Thursday, November 12, 2009

Waakye and Tomato Gravy

Mmm...Mmm! Smells like Ghana in my house! Tomorrow we are hosting a get together for young families in our church. Looks like we could have about 30 people all together (mostly kids! LOL!). We're not sure exactly how all of these people are going to fit in our house, but I guess those things usually work out.
The theme tomorrow night is Africa! So everybody is bringing an African dish to share. Our church is extremely diverse. We have maybe 75 people in our church (?) but included are families with ties to Ghana (us), Ethiopia (another adoptive family), Kenya (immigrant hubby), and three families from S. Africa (here for work)! These are just the "Africa" families!

I am ashamed to admit that I haven't cooked Ghanaian food much for our family. Kendi and Bright love it (of course) but the rest of the family isn't too impressed. Hopefully this round of foods will be a bigger hit. In the past I've made Tom Brown, Red Red, and fried plantain. For the fellowship tomorrow I decided to make Waakye, Tomato Gravy, and Chicken Jollof. Yum!

I made the Waakye and Tomato Gravy today, since they are fine heated up.

Waakye (waa-che) is seriously just beans and rice. No special ingredients. When traveling in Northern Ghana this is my standby dish to eat! Of course in Ghana it is usually pretty spicy. The recipe I used didn't call for any spice, but I added a bit of Cayenne pepper because it didn't seem right without it. I have to say, what came out tastes pretty much exactly the same as what I've eaten in Ghana. Maybe just a bit more "wet" because the stuff I get in Ghana has probably sat out for hours before being served. =-)

I used THIS recipe (#2). However, I doubled it. I had to add extra water because the rice wasn't done before the water was all soaked up. And I probably added 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
In Ghana the Waakye I've had is usually either served with Shito (a very hot pepper sauce) or "tomato gravy." I'm sure there's a Ghanaian word for tomato gravy, but I don't know it. When I've asked what it's called the Ghanaians I've asked always say "tomato gravy" or "tomato sauce." The recipe I tried tastes pretty much like what I eat in Ghana. I LOVE this stuff. The recipe I made today was posted by a (white) missionary couple and is less spicy than some of the stuff I've eaten in Ghana. It's still definitely got a kick though. Give me a plate of plain rice with tomato gravy and I am a happy gal. What I made seems to be more chunky than what I eat in Ghana, and not quite as deep red. This could be because of the non-organic tomatoes, or because I didn't keep in on a stove all day ready to serve. I'm betting if it just sat on the stove for hours it would become more saucy.

THIS is the recipe I used for the tomato gravy. I think my onions were too large, so I ended up adding 2 more tomatoes for a total of 10 roma tomatoes. It was really more chunky than I wanted it so I ended up using my handy-dandy wand blender to puree it just a bit. And I cooked it for about an hour rather than just 30 minutes.
Tomorrow I'm making a Jollaf rice that is traditional in ingredients but not in cooking method. I'm cooking it in the oven. Hopefully it will be good. I'll update tomorrow on how that goes.

Kendi and Bright were so happy today. They wanted to test mommy's Ghana cooking over and over. Particularly Kendi. They eat spoonfuls of the tomato gravy without blinking (while my husband thought a small smattering on a spoon was PLENTY spicy)! Kendi would have eaten a huge bowl of the Waakye if I would have let her. She's a northern Ghana gal, so I'm thinking this would be like mac and cheese (comfort food) for her. =-)


Cat and Mark 7:01 AM  

Thanks for sharing! Just a good reminder to me I need to get that berbere out and make some ET food! The kids eat our American crap so easily I often get lazy...

:) Good for you!

Sister Beta 11:13 AM  

I want to hear about the jollof! I've searched for recipes, but most of them have extra ingredients that Ghanaians don't use and take TONS of time! I just want some good ol' jollof rice...and Star beer. :)

Bingaling 12:39 PM  

Thanks for sharing these! I'm going to have to try them. The boys LOVE IT when I make Red Red. Chanda

Eric 10:01 PM  

I love your blog, you have my dream family! I am so glad that you share with everyone here.

I thought you'd be excited to see this, I know I was! I really want to adopt from Cambodia, but my husband and I are so young 30 seems like such a long time to wait, I want my daughter tomorrow haha!!!

love love love

A. Gillispie 9:56 PM  

Dani, that article gave me goosebumps! I would so love for Cambodia to open up to international adoptions again IF it is a clear and ethical process! Cambodia holds such a large peice of my heart. Such beautiful people, inside and out.