall.”
The indigenous using dried yam or cassava prepares the dish. It turns darker as the components become more dried out.
Even though it is among the least expensive main courses that the poor may purchase, it is nevertheless excellent.
When you place an order, the chefs can advise you to pair a bowl of Kokonte with soups, gravy, or ground pepper. Kokonte is one of the best traditional Ghanaian foods that will make you want more of it!
8. Kontomire Stew
Kontomire Stew is one of the various traditional Ghanaian foods that will make your taste buds sing. Kontomire is made from the plant’s leaves of the same name, which are boiled in water.
Then, they are combined with palm oil, onions, beef or goat meat, tomatoes, and other spices to produce a hearty stew. The dish is a staple at celebrations and gatherings across Ghana. It’s traditionally served with rice or fufu.
9. Steamed Fermented Cornmeal
Fermented cornmeal, or nsima as it’s known in Ghana, is the staple food of many West African countries.
Made from ground corn, wheat or sorghum flour, and water, fermented cornmeal is steamed over a pot with a cover on top.
Further, it’s eaten by tearing off pieces of doughy bread and dipping them into sauces made from tomatoes, onions, beans, and spices.
Fermented cornmeal can also be used to make fufu; a doughy dish served with a soup (like okra soup) to help soften it up. Of all the traditional Ghanaian foods, give this cornmeal a try and let your taste buds be the judge!
10. Fermented White Corn
In traditional Ghana, fermented white corn is served as a side dish with fried fish. After boiling the corn, it is mashed and mixed with hot water, salt, palm oil, and pepper.
Next, the mixture is placed in a bowl and covered with a clean cloth for about 24 hours to ferment. It is then served as an accompaniment to fried fish or beef stew.
If you have guests coming over and wish to impress them with traditional Ghanaian foods, you can’t go wrong with this fermented white corn!
11. Ghanaian Yam Balls
Compared to other traditional Ghanaian foods, Ghanaian Yam Balls are a popular dish in Ghana. They are deep-fried balls made from yam, which is similar to a potato.
Proceeding the balls are then spiced with pepper and salt. These tasty balls can be eaten as an appetizer or used in any recipe that calls for mashed yams.
12. Okra Stew
A meal in the traditional Ghanaian diet would not be complete without okra. Okra stew is a popular dish because of its low cost and high nutritional value.
It is made by cooking okra in a tomato-based sauce with various spices, giving it a hearty taste. The dish is considered one of the most famous dishes in West Africa.
What’s more? This dish is a staple in Ghana and has been for centuries. It is traditionally served as a side dish with many different dishes. But it can also be served as the main dish.
Besides, Okra stew is made from okra, tomatoes, onions, and spices. The mixture is then simmered until it reaches the desired consistency.
This dish, on the list of traditional Ghanaian foods, is vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly!
13. Ghanaian Fried Rice
Ghanaian fried rice is one of the traditional Ghanaian foods that are simple and quick to make. It’s a dish that tastes great with any kind of meat, including beef, pork, chicken, or even shrimp.
Here are the steps for making it: First, in a pot on medium heat, cook chopped onion until tender. Next, add in white rice and stir to cover in oil for about 10 seconds.
Add in chicken broth and bring to a boil; then, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. In another pan on medium-high heat, fry ground beef until it’s no longer pink inside and set aside.
14. Rice Balls
The most traditional Ghanaian foods are rice balls. Rice balls are served with various sauces, but the most popular is palm nut sauce.
Rice balls are made by preparing ground-cooked rice, mixing it with coconut milk, and forming it into a ball before frying it in oil. They are often eaten as a side dish or for breakfast with tea or coffee.
15. Jollof Rice
Jollof rice is a traditional Ghanaian food. It is made with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, thyme leaves, and vegetable oil. The rice is cooked, and then the ingredients are added.
After that, it is simmered on low heat for about 30 minutes or until the liquid evaporates to produce a thick sauce.
The dish is traditionally eaten at celebrations such as weddings and Christmas parties. Thinking these traditional Ghanaian foods cannot sway you? Try this Jollof rice first!
16. Boiled Yam, Cocoyam, and Plantain
Boiled yam, cocoyam, and plantain are some of the most popular traditional Ghanaian foods. Boiled yams are a staple of many meals and can be served with an array of sauces such as ginger, pepper sauce, and groundnut soup.
Cocoyams (also called eddoes) can be eaten boiled or fried with a blend of spices like thyme, salt, pepper, and onions.
On the other hand, plantains can also be eaten boiled or fried with a blend of spices. Spices such as thyme, salt, pepper, and onions, depending on the desired taste.
17. Spicy Fried Plantains
Fried plantains are a dish that is enjoyed in many countries, but they have a unique taste when prepared and served traditionally.
You can find fried plantains at most street food vendors across Ghana or in most homes with some regularity.
The frying process begins by boiling the unpeeled bananas for a few minutes until soft, then removing them from the heat and peeling them.
After being peeled, the plantain is cut into small pieces before frying. The cooking oil is heated to medium-high before adding the plantain pieces to fry until crispy on both sides.
They are removed from the oil and set aside to cool slightly before eating. There you have them, one of the sumptuous traditional Ghanaian foods!
18. Bean Stew
As a nation with a rich culture and diverse food tastes, many dishes make their way onto the list of traditional Ghanaian foods.
One of these is the Bean Stew, traditionally served as part of the main meal. The dish originates from the Ashanti region in Ghana, which is still popular today.
Meanwhile, the ingredients for this dish include black-eyed peas, smoked or dried fish, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and garlic.
This stew can be made with other beans like red kidney beans or cowpeas. However, it must contain some type of protein, such as either beef or smoked fish, to make it complete.
19. Spicy Millet Porridge
The dish most commonly known as porridge in the Western world is a staple breakfast food in Ghana. It is also known as kenkey; a name derived from the English word cake because of its texture and consistency. Kenkey is made from millet flour, which is a gluten-free grain high in fiber and iron.
Additionally, Kenkey can be served with any number of delicious toppings, such as bean stew or tuna fish. Today, kenkey has been modernized to include ingredients like spinach or kale for added nutrients and color.
You can find this one of the traditional Ghanaian foods at almost every market in Accra. So it’s no wonder that it’s such a popular breakfast food!
20. Rice Water
One of the most well-known traditional Ghanaian foods is rice water. This is done by boiling rice in water for a few minutes and draining the liquid.
The liquid is then left to cool before being served as a soup or used as an ingredient in other recipes.
Rice water is typically eaten with groundnut sauce and sometimes with palm oil, green pepper, or tomato paste. It can also be drunk like tea without any additional ingredients.
The history of rice water is debated among scholars, but it’s thought to have originated with some form of porridge. This porridge was popular among West Africans long before European colonization.
21. Ghanaian Bread
On the list of traditional Ghanaian foods, Ghanaian bread is a staple in the country. It is made from a dough called fufu, ground, and boiled plantain, cassava, yam, or millet flour. These ingredients are mixed with water and gradually added to boiling water in a cloth bag.
The dough becomes soft as it cooks and can be eaten with fish, soup, or kenkey (a type of cornmeal porridge).
This food is also popular because it can last days without spoiling if stored properly. Most people in the country enjoy Ghanaian bread at every meal.
22. Cooked Rice and Beans
A dish that’s eaten in many countries around the world, rice, and beans is a favorite among many. In Ghana, this dish is prepared in various ways to create new flavors for your taste buds.
From spicy dishes like Akuamfo to milder dishes like Jollof Rice, there’s something for everyone! All in all, cooked rice and beans are part of these traditional Ghanaian foods that will make your taste buds sing!
23. Maize or Millet Soup
Maize or millet soup is a traditional Ghanaian dish. It is usually served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Maize or millet soup can be made with chicken, beef, fish, or eggs.
Equally important to note, it is one of the traditional Ghanaian foods that will get you salivating just sighting it!
However, some people like adding potatoes to the mix to make it richer in flavor and filling. This dish is often accompanied by a side dish of fried plantain (green bananas) and fresh vegetables like cabbage.
The best thing about this dish is that you can make it with just about any meat you want: beef, fish, and lamb are all popular varieties.
The only requirement is that it must have bones to get the right taste and texture of the broth.
24. Fermented Corn and Cassava Dough
This is not left out of this list of traditional Ghanaian foods. Fufu is a traditional Ghanaian food that is made from cassava and fermented corn dough.
It is usually served with soup but can also be eaten as a snack. Fufu is versatile and can be eaten with meat, fish, eggs, or beans.
Now, a side dish called banku can also be served with fufu as it is made from fermented corn dough and steamed to form buns.
Banku is often served as breakfast or for lunchtime meals in the country of Ghana. They are often filled with beef or fish, but some people like to eat them plain because they have a sweet taste to them.
Banka bread is another type of bread that the people of Ghana enjoy eating with their meals.
25. Coarsely Ground Fermented Cassava
Coarsely Ground Fermented Cassava is a type of cassava that has been finely processed and fermented.
The fermentation process makes the cassava more easily digestible. Coarsely Ground Fermented Cassava can be made from raw or cooked cassava.
However, it is often made from cooked root and mashed into a paste. This food is consumed mainly in Western Africa, including Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast. This wraps up our list of delectable traditional Ghanaian foods!
The African continent’s wide array of food also extends to Ghana. This is where many different traditional Ghanaian foods are prepared and served daily by families across the country.
The following are some of the traditional Ghanaian foods that will make your taste buds sing with delight!