Acheke

Acheke is another West African meal most popular in Ivory Coast & Senegal but has found its way to other West African countries such as Ghana. Acheke (pronounced ah-cher-ker) is made from shredded cassava and is a very tasty meal. It is usually served with gravy and grilled fish which is garnished with all sorts of things like lime, parsley leaves, tomatoes, etc. If you live outside West Africa, you can visit any African store preferably run by someone from Ivory Coast, Guinea or Senegal (as it would be easier for them to help you identify Acheke) and ask for Acheke. It is usually sold frozen.

For this post, I decided to to try something different by frying the fish instead of grilling.

Serves 1.

Ingredients

  • Acheke
  • 1 Whole Fish (Grilled or Fried)
  • Tomatoes (2)
  • Dried / Fresh Pepper
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Single Knorr Cube
  • 1/4 Tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Thyme
  • Parsley Leaves (optional)
  • Vegetable Oil

Note: Extra acheke should be stored in the freezer.  It is also better to prepare this last so it hot when ready to serve.

Steps

Acheke after defrosting in microwave.

  • Microwave frozen acheke for about 3 – 4mins.
  • Set aside desired amount to cook in another microwave-able plate putting back the rest of the acheke in the freezer
  • Using your fingers, separate lumps till it becomes grainy (like raw garri or couscous). If it feels dried out sprinkle water over it and rub in with your finger tips once again separating into grains.
  • Place back into microwave for about 1min.
  • Acheke should be a bit moist so if dry after microwaving , sprinkle water as needed
  • Season with 1/4 of knorr, 1/4 Tsp of vegetable oil. Mix to together.
  • Acheke is ready.

To prepare the sauce,

  • Nicely chop washed tomatoes, fresh pepper (for this post, I used 1 small fresh pepper as I don’t eat a lot of pepper), 2 slices of onions.

  • In a clean dry pot, pour a little bit of vegetable/olive oil and heat under mid-low flame. (Need to keep that heart healthy ;))

Vegetable/Olive Oil to be used

  • Stir fry the onions for about 1min and pour in the chopped tomatoes and pepper. Stir fry for another 3 mins.
  • Add salt to taste, rest of the knorr cube, 1/4 Tsp of curry powder and 1/4 Tsp thyme. Mix and allow to fry till the tomatoes and pepper are cooked.
  • Under very low heat to prevent the sauce from over cooking, if using fried fish, put in the fish and stir to allow the sauce to mix well with the fish.

Serve with Kelewele or regular fried plantains and a glass of cool drinking water.

Fufu & Light Soup

Serves 1

Ingredients

Fufu

  • Neat fufu
  • Water

Light Soup

  • Whole tomatoes (4)
  • Fresh red pepper (2-3)
  • Onions (1 small sized)
  • Meat (beef / goat / chicken)
  • Maggi & salt

Steps

Fufu

    • Pour 2 handfull of fufu powder into a clean dry pot and mix properly with water into a thick paste. Ensure to stir properly to prevent lumps in fufu

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    • Put on medium heat and stir. As it gets thicker, begin to knead into a dough.

    • When fufu formed a neat dough, and doesn’t taste floury, fufu is ready. If it still taste raw of floury cover and allow to cook for another 15mins kneading every 5mins to prevent the bottom from burning. When done, remove from heat. Tip: Notice that fufu doesn’t stick to pot anymore while kneading.

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Light Soup

  • Wash tomatoes, pepper and onions. Remove stem of pepper and remove head of onions.
  • Put whole tomatoes, pepper and onions into a clean pot and add 1 cup of water and bring to boil. In the meantime, steam meat.

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  • Remove whole tomatoes, pepper and onions and blend. Don’t discard the boiled water
  • Pour back blended tomatoes into the boiled water, cook for 15 mins then pour the meat stock, add maggi, salt and bring to boil for about 5 mins. Add meat and boil for another 10 mins.
  • Optional step: Sieve the soup to get the clear light look of the soup
  • Light soup is ready.

To serve Ghanaian style, mould fufu into a ball and place in the center of a deep wide bowl. Pour soup with lots of meat over the fufu.

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Zobo Drink

Zobo as it is called in Nigeria, is a very popular drink across Africa. It is also known as Bisap in Ghana and is a very tasty and healthy drink. It is very high in vitamins and has a lot of antioxidants. Great for a hot afternoon.

Makes 1 liter.

Ingredients

  • Dry zobo leaves (dried hibiscus flowers)
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Ginger
  • Garlic

Steps

  • Put 3 hand full of zobo leaves in a clean bowl

Dry Zobo leaves

  • Wash zobo leaves briefly in water as they are usually dusty. Don’t worry about the bleeding, there is more color where that came from. Pick out any sticks or dirt that may be in it. Place in a clean pot

  • Put in 6-8 pineapple chunks, pour in 1 liter of water and cook for 5 mins

  • Add 1/2 Tsp of garlic & thinly sliced garlic (more ginger = more zesty flavor)
  • Cook for 30 mins to allow the leaves & pineapples to soften. Add more water and stir.

  • Remove from heat & allow to cool completely
  • Now take scoops of leaves & pineapples and squeeze out the juice from it, putting aside squeezed batches.
  • Seive the rest to remove all leaves.
  • Using a tight seive or a cloth, sieve again to remove fine particules
  • Add sugar or desired sweetener to taste, stir & turn into bottles or water jug then chill in fridge
  • Zobo is ready to serve

Can be served with a slice of lemon & ice cubes.

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Kelewele

Kelewele is a very tasty Ghanaian dish made from plantain and can be eaten as a snack with roasted peanuts, used as a side with meals like rice, beans or eaten on its own in larger quantity with stew.

Time to make: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • Ripe plantain (2 fingers)
  • 1/2 TBs Ginger (blended or powdered)
  • Salt
  • Pepper (powdered)
  • Oil (Vegetable / Canola)
  • Water
  • Tissue / Colander (Optional)

Steps:

  • Wash plantain and peel the back off
  • Cut plantain into irregular shapes (Or it can be diced)
  • In a bowl, add half a tablespoon of blended or powdered ginger
  • Add salt to taste
  • Add 1 TBs of pepper (could be more or less depending on the hotness of your pepper)
  • Add a little water to moisten mixture a little (as little as 5 drops of water)
  • Heat oil in frying pan with medium heat
  • When ready, fry the plantain in batches (as the size of your frying pan can accomodate)
  • Fry plantain till it is golden brown on both sides and remove from pan unto tissue in a colander/plate/bowl to blot out excess oil.

Kelewele is ready to be servered! 🙂

Eat alone or as a snack with plain peanuts or as a side with plain rice, jollof rice or fried rice.

Kelewele

Meat Pie (Nigerian Style)

Meat pies are very common in Nigeria and serve as a quick snack to keep hunger under control 😉 It is also sometimes eaten after meals or in between meals or even used as light breakfast with tea/coffee. Though it could be a bit involving to prepare, It is super fun and easy to make.

Time to make: 2 – 2.5 hrs

Serves 16.

Ingredients

  • All purpose baking flour (2lbs)
  • Baking powder (1 TBs)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Half Tsp of sugar (optional)
  • Canola/Vegetable Oil
  • Margarine (Note: Butter is NOT a substitute)
  • 1 Egg
  • Carrots (4)
  • Potato (1 oversized or 2 regular sized)
  • Other veggies (peas, tomatoes) (optional)
  • Onions (1 bulb)
  • Ground pepper (optional)
  • Maggi
  • Curry
  • Thyme
  • Seasoning salt
  • Ground beef (1lb)

Other utensils 

  • Basting brush
  • Rolling pin
  • Fork

Steps:

Prepare the meat pie filling

  • Season the ground beef with maggi, seasoning salt, ground pepper, curry, thyme. Allow it to sit for about 15mins for the seasoning to get absorbed into the beef.

Seasoned Ground Beef

  • Place a small amount of oil into a pot and heat under medium flame. Chop the onions and add to hot oil and stir fry for about 3mins.

Onions in hot oil

  • Add the ground beef and allow to cook for about 10mins. Remember to stir the beef periodically so it does not burn or stick together too much. Beef will be brown when cooked.

Ground beef when cooked

  • Wash and dice carrots and potatoes.
  • Add the carrots, potatoes and any other veggies of your choice.
  • Stir and allow to cook for about 7mins and add about 1 teaspoon of ground pepper (note if pepper is really hot, reduce amount used), 1 maggi cube and salt to taste.
  • Mix 2 spoons of flour in a cup with a little water and pour into filling. Stir and cook for about 5 mins and reduce the heat. (Remember to taste the filling and add more seasoning spice to desired taste)
  • Stir and cook till potatoes is cooked.
  • Remove filling from heat and set aside.

Prepare the dough

  • Pour the flour into a bowl, add the baking powder, salt and sugar.
  • Using your fingers, mix the flour together.
  • Now add the butter and using your fingers again, mix the margarine in till the flour mix is grainy. (Tip: For crispiness, don”t use your palm. Keep the mixing to just your fingers)
  • Slowly add cold water to the flour mix and using your hands start to knead into a dough and keep adding water till a stiff dough is formed as you knead. If you added to much water, just add more flour.
  • Knead the dough to a fine state. (It should not stick to the bowl & should have some elasticity at this stage)
  • On a chopping board or clean kitchen counter, take a piece of the dough & flatten out using the rolling pin till it is smooth and about 1.5 thickness.

Flattened dough

  • Once flat and smooth, use a small pot cover or dough cutter to cut out a circle. (Do this for the entire dough)

Cut out dough

  • Place some filling unto the lower half of the circle
  • Beat the egg and using a basting brush, line the edge of the circle. This helps seal the dough shut.

Egg lining

  • Cover filling with the upper half of the circle and using the underside of the fork, close the pie. Then stick the fork in the center of the pie to make air pockets.
  • After using up the entire dough or filling, use the basting brush to grease the top of the pies with the remaining egg.

Pies greased with eggs and placed on margarine greased oven tray

  • Preheat the oven using bake ( @ 350 degrees)
  • Place the pies on greased oven tray.
  • Once oven is done preheating, place the pies in the oven and cook for about 25 – 30mins.
  • Pies should be light brown and dough fully cooked when ready.
  • Meat pies are ready to serve! 🙂

Ready to devour!

Serve with a nice cold drink or with ice cream.

Moi Moi (Bean Cake)

Time to make: 2hrs – 2.5hrs

Ingredients

  • Beans
  • Vegetable/Canola Oil
  • Eggs (3)
  • Tomatoes
  • Crayfish
  • Maggi
  • Salt
  • Onions
  • Pepper (fresh or dried)
  • Warm Water (optional)

Other requirements

  • Blender
  • Foil paper or aluminum tins with covers
  • Bowl
  • Wooden spoon

Steps:

  • Shell the beans using a blender (Using the pulse button for 1 sec each) or soak it for 30mins in hot water to soften the shell and hand wash to remove the shell.

    Raw unshelled beans

  • Sieve out the shell leaving just the cleaned beans.

    Raw shelled beans

  • Boil the eggs, when ready, slice and set aside

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    Boiled and sliced eggs

  • Wash the tomatoes and pepper and blend together with the clean beans and chopped onions.
  • Now turn the mixture into a bowl, add maggi, crayfish, tablespoon of oil, salt and stir properly with the wooden spoon. Tip: if the mixture is too thick, add warm water as needed.

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    Blended beans, tomatoes, onions

  • If using foil paper, cut them and fold into pockets. Now coat the foil pockets or aluminum tins & covers with a little oil to prevent the mixture from sticking.
  • Pour the mixture into the foil pockets or aluminum tins, filling them half way to allow enough space for the mixture to swell and cook properly. Place as much sliced eggs into the each portion as you desire.
  • Add a little water to the pot and place the tins or foil pockets into the pot.
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    Water Level

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    Moi moi in tin placed in pot

  • Cook under medium heat for about 30-45 mins.
    • Note: The steam cooks the meal so remember to cover the pot properly.
    • Also, periodically check the water level in the pot, if it is dried or too low, add more water and continue to cook till meal is ready.
  • To check when Moimoi is ready, place a knife into the moi moi. If the knife comes out clean/dry it is cooked.
  • Now enjoy 🙂


Moi moi is a very delicious meal and can be eaten alone or served with stew / the variations of rice meals / garri solution.

Abacha (African Salad)

Abacha is a staple food from the Eastern part of Nigeria. It is also known as African salad, with a base ingredient of dried and shredded cassava. It is delicious and easy to prepare.

Time to make:

Ingredients

    • 2 cups of Abacha (dried shredded cassava)
    • Palm Oil
    • Garden eggs 3
    • 3 Tbs Crayfish
    • Onions
    • Maggi
    • Dried pepper
    • 1 Tsp Iru (Locust beans)
    • 1/2 teaspoon Akau (Cooking Potash)
    • 1/4 cup chopped scented leaf (African Blue Basil)
    • Dried fish / Cooked Beef

Steps

    • Soak the abacha in hot water till it’s soft (25-30mins) then drain out the water
    • Bleach the palm oil for about 5mins and leave to cool
    • Dissolve the akau in 1 table spoon of hot water.
    • In a clean pot mix the bleached oil, akau, dried fish/meat, crayfish, abacha, onions, iru, diced garden eggs, salt, maggi and pepper.
    • Sprinkle on scent leaf and serve