Shito, also known as shitor din, is a Ghanaian hot black pepper sauce generally prepared using fish or vegetable oil, ginger, dried fish, prawns, crustaceans, tomatoes, garlic, peppers and many different spices. The ingredients are generally blended and prepared in vegetable or corn oil for more than an hour to make the sauce.
Shito can be eaten with a wide range of dishes. Some of them include kenkey, steamed rice, garri, waakye (rice and beans) and banku. People can also be seen accompanying it with white bread or spring rolls.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The name Shito derives from the Ga language, which translates to “spicy”. The combination of spices and fish may vary depending on the area and village, providing the world with several variations of shito.
This sauce can be very creamy or chunkier, mild or extremely spicy, depending on the household.
- Vegetable oil - 1 ½ cups
- Onions (medium, peeled and sliced) - 3
- Garlic (peeled and cut into smaller pieces) - 4 cloves
- Ginger root - 5 cm
- Scotch bonnet (stalk removed) - 2
- Tomato puree - 2 tbsp
- Dried fish pieces - ½ cup
- Chili flakes/powder - 1 tbsp
- Ground shrimp - ½ cup
- Ground cloves - 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Begin by taking the dried fish and cutting them into smaller pieces. Make sure to remove the bones. Wash the pieces properly and allow them to soak in water right before you begin cooking. This process ensures easy blending later.
- Next, take a pan and add oil to it. Heat the oil over a medium flame. It’s generally suggested to use a non-stick pan to avoid burning of the sauce.
- The next step is to throw the onion slices into the oil. Stir constantly until the onions turn translucent and just start to brown. This should take you about 10-15 minutes.
- Once done, take the pan off the heat and set it aside to cool. Meanwhile, take the fish and drain it.
- Take a blender and throw the fish pieces into it. Also, add scotch bonnet and garlic along with the tomato puree and ginger root.
- Now, take the onion and the oil and add them to the blender and puree. Transfer the prepared mixture back into the pot and let it cook on a low flame.
- It’s time to add the dried shrimp, pepper flakes, cloves and a little bit of salt.
- Allow all the ingredients to simmer, making sure to stir often to avoid burning. Just in case the sauce seems a little dry, you can add more oil.
- The colour of the sauce will start to change slowly, and by the time it is done, its colour will appear to be very dark. This should take you about 20 minutes.
- Once done, set it aside to cool, and voila! Your dip is ready to be consumed. Serve it with kenkey, waakye, banku or any other dish of your choice.
- You can also store it in a closed container and place it in a refrigerator for up to a month.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 294Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 774mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 8g