World Cup Cuisine – Ghanaian Nkrakra

Posted By Stephen

Ghanaian food is something that we have been planning to try for a while but somehow have never got around to it. One thing in particular that we were keen to try was a peanut soup. But when searching for something to cook for today as Ghana was playing we found Nkrakra, which is a beef and vegetable soup / stew.

This included beef and squash, with the squash cooked with the beef and then taken out, mashed and returned to the pot. It also contained French beans and chopped tomato and was spiced up with dried ginger and chilli. The result was quite similar to what I had expected it would be, but was somehow rather “plain” and felt that it could do with a little more flavour concentration. The simple process of simmering the meat without browning it first and not containing anything like onion, garlic, etc probably contributed to that. However, having said that, I still enjoyed it and felt it was an interesting experiment – always good to try something new and maybe that’s just how it is supposed to taste and doesn’t need to be shoehorned into common European culinary ideals.

Jun 13th, 2010

5 Comments to 'World Cup Cuisine – Ghanaian Nkrakra'

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  1. Jonathan said,

    Ah! Ghanaian food. I spent 3 months eating Ghanaian staples in Accra. If you want to try another dish, try palaver sauce with lots of shito.

    Or buy a large tilapia and bbq it with lots of chilli, peppers, onion and magi.

    Check out The Congo Cookbook for lots of African recipes.
    .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..Salted Duck with Roasted Sunchoke and Grapefruit Salad =-.

  2. Interesing similarities to Haitian joumou soup/stew, which I also found a little bland… but as you say, maye that’s just our palates being Eurocentric 😉
    .-= Jeanne @ CookSister!´s last blog ..Saturday Snapshots #94 =-.

  3. Helen said,

    I love African food!

    Have you ever had anything form Joloff Pot who are caterers? I used them all the time when I needed to order in lunches. I always got enough extra to fill the freezer.
    .-= Helen´s last blog ..Smoked Mackerel Gratin =-.

  4. Abi said,

    Hi Stephen,
    I’m not a food blogger, just a foodie.
    African food- meat particularly when seethed, have onions and spices added whether it is stated in the recipe or not. Africans season food with onions, garlic, ginger and chilli powder or scotch bonnet routinely. There are of course other seasonings peculiar to West Africa like Iru (fermented lentils), Ogiri (also called Ogili) which are fermented melon seeds and Cameroun pepper which are commoner in the French speaking countries.
    They all pack an enormous amount of outstanding flavour, but most ‘modern’ African cooks abroad appear not to cook with them. I know they are not easily available outside of Africa, but they are not rare. I get mine from shops in Woolwich, Peckham and Dalston every once in a while and store in the fridge or freezer.
    Sorry the recipe you tried was written in the African way without stating every detail. We tend to do that. No African stew is tasteless if cooked properly. I’m not Ghanaian, but I’ve sampled African cooking from all over so I do know.
    Next time you’d like some African, try any of these Nigerians- jollof rice with fried chicken and dodo (fried plantain); Nigerian fried rice with dodo; Ijebu savoury sauce served with any of boiled rice, boiled plantain or boiled yam. All yummy!

  5. Stephen said,

    Abi, thanks for all the helpful detail! I do definitely plan to try cooking this type of food again, so will keep that all in mind. After taking a trip to Peckham or Dalston to stock up on ingredients.

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