Spicy talk with Kyekyeku

translate button at the bottom! + Kyekyeku’s recipe so keep on reading 😉

1: Hi tell us who you are and what do you do?
Well even though my name is written starting with a ‘ky’, its actually pronounced starting with ‘ch’ like in Church! I am one with my music, meeting world grooves with Ghanaian style Highlife, 70’s Afrofunk and evergreen Afrobeat.DSC01722
I arrange and direct my band with which I am on tour at the moment in Europe and I think I belong to a new breed of Ghanaian and African musicians breathing new energy into music from the continent.

2: What is your favorite Ghanaian dish and why? 
Straight Up Ampesie! Which goes well with all sorts of stew (sauce). My favourite combinations are with Nkontomire (Cocoyam leaves stew) or Garden Egg stew.
Ampesie itself is a holistic name for a combination of tubers and plantain. A classic dish is presented as boiled Yam and boiled Green Plantain served with Nkontomire cooked in red palm oil;
For me this dish just makes my day, its secret are yet to be found out by the world as a whole. It’s not difficult to prepare and it carries a great Ghanaian signature to it.

3: Describe your relation with traditional food.
To me traditional food means less processed and less chemically induced. So my relationship with Ghanaian traditional dishes is concerned with getting bio as well as connecting to my roots.
I think of food as something that evolves with the survival factors of any culture. If any food is still on the menu today, that’s because it has kept the people consuming that food alive to today. Most Ghanaian dishes have been around since the first human communities lived in the tropical regions of Ghana. They way of cooking a certain meal has been influenced by a lot of environmental factors, which have also shaped the people, their culture and heritage. For instance, this dish is held so high that, it is mashed into Etoh and given to the deities of the shrine. Of course there is fufu and modern day jollof and all but no one dares give those as offering in a shrine. Traditional foods occupy a long organic history and that’s why I relate to them more.

4: Ghanaian food or food from Europe? 
As I live also some of my time in Europe these days, I would say best of both worlds; I just need me a hot spicy chili or ‘shito’ to transpose any European dish to a quasi-Ghanaian taste.
In Europe I don’t think twice before eating raw fish or half cooked meet, ham or Jambon. I dare not eat like that in Ghana, I could be sick really bad because it’s a tropical country and germs grow 3 times as fast and can live easily in food that’s why Ghanaian dishes have evolved to be well or overcooked sometimes just to kill the germs before eating which subsequently kills a lot of the nutrients. I know that the nutrients of food for the human is best obtained in raw food, but that could come with lots of germs too, fortunately in Europe the weather already eliminates a lot of germs that you could have in Africa; so you can almost eat raw and obtain a higher level of nutrients. Therefore even though I love Ghanaian food for their passion and spice, I love European food for the health side and I am talking about bio ingredient European diet, not the chemical laden ingredient meals.

5: You are a musician. that can be very intense especially now you are touring true Europe, is there any food or drinks you take or don’t take to stay energetic and fit?
Well one thing common to almost all Ghanaian touring musicians is Shito- a hot spicy mixture of peppers mashed dried fish, lobster and ginger fired up in oil. We all have bottles of those in our bags, all we have to do is add just a little to whatever food that we get and we are good to go because European food can taste quite blunt to us often times. But we are super easy with food with no specific demands.
We hardly drink alcohol- a beer once in a week maybe. Lots of water and just a little bit of coffee. No tobacco.
We look out for foods with lots of carbohydrates, we prefer a side of rice for any sauce meet or fish that you offer, then fruits or their juice. This works great for us. Dessert is not primary part of our meal as we know it and so we don’t bother ourselves with that.

6: Are you eating the food of the countries that you visit or do you try to get local food while being on the road? How is that working for you?
As I love travelling and experiencing other cultures, I love eating food from other countries and I have tried quite a lot. From Spanish food, Asian (Japanese and Chinese), French, Indian, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Ivorian, Senegalese, German, Moroccan, South African food etc. This is one of the ways I get into the minds of a culture and feel closer to that. It works out well. Accra has some great restaurants fro food from some of these cultures so I could still eat international even if I am not in another country.

7: Could you live in any of the countries you have recently been if there was absolutely no access to any traditional ingredients? What would you do?
I could easily live in India or south East Asia. I find their food and taste similar to Africa; they love spice and hot spice as we do. I could easily live in North Africa as well as the Mediterranean lands. Scandinavia maybe difficult as well as North America but these days there are kitchens of every continent in every country so I could cheat.

8: What dish or snack from another country (non African) do you like best?
Nems from Vietnam are my favourite. When I go to new place, I try to see if there is an Indian or Vietnamese restaurant around. This will be my go to places if I feel the need for close to African taste. So dishes such as Vietnamese Nasi Goreng or any Roginjosh is awesome for me. On a clichéd side, vindaloos are my favourite too.

9: I want to ask you t share with us your favorite dish recipe which ingredients do you use and how you prepare it 🙂

ingredients:
1.Green Plantain- Apem
2.Tuber of Yam- Afasieh
3.Fresh Cocoyam (Nkontomire) leaves picked in the morning.lol
4.Red palm Oil
5.Kpapko Shito pepper
6.Fermented slice of fish (momone aboka)
7.Onion
8.Garlic
9.Basil
10. Smoked Fish.
11. Avocado
Don’t worry about measurements and quantities because grandma always gauged the family size with her eyes and decided how much would be enough for all. Lets remain basic

Preparation:
1.    Peel and Boil Yam and Plantain until both are cooked well into the interior but still solid. Should take.10 mins in boiling point water
2.   Sieve water away and separate plantain immersed in cool water
Keep, yam covered to keep warm and still soft.
3.   Boil Cocoyam leaves together with pepper for 7mins at boiling point.
4.    Heat palm oil. Chop and add onion and Garlic
5. Mash together boiled Nkontomire and peppers. Add salt to taste
6. Add mixture of Nkontomire and peppers to warm red oil and stir.
Leave on fire to cook for 7mins
7. Add basil, and other herby spices as desired

The above steps go well for vegetarians. For non vegetarians,
Add fermented slice of fish to fry till fully dissolved in red palm oil for
good aroma. Add slices of smoked tuna or smoked Salmon or      whatever fish you want. Leave for 4 mins and continue from step 5.

Finally, serve Ampesie with Nkontomire side by side in one plate as is done traditionally allowing the red oil to colour a bit the yam and plantain.
Peel and add avocado and eat dish while still warm.
W’ato me ooo!

Thank you very much, any last words for people who are new comers into the Ghanaian kitchen?
I think the world needs new adventures in cuisine and African food offers that. The world is too stuck on restaurant menus prepared after Italian, French or Spanish menus with Asian right behind. The new adventures in culinary delights lie in African food and Ghanaian dishes to be biased. Great thing is that for most Ghanaian dishes, you would be eating close to traditional way if you did now than say in a few years time when they would be adopted to fit restaurant menus in which case they would be compromised for time of preparing and way of serving and presentation to meet so called sophisticated patrons. Ghanaian dishes offer a lot for vegetarians as well. The time to enjoy them is now!

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Natuur, parken & historie

NL: In Ghana is veel te zien, je moet alleen wel even weten wat! Veel locals zijn vaak nog niet eens op al deze bijzondere plekken geweest en wil je alles gaan bewonderen heb je ook wel aardig de tijd nodig.

Hier een places to go lijst van de mooiste natuur parken, stranden en historische plaatsen in Accra en de rest van Ghana:

Eng: There is a lot to do in Ghana, you just gotta know what tho! A lot of locals often did not even get to go see all these special places in Ghana but honestly, if you wanna see it áll you dó need some time..

Hereby a list of places to go of the prettiest nature parks, beaches and historical places in Accra and the rest of Ghana:

 

Parken en dieren/ Parks and animals:

  1. Legon Botanical gardenss, located in Haatso
  2. Sacred crocodile ponds, located in Paga
  3. Shai hills, located in Greater Accra
  4. Monkey forest resort, located in Capecoast
  5. Tafi atome monkey sanctuary, located in Ho
  6. Boabeng Fiema monkey sanctuary, located in
  7. International stingless bee centre, located in Cape coast
  8. Tongo Hills, located in Bolgatanga
  9. Accra zoo, located in Accra
  10. Kumasi zoo, located in Kumasi
  11. Wechiau community Hippo sanctuary, located in Wa
  12. Aburi botanical gardens, locted in Aburi
  13. Kakum national park, located in Cape coast
  14. Mole national park, located in Larabanga
  15. Mole national park, located in Damongo

 

Waterfavallen & water activiteiten/ Waterfalls & water activities:

  1. Wli waterfalls, located in Hohoe
  2. Kintampo falls, located in Kintampo
  3. Boti falls, located in Eastern region
  4. Ote falls, located in Amedzofe
  5. Fuller falls, located in Kintampo
  6. Tagbo falls, located in Tayi
  7. Lake Bosumtwi, located inAshanti region
  8. Akosombo hydro plants, located in Akosombo
  9. Ada, located, located in Ada
  10. Nzulezo village on stilts, located in Beyin

 

Stranden/ beaches:

  1.  Labadi beach located in Accra
  2. Bojo beach located in Accra
  3. Kokrobite beach located in Accra
  4. Coco beach located in Accra
  5. Busua beach located in Busua

 

Historisch/ Historic:

  1. Elmina castle located in Capecoast
  2. Cape coast castle located in Capecoast
  3. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah masoleum located in Accra
  4. The independance arch on independance square, located in Accra
  5. Asante buildings, located in Kumasi
  6. Fort Amsterdam, located in Saltpond
  7. Fort Santo Antonio, located in Axim
  8. Fort St. Jago, located in Elmina
  9. Fort metal cross, located in Dixcove
  10. Fort lijdzaamheid, located in Apam
  11. Fort William, located in Anomabo
  12. Fort prinzenstein, located in Volta region
  13. Fort good hope, located in Senya Beraku
  14. Fort San Sebastian, located in Secondi- Takoradi
  15. James town lighthouse, located in Accra
  16. Gross friedrichsburg, located in Princes town
  17. Cathedral church of the most holy trinity, located in Accra
  18. Wesley methodist cathedral, located in Kumasi

 

Musea/ Museums:

  1. Kwame Nkrumah memorial park located in Accra
  2. Elmina castle museum located in Cape coast
  3. Cape coast castle museum located in Cape coast
  4. National museum of Ghana located in Accra
  5. Museum of science and technology located in Accra
  6. Volta regional museum located in Volta Region
  7. Upper east regional museum located in Bolgatanga
  8. The museum of Nzema
  9. Ussher fort museum located in Accra
  10. Wheel story house located in Accra
  11. Tiga African art consultancy located in Accra
  12. Artist Alliance gallery located in Accra
  13. Sun trade beads located in Accra
  14. Kumasi fort, Ghana armed forces museum located in Kumasi
  15. Okomfo anokye sword site located in Kumasi
  16. Manhyia palace museum located in Kumasi