Waakye or Ayimolu is black eyed beans cooked together with rice and Millet leaves.
I've written a few recipes about Waakye or Ayimolu on my blog, however this recipe is my favourite, due to the moist and soft texture you achieve.
The secret lies in the type of rice used for this recipe. Waakye is a typical Saturday brunch or lunch dish in Ghana and it's served with an assortment of meat cooked in a rich Tomatoes stew, fried Fish, Shito (black chilli sauce) or various accompaniments like Spaghetti, Green salad, Avocado, fried Plantain, Eggs or Gari Fortor.
Waakye can be had in a simple way or decadent way, depending on your choice of toppings.
I was inspired to make this dish after a friend teased me with a picture from Ghana , with her Waakye purchase.
This time round I wanted my Waakye to be moist and almost pliable to taste, hence I needed to use the type of rice with more starch content. Jasmine rice became the ideal choice for my recipe to achieve my desired texture.
The use of Millet leaves are a must, as they give the Waakye or Ayimolu its distinctive deep purple colour . I've tried using Hibiscus flowers in the absence of Millet leaves (however it gave the rice a slight bitter taste).
You can omit the Millet leaves if you don't have access to it and cook the rice and beans in Coconut milk. (Then again purists would frown at referring to the above as Waakye).
The use of Akaun or Potash in this recipe helps the beans to soften quicker (failing to soak your beans overnight) and it gives the Waakye or Ayimolu its soft and moist texture, coupled with the use of the right rice.
Ideally soaking your beans overnight quickens the cooking time, however as I made this recipe on the whim, I used Akaun to quicken the process.
Akaun can be purchased at most African Grocers.
Let's start cooking...
400g of Black eyed Beans
250g of washed Jasmine rice
2.2 litres of water
6 strands of Red Millet leaves
Half a teaspoon of Potash or Akaun (Optional)
Salt to taste
Place your beans and 1 litre of water into a saucepan on a medium heat.
Cook for 25 minutes and add the Akaun (if you're using it).
Remember you can omit using the Akaun if you soaked the beans overnight.
Cook till the water runs dry and add another litre of water.
Cook the beans for another 15 minutes and add the washed Millet leaves and cook for 5 minutes.
(It's best to add the Millet leaves at this stage to infuse its colour into the dish).
Add the washed Jasmine rice and stir everything together.
Seal with a crunched up grease proof paper ,cover with the lid and cook on a low heat.
Cook for 15 minutes and stir to ensure the colour of the Millet leaves permeates through every grain of rice.
Add 200ml of water and
seal the rice again with the grease proof paper lid.
Cook for 25 minutes and voila you have your perfectly moist Waakye or Ayimolu.
Remove and discard the Millet leaves when cooked.
For a less moist recipe, try my other recipe where I used Basmati rice or Ghanaian brown rice.
This Waakye was enjoyed with a Lamb chops & Green Peppers stew which is coming up next.
Find more inspiring recipes on my Youtube page, like this Waakye Fried Rice recipe.
All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog.