For the Multicultural Kid Blogger’s World Cup series, I am presenting on several different countries that are participating. Today’s country is Ghana! I wanted to find an easy recipe that kids would enjoy, and I remembered back to college when a roommate learned to make a type of fried plantains for her boyfriend from Ghana. After some research I discovered the name of this common street food: kelewele.
Plantains look like large bananas, but we cook them before eating! They are popular in many places in west and central Africa, and also in the Caribbean, and tropical/coastal places in Latin America. Plantains are a staple food for many people living in the tropical regions of the world, as an important carbohydrate. They grow yearround, are easily transported, and do not need to be refrigerated- making them ideal in developing countries. Plantains can be boiled, fried, steamed, or even grilled. In Ghana, the plantains are often fried with some spices to make a dish called kelewele, eaten at breakfast, as a snack, and especially sold at night as street food.
In your supermarket, you may see green, yellow, or even blackened plantains- they are all in different stages of ripening. In this dish we are using yellow plantains, which have a slightly sweet taste when they caramelize as they fry.
First, use a knife to slice off the tips. Then your kids will be able to more easily peel the plantains.
Next, have your kids slice them into thick slices, and then cut each slice into 4 chunks. This is a great time to have your kids practice their kitchen knife skills because plantains don’t roll around, and are soft enough to cut easily.
Once they are all cut, heat up a pan (I used a cast iron skillet which gets really hot; the hotter the pan, the less oil the plantains will absorb). Sprinkle on your spices: we used grated ginger, cinnamon, and some cayenne pepper. Other common spices are cloves, chili powder, anise. Put in some vegetable oil and fry the plantains until they are golden brown. Don’t move them around too much- let them get that caramelized crust and then stir– my favorites bits are burnt just a little- heaven! They are SO good as a snack!! We had them for dinner with a lentil and rice dish. YUM!!!!!!