Friday, 27 November 2015

Ginger Drink - Two ways!


Oooh! I just love this drink, it's not just satisfying but great and healthy for the body. Ginger drink is a Ghanaian traditional drink usually served at parties. I remember as a child there was always homemade ginger drink at any child's party I went to. We didn't have all these processed juice and drinks now available on the market and besides they were too expensive for the average Ghanaian. I find it very sad that these days processed drinks have taken over our traditional inexpensive yet healthy drinks. This ginger drink is made with fresh ginger which is packed with nutrients and bioactive compounds good for the body and brain. Spices such as Grains of Selim, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon are also included adding to the nutritional benefits of this drink. This ginger drink can be enjoyed chilled or warmed up as a satisfying cuppa to start or finish off the day. That's why I call it Ginger Drink - Two ways! It can be enjoyed all year round. Do try this drink and let me have your feedback.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g Fresh Ginger Peeled
  • 6 Cloves
  • 3 Hwentia (Grains of Selim)
  • 2 Litres of Water
  • 1 Cup Honey or to your taste
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks

METHOD:

1. Wash and peel the ginger. If you can give it a good scrub you may skip peeling.


2. Blend the ginger together with the hwentia and cloves. Add some water to help with the blending. Blend in batches if required.
3. Strain the blended mixture using a colander.
4. Place the chuff in the blender, add some water and re-blend. Strain again. Repeat this step until the juice runs clear from the chuff.
5. Add the honey to the drink and stir well.


6. Add the nutmeg and stir well.
7. Add the cinnamon sticks.
8. Bottle and chill the ginger drink. Serve well chilled or serve as a warm tea.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Green Plantain Chips


Aaah, Ghanaians and Nigerians love their plantain chips, it's eaten usually as a snack and it's popularly sold as street food. I think plantain chips could appear on the top five 'street food snacks on the go' in both countries. We love them so much we have different flavours & sweetness. Some prefer the green plantain chips, for others it's the half ripe plantain chips and for some the sweet ones made from a firmly ripe plantain. This is one snack both Ghanaians and Nigerians have been quite innovative with in terms of flavour. It was traditionally made with just salt but these days, we have kelewele, jollof, suya, sugar, salt & pepper flavours you name it. Any flavour you love can be added to these chips so feel free to experiment with the basic recipe I have shared with you here. As Christmas is just nigh, plantain chips are always a perfect edible gift to give away without breaking your pocket.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 Green Plantains
  • Salt to taste or Suya Spice
  • Oil for frying
METHOD:

1. Wash and peel the green plantains.


2. Thinly slice the plantains into either rounds or oblong shapes. Use a mandolin or food processor.

3. Lightly salt the plantain. You can add suya pepper or any spice you love to it. This is optional.
4. Half fill a small pot with oil and place on the hob to heat up. To check that the oil is hot enough, place a tiny piece of plantain in the oil and when it rises up and fries until golden brown, it means the oil is ready for use.

5. Once hot start frying small batches of the plantain, separating each round as you place them in the oil. You may need to lower the heat to help the plantain to cook thoroughly and crunch up without browning too quickly. Stir continuously to distribute the heat evenly.
6. Fry until golden brown. Don’t let it brown as it will be bitter to the palate. As soon as it has crunched up and golden brown, remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towels.


7. Let it cool down and place in an air tight container or package them in gift bags or container as gifts for friends.



Nkati Cake (Peanut Brittle)

I so love these Ghanaian sweets, they always remind me of my childhood days particularly after church service on Sundays. That was the only time I got to enjoy sweets like nkati cake, kube cake, agbeli kankro and others. Somehow, the vendors of these sweets would always flood the church compound with their delicacies and it was always tempting and pleasurable to be munching on them. These sweets are so simple to make however, Ghanaians prefer to buy them as street food. Once you have got the right formula it's just so easy. I have shared this recipe with you so you can recreate this awesome delicacy in your home. Since we are also nearing a season of love, joy and sharing, I hope you'll take inspiration from this to make edible gifts for your loved ones. They'll cherish the pleasure it'll bring to them and remember you forever. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 Cup Roasted Peanuts (unsalted)
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Water

METHOD:

1. For roasted peanuts check my earlier post here.


2. Line a baking tray with baking sheet.
3. Place the sugar in a pot, add the water and stir. Place the pot on the hob on medium heat.

4. Stir gradually, as soon as it starts to melt and the caramel colour start to form.
5. As the caramel forms, lower the heat and pick up the pot and swirl it.

6. Place the pot back on the heat and repeat step 5 until the sugar has all melted and a brown caramel has formed.
7. Remove from the heat, add the roasted peanuts and stir quickly until all is well coated.

8. Using a soup spoon and teaspoon scoop spoonfuls of the nkati cake. Use the teaspoon to roll it off the spoon onto the baking sheet. Roll the nkatie cake into a ball using your palms. Work quickly to prevent the nkati cake cooling down and hardening.
9. Let the nkati cake cool down and store in air tight containers or wrap them up in gift bags and give them out as gifts for your loved ones.
 

10. Enjoy the nkati cake as a sweet after meals or snacks.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Kube cake

This sweet brings back nostalgia from my young days when we used to attend Martyrs of Uganda Church in Ghana. For me the highlight of the day was munching on one of the sweets sold by the street vendors who flooded the church compound. Oh these vendors had a selection of sweets, from kube cake, nkati cake, maamu and a whole lot more. One of my favourite ones was kube cake. Kube cake is basically coconut brittle. It's so amazing because most African countries have various versions of this sweet. The difference is only in the method of making the sweet. But I can assure you that the Ghanaian version is very nice. Try it and let me have your feedback.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 Cup Shredded Coconut (fresh)
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Water

METHOD:

1. Grate the hard coconut flesh using the bigger holes of the grater.

 

2. Dry toast the grated coconut until lightly brown.


3. Line a baking tray with baking sheet.
4. Place the sugar in a pot, add the water and stir. Place the pot on the hob on medium heat.  

5. Stir gradually until the sugar starts to melt and the caramel colour start to form. 


6. As the caramel forms, lower the heat and pick up the pot and swirl it.
7. Place the pot back on the heat and repeat step 6 until the sugar has all melted and a brown caramel  has formed.


8. Remove from the heat, add the toasted coconut and stir quickly until all is well coated.

9. Using a soup spoon and teaspoon scoop spoonfuls of the kube cake. Use the teaspoon to roll it off the spoon onto the baking sheet. Roll the kube cake into a ball using the spoons to help. Work quickly to prevent the kube cake cooling down and hardening. If it starts to get hard, place on medium heat and work quickly.

10. Let the kube cake cool down and store in air tight containers.
11. Enjoy the kube cake as a sweet after meals or snacks.