Ghanaian food is similar to food in many other African countries, but when I first came here I hadn’t tried much food similar to the local food here, like fufu, banku, red red, waakye and so on. For those of you who are yet to experience the local foods, fufu is made of plantain and cassava which you boil and then pound to make it into a smooth, dough like dish to be eaten with groundnut soup, palm nut soup or light soup.
When my parents came to visit in January 2014 we went to the village to visit my host parents and here they all are pounding fufu outside the house where my host parents were living. I also tried pounding it but I was absolutely terrible because I was so nervous I would accidentally hit maa Do on the fingers while she was turning it over.
As usual when I travel it is not the easiest thing being a vegetarian, but there are some options and when I’m eating fufu I usually ask them to bring me the fufu with groundnut soup and boiled egg. (I gave up being a vegan when I came here.) This is probably slightly outrageous to non-vegetarian taste buds, but I don’t think it’s bad at all, the soup is spicy and nice and it’s important to get some protein even as a vegetarian.
Yes, this dish is to be eaten with your hands. I’ve been struggling a bit to manage eating soup with my hands, I won’t say that I have mastered it, but I will at least make it through the meal 😉
In Accra there are even a couple of vegetarian, Ghanaian restaurants. If you want to get local food but the vegetarian way I can recommend Asaase pa, close to the Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum. There you can get your fufu and groundnut soup with vegetables instead of fish or meat and you can have waakye (rice and beans) with vegetable stew and some veggie kebabs made of soy bean or wheat, yum!
All this writing about food has made me hungry, true to my foodian nature. Foodian is a Ghanaian expression that maa Do taught Mana and I in 2009, it is used to describe someone who loves to eat. Lucky me, I have some red red just waiting for me to dig in!