My Big Fat Ghanaian BreakfastWritten by:Zoe on: June 24, 2013
Breakfast has been happening around three times a day. Well for me anyway. Ghanaian hospitality is such that my Grandma insists on feeding me as many times a day as possible. I lay in bed in the morning, scared to make a sound for fear if heard – a plate of food will be presented to me before my morning wee.
My average breakfasting routine at Grandma’s House:
6.15 am – Wake up.
6.30 am – Mercy (pictured) prepares a flask of hot water so I can ‘take’ tea and hard dough bread. In Ghana ‘tea’ means any hot drink – I have a choice of Milo, Ovaltine, sachet coffee or recently Lipton’s breakfast tea (I am being spoilt)
7.00 am – Omellete and ‘Beef’ sausages
7.30 am – Rice water or oats
9.00 am – Yams or rice with chicken, goat or mixed meat stew
9.30 am – Go back to bed for a nap.
I’m pretty sure, in fact I know, that no-one else in the house is eating such full and frequent breakfast’s.
Aunty Evelyn ‘takes’ either Waakye for breakfast or Rice Water.
Rice water is boiled rice and water – you can add sugar or creamy milk – it’s pretty much the same as Ambrosia Creamed Rice, just less sweet and more tasty.
Uncle Francis ‘takes’ one of the following – sometimes I’m also allowed to try a local breakfast too…
Mpoto Mpoto – Coco Yams chopped into little pieces, boiled, then you add a little salt and little pepper and palm oil
Tom Brown – Fried then grounded maize (corn) mixed with water and made into porridge, taken with hard dough bread (the hard dough bread is a sweet bread but tastes much sweeter here with a hint of cinnamon and smells of hot cross buns …)
Kooko – Grounded Maize (not fried) also mixed with water. This has the consistency of baby food or a certain brand of chicken soup from a can. It tastes like smelted Kenkey – that’s because they are different forms of the same thing – grounded maize. As with Kenkey – it’s pretty bland so I added sugar and carnation milk – it was still pretty bland. Not wanting to offend I ate the whole never ending bowl but suggested it could do with spicing up to which Ernest replied “Oh yes… Hausa Kooko – this one has spices and such blended in – I think you will like this one.” So my mission is to track down some Hausa Kooko before I leave and will definitely experiment with this one when I get home.
Francis loves Kooko and ate a bucket bowl of it. He recommends it for “when you are ill or have a fever and can’t take food – it makes you wee a lot and the fever disappears.” He finished with a hearty laugh.
How to Make Kooko
Buy some ground maize. Put a pot of water on to boil – about 2 cups or as much as you want to make. Rinse the ground maize with water as if panning then sieve. Add the sieved maize to the boiling water and stir continuously. It get thick pretty fast so be vigilant. You can add more water if it’s too thick – and add a pinch of salt. Keep stirring until it’s a consistency you like and BOOM. It’s done. Serve with hard dough bread.