This is one of Ghana’s favourites! Tertiary students call it gɔbɛ. It’s very filling and the student’s best choice most of the time. If you’re working really hard and need to grab some lunch, I bet it’s very likely you’re going in for gɔbɛ.
There are different types of beans but when you come to Ghana, there’s only one type almost everyone refers to and knows as beans! That’s the black-eyed pea. Of course, our mums know the different types. But none of that concerns the rest of us when it comes to our irresistible beans and fried plantain.
Bean is a good source of plant protein. It comes with lots of health benefits that are good for almost everyone. Vegetarians and vegans would find it appropriate to meet some of their nutritional needs. Plantain also boasts of really great nutrition benefits which I find rather awesome.
Ghanaian Beans and fried plantain is one of the most perfect food combinations for Ghanaians. It’s one of Nigeria’s favourites too! If you’ve never tried it, I think you should because you’ll love it. Even children love it too because ripe plantains are sweet.
There are different ways of preparing beans and fried plantain but what I describe here is my favourite. And that is how is mostly done by Ghanaian mums, roadside food sellers, restaurants and others. So it’s really the true Ghanaian way.
Preparing Ghanaian Beans and Fried Plantain
Preparing the Beans (black-eyed pea)
It’s very easy to cook. You don’t need any special culinary skills to do.
- black-eyed peas (beans)
- measure 3 cups of black-eyed pea, or simply, beans into a bowl
- add enough water to wash
- squeeze slightly in between your palms as way of washing it.
- repeat steps 2 and 3 for about two times (you know how much I love to wash my ingredients)
- put the washed beans into a saucepan and add 6 cups of water
- cover the saucepan. Put it on and heat source and allow it to cook
- add some salt to taste and allow it to simmer for about 5mins.
It can take anywhere between 45mins to 2hours depending on the hardness of the raw beans and the consistency of cooked beans you prefer. I love mine when the water on the beans is thick such that the beans almost becomes a paste. Most Ghanaians love it that way too. That’s the Ghanaian way!
Preparing the Plantain
- ripe plantain
- vegetable oil
- peel the ripe plantain and slice into any shape but should be small enough to cook pretty well
- prepare some salt water and add to the sliced riped plantain in a bowl
- gently pour the salt water away leaving the plantain in the bowl
- pour some vegetable oil into a fry pan ready for deep frying
- bring the oil to heat and add in some plantain
- turn the plantain at 2mins intervals until golden brown
- they are done! Gently remove them from the oil onto a plate with paper to absorb the oil
For the African way, you remove the fried plantain from the hot oil into a colander.
Preparing the Pepper
- peel the onion and wash it together with the pepper
- slice the onion into a grinding bowl, add the pepper to it and some salt to taste
- grind everything into any consistency you want
For best results, the paste should be rough to leave some onion and pepper chunks in there.
Preparing the oil
palm oil, onion
- pour some palm oil into a saucepan
- make thin slices of onion into the oil
- heat it up until the onion becomes slightly brown
- take the oil off the heat
How you serve this food is very important since it involves a number of different parts!
You first serve the beans (which technically has become paste because it was left on the fire) into a bowl. In times past, the earthenware bowl has been the option. And that’s what you see here! Now, any normal bowl is the way.
Then pour some gari on top of the beans. More gari means the final food is going to be pretty hard. You’ll be drinking water the whole day!
Next, you pour some palm oil on top of it. Don’t forget to add in some of the browned onion. It gives a really great taste. Top it all with the fresh pepper-onion blend.
Finally, put the fried plantain on the side. You’re done! The Ghanaian style beans and fried plantain is ready for eating.
I think there’s one more thing!
Before you eat, just mix in everything except the fried plantain.
You would always eat your beans this way on any other day.
Want some more Ghanaian dishes? Check out this irresistible okra stew.