The Perfect Shito: A Spicy Sidekick For Your Waakye

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Waakye (pronounced WAH-chay) is a beloved Ghanaian dish that combines protein, carbohydrates, and a spicy kick. Made with seasoned beans, fragrant rice, and a vibrant stew called shito, it’s a complete meal that’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This recipe will guide you through creating this flavorful dish, perfect for a taste of Ghana right in your kitchen.

Ingredients:

How to make Authentic waakye with leaves and Local shito
How to make Authentic waakye with leaves and Local shito

1 cup dried black-eyed peas (soaked overnight)

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and chopped (adjust for spice preference)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

  • For the Shito:

    1/2 cup dried shrimp

  • 1/4 cup crayfish (optional)
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and chopped (adjust for spice preference)
  • 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raw peanuts
  • 1/4 cup palm oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Prepare the Beans: Rinse the soaked black-eyed peas and transfer them to a pot. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Drain and set aside.

    2. Cook the Rice: Rinse the white rice in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. In a separate pot, combine the rinsed rice with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and fluffy.

    3. Make the Shito: In a dry pan, toast the dried shrimp and crayfish (if using) over medium heat until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pan and set aside.

    4. Grind the Shito Base: Using a mortar and pestle (or a food processor), grind together the scotch bonnet pepper, chili pepper (if using), peanuts, and a pinch of salt.

    5. Saute the Shito: Heat the palm oil (or vegetable oil) in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger, and cook for another minute.

    6. Simmer the Shito: Add the ground shito base, tomato paste, ground cloves, and nutmeg to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

    7. Finish the Shito: Stir in the diced tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and the mixture thickens slightly. Season with salt to taste.

    8. Assemble the Waakye: In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, black-eyed peas, and half of the shito. Gently fold everything together until well combined.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    This recipe yields approximately 4 servings. Please note that these are approximate values and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

    Calories: 400

  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Sodium: 300mg

  • Conclusion:

    Waakye is a nutritious and flavorful dish that’s sure to become a new favorite. With its combination of tender beans, fluffy rice, and the vibrant shito, it offers a delightful taste of Ghana. So next time you’re looking for a satisfying and unique meal, give waakye shito a try!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I substitute the black-eyed peas?

    Yes, you can substitute black-eyed peas with other beans like cowpeas, pinto beans, or kidney beans. The cooking time may vary slightly depending on the type of bean used.

    2. How spicy is the shito?

    The spiciness of the shito can be adjusted to your preference. Start with a smaller amount of scotch bonnet pepper and add more to taste. You can also omit the chili pepper entirely if you prefer a milder dish.