Better a piece of bread in happiness than gold bars in sorrow. - African Proverb ❤

With love from The African Gourmet

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Transfuse your food life with food from Ghana

Transfuse your food life with food from Ghana

The distinctive flavor of Ghana street food comes from suya, the dry peanut-spice rub used to coat freshly made street food.

Africa's friendliest country of Ghana is world-renowned for its award-winning suya dry rub recipe used on mushrooms and all types of vegetables. Spice blends using peanuts are a time tested street food recipe for classic grilled beef meats, pork, chicken, fish, and veggies.

Suya dry-rub spice mix recipes differ from house to house and person to person in Ghana.

Perfect stuffed mushrooms
Perfect stuffed mushrooms

Suya Ghanaian Dry-Rub Recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms


1 cup roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 bouillon cube crushed
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves


Add all spices to a coffee grinder and grind carefully taking care not to over-process the mixture or it will turn into peanut butter. The texture should resemble fine breadcrumbs. Rub spice mix on uncooked meat, rest for 15 minutes and grill kebabs as usual. Store unused portions in an airtight container or keep in the freezer in a sealable plastic bag.

Learn About Ghana

Agriculture is central to the economy of Ghana

The Republic of Togo to the east, Burkina Faso to the north-west and north, and the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to the west borders the Republic of Ghana. The Gulf of Guinea, which is part of the Atlantic Ocean lies south of the country, and it forms a 341miles or 550 km long coastline.

Ghana has a population of 25.37 million; about 52% of the labor force is engaged in agriculture, 29% in services and 19% in industry. Approximately, 39% of the farm labor force is women. Agriculture contributes to 54% of Ghana’s GDP and accounts for over 40% of export earnings, while at the same time providing over 90% of the food needs of the country. Ghana’s agriculture is predominantly traditional where about 60% of all farms in the country are less than 1.2 hectares in size.

Ghana’s top three commodities are cassava, yams, and plantains.

Cassava is known by various names, manioc, yucca, yuca, mandioca, and tapioca. Cassava originated from tropical America and was first introduced into Africa in the Congo Basin by the Portuguese around 1558. Many varieties of cassava contain a substance called cyanide that can make the crop toxic if inadequately processed.

Various processing methods, such as grating, sun drying, and fermenting, are used to reduce the cyanide content. Apart from food, cassava is very versatile and its derivatives and starch are applicable in many types of products such as foods, confectionery, sweeteners, glues, plywood, textiles, paper, biodegradable products, monosodium glutamate, and drugs. 

Cassava chips and pellets are used in animal feed and alcohol production.
The yam belt of West Africa includes Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Central Africa, Cameroon and Togo, Nigeria alone produces 71 percent of the yams. 

Yams are second to cassava as the most important tropical root crop and are a staple food in many parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific. The starchy tuber, with rough brown skin, is produced by an annual vine and takes from 8 to 11 months to mature after planting. Yams are mainly grown for cooking and eating. 

The tubers can be stored for up to six months without refrigeration. Yams are second to cassava as the most important tropical root crop. Yams are one of the most common and popular root crops in tropical and semi-tropical regions of Africa and have become a mainstay of many African cultures.

Plantain resembles banana but are longer in length, have thicker skin, and contain more starch less sugar and are around 65% water. They are also a major staple food in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. 

They are usually cooked and not eaten raw unless they are very ripe. Plantains are more important in the humid lowlands of West and Central Africa. One hundred or more different varieties of plantain grow deep in the African rainforests.

In the forest zone, tree crops are significant with cocoa, oil palm, coffee and rubber being of particular importance. The food crops in this area are mainly inter-cropped mixtures of maize, plantain, cocoyam and cassava.

The middle belt is characterized by mixed or sole cropping of maize, legumes, cocoyam or yam, with tobacco and cotton being the predominant cash crops.

Cotton and tobacco are also important in the northern sector, where the food crops are mainly sorghum, maize, millet, cowpeas, groundnuts, and yam. Rice is important in all zones.

Many rural households keep some sort of livestock; livestock farming is an aside to crop farming. Poultry predominates in the south, while cattle production is concentrated in the Savannah zones.

Sheep and goat production is generally widespread throughout the country. Sheep and goats are often slaughtered for various occasions and functions such as births, funeral, and marriages.

Browse additional info about Africa on our sister website

Getting to Know Africa

Historical African Country Name
Top 20 Largest Countries in Africa
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Learn more about Africa.

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Did you know?

Ghana Government President and Cabinet Members Listing 2019
Nana Akufo-Addo
Vice President
Mahamudu Bawumia
Minister of Aviation
Cecelia Dapaah
Minister of Business Development
Ibrahim Awal Mohammed
Minister of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs
Samuel Kofi Dzamesi
Minister of Communications
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful
Minister of Defense
Dominic Nitiwul
Minister of Education
Mathew Opoku Prempeh
Minister of Employment and Labor Relations
Ignatius Baffour Awuah
Minister of Energy and Petroleum
Boakye Agyarko
Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation
Dan Botwe
Minister of Finance and Economic Planning
Ken Ofori Atta
Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development
Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye
Minister of Food and Agriculture
Akoto Osei Afriyie
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey
Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection
Otiko Afisa Djaba
Minister of Health
Kwaku Agyeman-Manu
Minister of Information and Media Relations
Mustapha Abdul-Hamid
Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development
Boniface Abubakari Saddique
Minister of Interior
Ambrose Dery
Minister of Justice and Attorney Gen.
Gloria Akuffo
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources
John Peter Amewu
Minister of Local Govt. and Rural Development
Hajia Alima Mahama
Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation
Anthony Akoto Osei
Minister of National Security
Albert Kan Dapaah
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Majority Leader
Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu
Minister of Railways Development
Joe Ghartey
Minister of Regional Reorganization and Development
Dan Botwe
Minister of Roads and Highways
Kwesi Amoako Atta
Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources
Joseph Kofi Adda
Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Creative Arts
Catherine Abelema Afeku
Minister of Trade and Industry
Alan Kyeremateng
Minister of Transportation
Kweku Ofori Asiamah
Minister of Water Resources, Works, and Housing
Samuel Atta Akyea
Minister of Youth and Sports
Isaac Kwame Asiamah
Senior Minister
Yaw Osafo Maafo
Governor, Bank of Ghana
Henry Kofi Wampah
Ambassador to the US
Barfour Adjei-Barwuah
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York
Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee

Thursday, June 27, 2019

West African Kola Nut Customs

Kola nut customs, benefits, uses and side effects
What you will learn: Indigenous medicine, West African customs, and Kola nut uses

16 facts you need to know about kola nuts
Indigenous medicine, customs, and Kola nut uses

African Food Recipes
Kola nuts
Kola nuts

Below are 16 facts you need to know about kola nut customs, benefits, uses and side effects.

Kola Nut Facts

Kola nut is a type of nut mostly found in tropical zones in the forests throughout West and Central Africa. It is found in Benin, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. Bitter kola is not to be confused with the caffeine-rich larger sized kola nut. Deforestation and the conversion of forests for development and plantations have reduced the number of wild kola nut trees. Kola nuts come from the evergreen kola tree traditionally these nuts were used as medicine and nowadays the nuts of the tree is still used to treat many ailments. The kola nut is culturally very important for West and Central tribes in traditional ceremonies, special events and welcoming visitors. Kola nuts value as medication for weight loss, a sore throat, upset stomach, ulcers, colds, and liver disorders is priceless medicinally and spiritually to West and Central African people.

More Kola Nut Facts

Kola nut contains caffeine. Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system, heart, and muscles. Kola nut is also known as a food that has the ability to ward off evil spirits. Due to its caffeine content, large amounts of kola nuts may cause a headache, anxiety, agitation, ringing in the ears, and irregular heartbeats. The fatal dose is estimated to be about 10-14 grams; that is 150-200 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. Chewing on the seeds of the bitter kola nut is rumored to have the same effect as “a little blue pill” treating sexual dysfunction. In 2014, there were fake reports kola nut cured infectious diseases such as HIV-AIDS and the Ebola virus. In central Nigeria, it was reported Ebola was cured after warm water mixed with salt and then eating bitter kola nuts.

Even more Kola Nut Facts

Demand for Kola nut is great in Nigeria and the ability to store the nuts and use them fresh or dried makes this an ideally versatile product to generate income for the family. Kola nut is a cherished and revered ancient nut plant with real major health benefits to West and Central African people. The kola nut is the caffeine-rich ovoid fruit of the kola tree relatively large being about 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches. Kola nut energizer drink is very popular in Serra Leone and is used as a substitute for hops in brewing beer in some African countries. In foods and beverages, kola nut is used as a flavoring ingredient. Kola nut is especially useful in preventing beer spoilage.

Kola nut is a cherished and revered ancient nut plant with real major health benefits to West and Central African people.

Nigeria is rich with edible plants; the kola nut is just the beginning. The knowledge of these plants is oftentimes revealed by native users who are well endowed with knowledge about the traditional and medicinal uses of some of the plants.

Plant Parts Used
Infections treated and parts used
Monkey Kola
Fruits and leaves
The leaves: treatment of ringworm, scabies, gonorrhea, and dysentery
Alligator Pepper 
Rhizomes, seeds, and fruits
Seeds: used in the treatment of measles, leprosy, smallpox, chickenpox, malaria. and wound healing.
African Elemi
Fruit pulp, rhizomes, and leaves
The rhizomes and leaves: malaria, diarrhea and sexual infections.
Bitter Kola
Seed and hull 
Seeds: anti-parasitic, and antimicrobial properties. The seeds: bronchitis, throat infections; and liver disorders.
African Pepper
Seed and oil
Infusion of the plant's bark or the fruit is useful in the treatment of bronchitis and dysenteric conditions.
African Bush Mango
Fruits, young leaves and seeds
The roots, leaves, and bark mixed with palm oil: treatment of diarrhea, dysentery.

Read more facts and food recipes about Africa

The African Gourmet creates easy African food recipes for you to enjoy. Learn more about Africa.
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Sunday, June 9, 2019

Avocado Recipes Are Nutritious and Delicious

Avocado Recipes Are Nutritious and Delicious

Kenya is Africa's second-largest producer of avocados behind South Africa.

The five leading African avocado exporters are South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon growing five avocado varieties, Hass, Fuerte, Edranol, Rayan and Nabal. The single most important market for African avocados is the European Union country of France.

Simple Avocado Salad Recipe

Avocado Recipes Are Nutritious and Delicious Make A Healthy Green Avocado Salad Recipe

1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 medium avocados, peeled and cubed
1 package spring mix salad greens
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Drizzle lemon juice over avocados. In a serving bowl, combine salad greens, tomatoes, onion, walnuts, and avocados. Toss and serve with your favorite dressing or the juice of one lemon.

Five facts about avocados

They are a fruit, in fact, berries.

Have the highest protein and oil content of any fruit and the fat they contain is mainly unsaturated.

Nutritionists say avocados can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels when eaten in place of foods high in saturated fat.

Mexico produces more avocados than any other country - accounting for 45% of the global market. Kenya is Africa's largest producer.

The US is the biggest importer of avocados, followed by the Netherlands.

Did you know?
Vitamin E can be found in vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables, avocado, seeds, whole grains, and many other fruits and vegetables.

Read more facts and food recipes about Africa

The African Gourmet creates easy African food recipes for you to enjoy. Learn more about Africa on our Chic African Culture website. Find your true life work cooking African food from 54 African countries where in Africa cooking is an artful survival.
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