Spicy Fried Plantains (Kelewele) – Ghana street food at its best!
It doesn’t get more street food than Kelewele. Just ask any Ghanaian, if you don’t believe me. It’s also so popular and so steeped in culture that Kelewele is probably the one recipe that all my Ghanaian friends know how to recreate. I had the pleasure, at one point, of having a Ghanaian roommate at University, and this is the story of how I got hooked on Kelewele. Kelewele is no more than plantain, cubed or diagonally cut and coated in a mix of spices and fried to perfection.
Sharing a room with a Kelewele lover meant my room-mate always had several plantains on the go, and as soon as they ripened, she gingerly transformed them into Kelewele using a mix of spices shipped over to her by her family in Accra. You can imagine how, once I became hooked, I looked forward to these Kelewele days with heady anticipation.
I no longer have the convenience of my Kelewele-loving room-mate, so I have learned to develop my own Kelewele recipe, which hits the spot for me, time and time again. I also choose to cube the plantains because it reminds me of Dodo, which is Nigerian version of fried plantain.
Most Kelewele recipes call for a spice mixture that is paste-like because of the addition of water. I prefer making a “dry” spice rub as I find this sticks better to the plantain and delivers deeper flavours. Serve it as an appetiser, snack or a side dish, or pair it with some jollof rice or beans as a main dish. Or enjoy it with a dipping sauce like this pineapple and mango sweet chilli dip…. Yum!
The possibilities are endless.
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