Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sunday Meals (Ghana)

In Ghana,  Sunday meals are more on the celebratory side. Sunday's for visiting family or friends and you could be a host or be hosted. Most guest do arrive both annouced or un-announced and you have to cater for them. 

Most households in Ghana will cook a minimum of two soups for the week. The most common soups include, Light soup ( a spicy tomato based soup), Peanut butter soup, (Nkatie Kwan), Palm nut  soup (Abein Kwan), Okra soup (Fetri Detchi, ladies fingers or bhindi), Tuo Zafi.

The soups above are usually cooked with Goat meat, Tuna, Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Gunea Fowl or Seafood to mention but a few.

My memory of a Sunday Lunch in Ghana, includes a walk through my neighbourhood after Church, hearing the pounding sound of Fufu ( made with un ripened plantain and cassava), the burning smell of banku ( made with a mixture of ground corn and cassava into dumplings), or the lingering smell of Jollof rice and the bubbling frying sound of chicken,meat or fish.

I walk past the lady setting up, to sell Rice balls with Peanut butter sauce to a waiting queue, shouting at her helpers to hurry up. The look of the people in her queue are that of anticipation, they will wait, no matter long it takes to have a portion of her meal. Cleverly she has their favourite chilled local beer to wash down her tasty food.

I get home only to be told I need to cook an accompaniment  to my Mum's soup or sauces. Sunday's in my household was manic, everyone wanted to have my Mum's Okra soup and Ademe Detchi ( a green vegetable soup, my favourite). This is how I have earned my bicep. I make Banku for at least 10 people and cook some rice for the uninvited guest. 

By 6pm, we are still hosting my favourite cousins, some people from the Church and other distant family members. My cousins and I sit to tease each other, play Ludo and generally fool around.
I hear people saying their goodbyes and by 8pm just when you are saying bye to everyone, there arrives an uninvited guest.. Arghh! 

My nostalgia of a Sunday in Ghana, made me cook Peanut butter soup with Fufu, invited my cousin, nieces, nephew and my husband, to have a Ghanaian Sunday lunch in London.

This story will have to continue...

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Vietnamese ~Beef Pho Recipe.

Vietnamese Pho
For the beef stock (Broth)

3kg of beef bones (with some meat on the bones)
2 kg of Sirloin steak, brisket or rump
6 litres of water

Pho Spices

1 cinnamon stick
7 star anise
1 tablespoon of Coriander seeds
9 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds.

  •  Dry roast the above spices in a pan for about 1 minute (this will release the oils of the spices)
  • Place the spices in a mesh bag or muslin

100g of ginger. Cut lengthways in two.
2 large onions cut in two.

Using a roasting tray, sprinkle a tiny bit of rapeseed or sunflower oil to the ginger and onions. In a 200*c pre heated oven and grill, add some ice cube to the bottom tray and place the ginger and onion in the oven.

Cook for about 15 minutes till the onions and ginger char. See below

100 ml of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of palm sugar or molasses 
3kg of rice noodles
1 teaspoon of salt

To serve

A bunch of Coriander, Basil, Mint and Lovage
2 limes quartered
Hoisin sauce
Hot chilli sauce (I used Tabasco sauce)
Chopped Spring onions, Chillies, 
Optional ( bean-sprouts, carrot ribbons, Bok Choy or your favourite vegetables)

  • In a stock pot or deeper saucepan, place the beef bones with 2 litres of water. Boil on a high heat for 15 minutes. This enables you to get rid of the impurities of the bones. (i.e fat, scum from the blood etc)
  • Discard the water and run the bones under cold water and wash the saucepan. 
  • Place the stock pot with 4 litres of water, the bones, charred onions, ginger, sugar, fish sauce and the spice bag and place on a medium heat for 3 hrs.
  • Add salt to taste. 
This stock will serve 12 people easily. You can freeze the stock and use at a later date. 

Using a small saucepan on a low heat, strain about 500ml of stock , add your thinly sliced Sirloin (which I used in this instance. You can use whatever meat you prefer). 

Add a handful of fresh rice noodles, chopped chillies, coriander, basil, lovage, mint, spring onions.

Take the saucepan off the heat and pour the soup into a bowl. Just add some fish sauce and squeeze some lime juice and voila your mouth explodes with flavours.

Then I added the meat off the bones 
This is after I added the fish sauce, tabasco sauce, hoisin sauce and lime juice.


Monday, 26 August 2013

A Foodies Haven (Foodies Festival in Hampton Court 2013)

The Foodies Festival in Hampton Court earlier this year was exciting. My idea of heaven on earth, being surrounded by like minded people who love great food, great wine, live music and creativity.

 I was inspired at this years event, from Retro and Creative British food to Caribbean cuisine,  The Asian influence, The Mediterranean cuisine and many more.  

Interesting food trends, mobile drink bars, live music and food demonstrations at this years Hampton Court Food Festival. 

I just love the simple but effective names of some of the businesses, to mention but a few below 

The Fresh Lemonade company.
The Bloody Shot  ( Bloody Mary ).
Tan Rosie Foods ( Caribbean)
Titchy kitchen (London )

The many uses of the superfood Okra.

Okra originated from Africa and spread to the Mediterranean region, only reaching the America's in the 1600.
A serving of okra provides 80% of the Daily Value for vitamin K, 44% of Vitamin C and also very high in fiber. Okra is also a great source of Vitamins A & B6, folate, niacin , riboflavin, manganese and packed with antioxidants . Okra's ample supply of key nutrients makes it a beneficial food for disease prevention.

Armed with the above the knowledge and Okra being my traditional dish and favourite, I am continually inspired to create different flavours and ways of cooking Okra.

I am excited about my first cookery book about Creative African Cooking, which includes the following dishes.


Perfect for the grill or barbecue 

Best served grilled with fish (Sea bass)

Great to add to sauces

My traditional dish (Okra Soup)

Perfect for the barbecue. (Grilled together with asparagus)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Conchiglioni Rigati with homemade Pesto


55g of Basil
20g of Pine nuts
20g of Parmesan Cheese
A clove of garlic
2 teaspoon full of Olive oil
Half a teaspoon of Lemon juice

Punnet of sliced Mushrooms
2 sprigs of Thyme (remove from the stalks)
1 diced Shallots
1 diced garlic
14 individual Conchiglioni Rigarti
2 teaspoonful of olive oil
A litre of water


Using a saucepan bring the salted water to boiling point

Add the Conchiglioni Rigarti and follow the cooking instructions on the packet

Whilst the pasta is boiling, 

Using a pestle and mortar 

Add the basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and salt

Mix the ingredients together to a coarse texture

Scrape the mixture into a bowl

Grate the parmesan and add to the mixture

Using a fork mix everything together and taste.

Add the lemon juice for that extra kick 
Salt and pepper to taste.

Using a blender

Just place the basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, 
parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper into the blender

Using the low setting of your blender blitz the ingredient together into a coarse texture.
The course texture creates a crunch to the dish.

Quickly check your pasta is al dente 
Meaning it should have a bite (firm but not hard) and not over cooked.

In a frying pan, use a teaspoon of olive oil,
Add the diced shallots and cook on a low heat for 1 minute. 

Add the diced garlic and cook for a further 15 seconds
Then add the mushrooms
Using a spatula add a table spoon of juice from the pasta

Cook the mushrooms for 1 minute whilst tossing it. Then add the the thyme and cook for a further minute.

Drain your pasta and reserve some of your pasta juice in a small bowl
Just in case you need it.

Mix the pasta, mushroom and pesto in your saucepan
If the mixture is too thick, just add a teaspoon of the reserved juice

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve in a shallow bowl

Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Recipe for Walnut bread with homemade Guacamole.

After a gruelling session with my personal trainer this morning, I am back in my kitchen laboratory to create a quick and easy brunch. I decided to make a Green pesto and Green Chili Pistou Guacamole. I just enjoyed the flavours and decided to share the recipe.  I have tweaked the recipe, as my Green Chili Pistou recipe is a secret. Enjoy!


Half ripened Avocado
A teaspoon of Pesto
De seed and dice 1 red or green medium heat chilli
1 teaspoon of diced red onions
Half a teaspoon of lime/lemon juice
Half a teaspoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Walnut bread (Optional) You can substitute the Walnut bread with either whole meal bread,  farm house bread or a rice cake

Best served with cucumber

Guacamole served on a warm crusty Walnut bread
A trio of Guacamole, Mushroom & thyme and Tomato & Parsley Salsa served on a crusty warn Ciabatta


Using a bowl and a spoon, scoop the avocado from its shell

Add the diced onions

Using a fork, crash the avocado and onions together. I like to crush mine, as I like to bite on some chunks of avocado rather than have it too mushy.

Then add the pesto and diced chillies and mix together

Add the lime or lemon juice and at this stage taste your guacamole

If it needs a bit of salt then use it, if not just enjoy it without the salt.

To serve

Slice some cucumber into a bowl and lightly salt it.

Slice your preferred bread

On a plate arrange the cucumber slices together in the middle and rest your sliced bread or rice cake on it.
Then scoop your Guacamole onto the bread, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and lime juice.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Creating Recipes

I spent my weekend creating new recipes . I am compiling all my recipes to a book. My passion is creating different flavours to any meal. I am excited about my easy to follow recipes so far. A peek of my creation so far

Pan fried cod on a bed of pickled courgette ribbons

Pureed pea in garlic and juniper berries served with ginger scallops

Mussels cooked in leeks and a spicy pistou

Pan fried Cod with potatoes, leeks, cockles and mussels.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Who said Ghanaian dishes are not healthy

In most African countries, people have easy access to organic ingredients to create mouth watering, tasty and healthy meals. However with the lack of creativity in most dishes, people tend to cook the same dishes all the time. 

I am on a journey to make African dishes cool and yummy. Through my blog I will update you with various African ingredients, mixed with other international ingredients, cooked in a healthy way and to create new recipes. 

The pictures below are dishes synonymous to Ghanaians. Yum! Yum!
I am compiling all my recipes into a book


Sliced yam ready to boil

Boiled Yam served with Spinach, Melon seeds and Mackerel sauce


                                          Okra soup with , Spinach, smoked Cod, Mussels and Prawns

Pan fried okra in cumin and mustard seeds served with grilled chicken

The famous juicy Ghanaian Mango

Ghanaian Mango

Split maize cooked in a spicy coconut juice with kale

Spinach soup

Grilled Chicken with spinach and avocado salad