[Ghana] Koko

Goldilocks might be surprised by the porridges she would encounter on the streets of Ghana. But, devoid of unsuspecting and strangely domesticated bears, I doubt this ranks high on her list of places to break and enter.

The adult version of Ghanaian breakfast comes milled, soaked, fermented, boiled, and served steaming hot in plastic bags. There is also a fast food chain dedicated to this breakfast of champions.

Sweet Koko (corn or millet)

Maize-based koko takes some preparation to transform white kernels into a thick, pulpy porridge. After soaking and fermenting the corn over time, the meal is then boiled to thicken. And as this is the sweet koko, a few tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk and cane sugar are applied liberally. Serve with sugar bread – since clearly risk of diabetes is no object – and/or groundnuts

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Hot Koko (millet)

For a savory alternative, look for the darkest koko around. This spiced porridge is more water than meal but the ginger and pepper give a real kick! The millet-based koko is often served with koose (a spiced bean fritter, not unlike falafel) and/or tea bread.

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Dipping tea bread into the bright red koko

Tom Brown (toasted corn meal)

Not in the mood for sweet or savory? Try a mix of both. Tom Brown porridge has a unique taste – one I dislike greatly. Prepare this toasted meal the way you would any other porridge and serve with groundnuts and plenty of sugar.

Recipe | Hot Millet Koko

  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1 cup milk, plus more to serve
  • 1 – 2 cups of water (or more)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chili pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch of cardamom (optional)
  • Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Sugar (or honey, etc.) to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine millet flour, milk and a cup of water in saucepan and mix until smooth
  2. Add ginger, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and salt, stir and cook over medium heat
  3. Keep stirring to prevent lumps, sticking and burning, let it thicken and come to a boil
  4. Lower heat, check the consistency and add more water (or milk) if a thinner consistency is preferred
  5. Stir and cook for a few more minutes, remove from heat
  6. Serve warm with sugar and more milk

Thanks to elsbro from thewhinery for ingredient proportions!

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