Waakye! Ghana’s soul food
It is World Food Day.
World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on October 16 in honour of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.
Globally, there are a variety of foods and every country has a food which most of its citizens prefer and in Ghana, waakye has won the hearts of people.
Waakye is a Ghanaian dish cooked with rice and beans. The rice is cooked with an indigenous leaf and black-eyed peas or kidney beans. It is commonly prepared in the home but also sold by roadside vendors
This delicacy, mostly eaten as breakfast, could pass as the world’s best food should there be a competition like that. Maybe after the infamous Ghana Jollof. Wink!
The staple food is absolutely loved by Ghanaians and even foreigners who have given various testimonies.
Although it is cooked in some homes, the ideal choice is when it is bought from food vendors.
During rush hours in the morning, one is most likely to see a queue made up of workers and students alike, waiting patiently for their turn at their favourite waakye spot. However, the most annoying part is when one person is buying for more than 10 people.
Like an energy booster, once the individual gets to his or her destination (work, school, or home) there is no time wasting when it comes to devouring. It brings a certain kind of fulfilment after the leaf or the plate is emptied.
Waakye is best served in wrapped leaves known as the katemfe plant or the miracle plant, sweet prayer plant or ewe moi-moi. This leaf is known to possess several benefits and its aroma excites the appetite of the eater
The katemfe plant is the source of Thaumatin (a non-nutritive sweetener, i.e. a sweetener which delivers little or no calories to the body when consumed), an extremely sweet protein.
Some accompaniments that go with waakye include gari, spaghetti, salad, and any protein of one’s choice, plantain and pear. The spicy pepper sauce known as shito and waakye stew is the icing on the cake.
You can never go wrong with Ghanaian waakye!
Below is a video of how to prepare waakye.