Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ghana Style Rice and Beans

I thought since many of us are doing the "rice and beans" method of getting out of debt, it would be appropriate to show you a dish very common here in Ghana. There's a sauce and toppings, so it seems pretty "dressed up" and not so plain. It's actually a great dish and is served when there are guests from the states. You can pick which toppings to add. We like it with everything!

Recipe for Wa Kyi (pronounced wah-chi, or wa-chee)
This dish would be like the West African version of the haystack. Very yummy!

1 c. dried small red beans
Sliced onions and chopped garlic (optional, but adds nice flavor to the beans)
Water to cover
2 c. rice
About 4 c. more water

Sort & rinse the beans. Then soak the beans in water for 8-12 hours. Drain and rinse the beans. Adding the onions and garlic if desired, cook in a dutch oven (or other large enough pot for adding the rice and additional water later) in water to cover until soft. Then add the rice and the additional water. Cook until done adding water if needed and stirring as needed. Taste to make sure all is cooked through.

Red Sauce:

Sauté in a 3 quart saucepan or larger:
1/4 - ½ c. palm oil (not red palm oil, any mild flavored oil will work)
1 large sliced red onion

Mix together:
1 ½ c. tomato paste
4 c. water
1 t. red pepper (for medium spicy…if you want mild, use half this amount…not black pepper)
3 bouillon cubes (or about 2 tsp. seasoned salt)
1 t. curry powder
1 t. dried ginger powder
salt (optional)

Add to the oil and onions. Cook until oil rises to the top. Serve warm.

Other toppings for Wa Kyi:
Cabbage, finely shredded
Tomatoes, chopped
Onion, finely diced
Green pepper, chopped (my addition)
Carrots, shredded (my addition)
Cooked angel hair/spaghetti - can use wheat free pasta (optional)
Gari (a cassava product that looks like parmesan cheese… it mostly soaks up the sauce – you might get the same idea using finely ground tapioca, which is also made from the cassava root vegetable. Other options for this might be bread crumbs or crushed crackers.)

To serve: set out the rice and bean mix, the red sauce, and all the toppings. Let everyone serve themselves haystack style, adding what they like. Enjoy!

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For more kitchen tips, check out Tammy's Recipes.


Mimi said...

I LOVE rice and beans. thank you for the recipe, I'm going to make this for dinner tomorrow night with a batch of corn muffins.

Miranda said...

Thank you for posting this recipe. I just returned from Ghana to help build a school for a village and I loved the red sauce they made for us. I am excited to share it with my friends back here in the U.S.