Kenkey is a staple dish of Ghana prepared using fermented white corn, which is commonly consumed all over the country by the Ga and the Fante people from southern Ghana. The Ga people know this dish by the name of komi and the Fante people call it dokono.
The dish is produced by soaking grains of maize in water for approximately a week. They are later milled and kneaded with water into a dough. The dough is then set aside to ferment for about four days to a week.
Kenkey is considered to be similar to sourdough dumplings and is generally accompanied by pepper crudaiola and fried fish, soup or stew.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Although kenkey is a traditional Ghanaian delicacy, people from many other countries also enjoy the dish. Some of them include eastern Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, western Benin, Guyana and Jamaica. However, recipes vary in each region.
The dish is also believed to contain an amazing mixture of antioxidants and phytochemicals that tend to protect the body from oxidative stress. Hence they help to protect one’s body from heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Ghanaian Kenkey Recipe
- White cornmeal - 3 cups
- Corn starch - 1 tbsp
- Warm water - 3 cups
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Dried corn leaves
- Begin by taking a large bowl and adding the cornmeal and the corn starch to it.
- Now, pour in warm water and stir constantly until you attain a smooth dough.
- Once done, cover the bowl with a clean cloth and keep it aside in a warm place for about 2- 4 days.
- After 4 days, take the prepared dough and divide it in half.
- Now take a large pot and add 2 cups of water to it. Bring it to a boil, add salt, and lower the flame to medium.
- Next, transfer half of the dough to the water and combine properly.
- Allow it to cook for about 10 minutes and make sure to stir constantly.
- Take the pot off the heat and mix in the remaining dough, combining well.
- Now, take the dough and separate it into 3 or 4 large portions. Shape them into balls and set every prepared ball on a corn leaf.
- It’s time to cover each ball by wrapping the corn leaf around them and tying them up with a string.
- The next step is to steam the prepared corn leaf balls. For that, take a steamer and add a large amount of hot water to it.
- Transfer the wrapped kenkey into the steam basket and allow the water to boil. Make sure to keep the heat high.
- Once the water comes to a boil, lower the heat and, over low heat, steam the kenkey for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Once done, take them out carefully and serve them along with shito, diced or ground red and/or green pepper and fish.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 364Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 621mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 7gSugar: 2gProtein: 8g