If you are not familiar with the tastes, flavors and foods of Ghana, you soon will be. London-based writer and cook, Zoe Adjonyoh, is making waves in the culinary scene there and soon the U.S. with her take on the cuisine she grew up with. “I believe we are on the cusp of an African food revolution. For too long, Africans have kept this incredible food a greedy secret,” says Adjonyoh.
“Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen,” is an ode to her Ghanaian heritage that takes readers on a delicious culinary journey with stories and more than 75 recipes. The book is a collection of homemade favorites and remixed traditional Ghanaian dishes from her childhood and life as a cook. From spending time in her grandmother’s kitchen during family visits to being an understudy with her “aunties” or owners of a Ghanaian grocery store, Adijonyoh was determined to learn more about the culture and food that was introduced by her Ghanaian father.
Divided into seven sections that include Salads, Veggie Dishes, Meat, Fish and Seafood, Drinks and Desserts, you’ll want to take your time with this book as it is filled with some of the yummiest remixed dishes from the West African country. We suggest getting familiar with the spices and herbs commonly used in Ghanaian cooking. But there is no surprise here as you will find a staple list of chilies, cumin, curry powder, ginger, garlic, cloves, and cinnamon to name a few. However, you will want to spend more than a few minutes getting to know some of the accompaniments and flavor enhancers that make Ghanaian cuisine a culinary draw: banku (fermented cornmeal), dokon (fermented corn dough), fufu and agushi (dried melon seeds).
Exploration of this cookbook should be slow as to savor each recipe that is beautifully styled and presented. To whet your appetite, let’s give you a little taste of the recipes remixed for your own modern kitchen:
- Kelewele (spiced plantain), page 44
- Ghana- Fried Caesar Salad, page 61
- Smoked Fish Stew, page 98
- Kyinkyinga (Suya goat kebabs), page 12
- Jollof Fried Chicken, page 138
- Cubeb Spice Shortbread, page 179
- Krispy Fried Kale, page 200
- Akara/Koose (black-eyed bean fritters), page 207
- Sobolo (sorrel juice), page 214
Prepare to also spend a day just playing around with simple recipes for her chutneys, butters, and dips and don’t forget that is all about the sauce, the Chale sauce to be exact. Adjonyoh takes her father’s recipe that he used for everyday dishes and makes it her own. The sauce is tomato-based and goes great with any type of protein. The best part is that you can make it as hot as you want and as much as you want, storing the rest for later.
Lastly, every cook has a culinary soundtrack and Adjonyoh is no different. Be sure to get your groove on with one of her playlists carefully curated throughout the book. The cook notes that music has always played an important part in her life given her dad’s massive collection. So, it is only natural that she joined them together to create the unforgettable experiences for diners as she shows why Ghanaian Cuisine is so incredible.
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