The spice of Ghana life: the guide to Ghanaian cuisine, 52pp.
recipes by Eli Kportufe
Global Mama, Accra, Ghana, 2009
Cooking on page 32
This cookbook had a good workout recently and it doesn’t even belong to me. It belongs to Liss, a friend of our daughter, Petra, and she brought it to my house on the day she and I cooked a Ghanaian feast.
A little history. We spent about a month in Ghana during our African overland travels in 2009. Liss has just spent a year there as a youth ambassador for Australia. This book was a farewell gift to her.
On the night of the feast, we didn’t cook the recipe on page 32, but we did make variations on tomato sauce base (page 16), fried plantain (page 30), jollof rice (page 31) and red red (page 36), which were all excellent.
But I’ve been faithful to posting page-32 recipes, so a couple of nights later I did make this one to serve with the leftovers from the feast. I also made corn bread from page 32 in another Ghanaian cookbook.
But before I move on to the recipe, a little about the book itself.
Global Mamas is a not-for-profit organisation that works to reduce the economic inequalities experienced by women-owned businesses in Africa. The cookbook is a fundraiser. The creator of the recipes, Eli Kportufe, owns the EliMax Restaurant in the Hotel Junction in Elmina, Ghana. Her restaurant opened in 1994.
And now to page 32.
3 cups water
1 vegetable stock cube
1 1/2 cups white rice
1/4 cup cooking oil
2 carrots, shredded
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
Heat water in a pot, stirring in the stock cube. Stir in rice and simmer until rice is fully cooked. Remove from heat and let cool. Heat cooking oil in saucepan. Sauté carrot, cabbage, green pepper and onion in the saucepan. Add eggs and fry until cooked. Stir in rice and stir-fry for a few minutes or until rice is heated through. Serves 4.
How it played out
My only change was to make rice the way I usually do, which is to rinse the rice three or four times, then cover it with water up to the first joint on my thumb. I then put it on the heat to boil for about 10 minutes—until the water level gets well below the rice and little craters appear. Then I take it off the heat, cover it with a lid and let it stand for 30 minutes. Perfect rice every time.
Once the rice cooled, I followed the rest of the recipe, using two baby bok choy for the cabbage because that’s what I had on hand.
Easy-to-make and tasty version of fried rice. Most recipes for fried rice call for bacon or pork, so it was good to have a completely vegetarian option, especially because it was being served with goat stew.
The stock cube added nice flavour and, if you have it on hand, you could use liquid vegetable stock in place of water.