Saturday, 4 September 2010

Exploring Food II

02-03 September 2010
Dawadawa- It is used as a flavouring agent in the food. It is a fruit pulp which is dried and used by adding it in small quantities to the food preparations such as rice, soups, beans etc. The smell of Dawadawa is awfully strong. The central market of Bolgatanga has a lot of stalls where Dawadawa balls are sold and the smell is everywhere in the air along with that of dry fish. So one can imagine how smelly affair is it to visit Bolgatanga market. I once ate Dawadawa Jollof rice which had good taste. They say it has some medicinal properties and the taste and smell depends on how Dawadawa is processed.
Guinea fowl meat- It is one of the tastiest meat as per the claim of the people in the northern part of Ghana. People who have migrated from northern Ghana to the south always make it a point to eat Guinea fowl meat when they come to the northern part of the country. I liked the guinea fowl meat which was served to me twice. Though I don't have much knowledge about meat, I can confidently say that the meat which they had served tasted better than any other meat which I have ever eaten till date.
Khebabs- Here Kebabs are spelled as Khebabs. They are served almost everywhere in the country but one can't say for sure that you'll get good kebabs everywhere. I had never eaten Kebabs back in India. Especially after seeing the way they make them near Bandra Railway station in Mumbai, I had made my mind that I am never going to eat them in life. On a request of a friend I took kebabs in Bongo and it was very bad experience for me. It was not cooked properly and I had good exercise of my teeth chewing the meat. I decided at that point I'll never ever eat Kebab in Ghana. The next day I went to a spot in Bolgatanga with my friend Rose and the kebabs made near that spot came highly recommended. The smell in the air was inviting so I decided to give it a try. They were juicy, lightly spiced and cooked on low charcoal fire for longer time and had really great taste. I found that the place is worth going there again just for eating Kebabs.
Sausages- They are sold on the stalls where they also sell Kebabs. These are prepared by smoking them on charcoal fire like Khebabs. Before smoking it they brush it with mixture of salt and spices. Taste is just great.
Omelets- Taste wise it is nothing special. One can find them at many street side stalls and is a cheap, safe food having easy of access when one is hungry.
Fried Plantain chips- These are thinly sliced raw plantain chips. These are similar to those available in southern India. Ghanaian chips are sliced finely and along the length of plantain and not across it so the chips are very long. These are served in lightly salted form and I found them to be tastier than the ones found in India. These are commonly sold everywhere in southern part of Ghana and not easily found in the Northern part of the country.
Palava sauce- These are made from leaves of a local leafy vegetable called Efan. The leaves are cooked by adding some fish or finely shredded meat and some other spices. They are generally eaten with some starchy substance such as cooked plantains or yams and has good taste.
Octopus and Squid- There is nothing great about the taste of these sea creatures but they can blend well with other food items in a preparation. The taste is bland and texture is rubbery. I ate squid Jollof rice in a beautiful sea side restaurant near Cape Coast castle. The squid pieces were cooked with rice. They had served once stir fried Octopus pieces at the dinner during our volunteer conference in Kumasi.
Waakye (pronounced as Wachye)- These are beans and rice cooked together. Taste is good but depends largely on what type of relishes added to it.
Yam Chips- These are fried chips sold at almost every street corner and by the moving vendors. The chips are thick in size and taste is not so great but not bad either. It is like French fries.
Beans- This is a cowpea cooked with some spices. There is something smelly added to it. Probably it is Dawadawa and some fish extract. After ordering it, as per your choice they add some relishes to it. The choice of seasoning includes Pepe (tomato, onion, garlic and ginger crushed together with sheer human force) and Shito (hot chilli pepper, fried onions and fish sauce), a red coloured palm oil with some seasoning added to it and gari (dried coarsely ground cassava). Generally it is eaten with yam chips. The whole thing is surely an acquired taste and I am acquiring it day by day as I buy it once or twice a week from the eatery opposite to my office.