Healthy Cooking with Ginger

Ginger is an important food condiment and spice which boosts the immunity and is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Our current series of recipes follows the theme of boosting immunity and health with ginger as an important ingredient in a variety of West African Recipes.

West African Light Soup
    • 2 fresh medium sized Tomatoes
    • 2 pounds of chicken pieces
    • 2 fresh chilli peppers or according to personal taste
    • 6 cups of water or chicken stock
    • 1 teaspoon aniseed
    • 1 large onion divided in two
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 2 teaspoons of fresh ground ginger
    • 4 pods of grains of selim
    • 1 teaspoon salt or season to taste
    • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • Blend or grind ½ onion, fresh ginger, fresh garlic and aniseed into a puree
  • Steam chicken pieces in salt and blended onion mix (onion, garlic, ginger, and aniseed) for 5 minutes stirring often
  • Stir two tablespoons of water into tomato paste until smooth and add to chicken mixture. Stir for another 5 minutes
  • Add 6 cups of water or chicken stock, whole fresh tomatoes, selim pods and ½ a whole onion to the soup. Cook for around 5 to 10 minutes until tomatoes and onion have softened.
  • Remove tomatoes and ½ onion from the soup and blend. Pour blended onions and tomatoes back into the soup.
  • Allow the soup to simmer for 10 to 15 more minutes until the chicken pieces are cooked through and tender.
  • NB: To make West African Pepper Soup double the amount of chillies in the recipe. You may also use goat, mutton or beef for this recipe but will need to increase the cooking times accordingly.


    Ofam - Spicy Ripe Plantain Loaf Recipe
    • Ground spice mixture of of cardamom, selim pods and cloves
    • 3 over ripe plantains
    • 2 medium chillies to taste
    • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
    • 4 cardamon
    • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
    • 3 tablespoons of pureed ginger
    • 1/4 onion
    • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black peppercorns
    • Blend chillies and onion
    • Saute blended chillies and onion in coconut oil and set aside
    • Peel and mash plantains in a mixing bowl
    • Add ground spices and sauted chillies and onion to plantain mash
    • Fold in ingredients and pour into the greased loaf pan
    • Bake in an oven pre-heated to 350F / 180C for 30-40 minutes
    • Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil
    • Enjoy your ofam loaf sliced with roasted nuts

    Kelewele Recipe

    • 1 tablespoon of crushed ginger
    • 3 ripe plantains (Chop plantains into cubes)
    • 4 sticks of hwentia (selim pods)
    • 1 teaspoon cloves
    • 4 cardamon
    • Whole black pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
    • 2 tablespoons chili (or red pepper flakes)
    • Blend all dry ingredients with a food processor/ coffee grater
    • Add all ingredients to cubed plantains
    • Mix well
    • Heat vegetable oil (peanut oil) to about 35 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Fry onions until slightly browned
    • Put seasoned plantain into hot oil
    • Deep fry until golden brown
    • Remove plantain from oil
    • Place on paper towel to absorb excess oil
    • Serve hot with dry roasted nuts

    Ginger Drink (Emudro) Recipe

    We bring you a Ghanaian pineapple-ginger drink recipe that is healthy and refreshing. It is known for boosting the immunity, as well as its spicy kick and is the perfect accompaniment to a plate of jollof rice!
    • 3 large ginger roots (pounded)
    • 1 lemon/ 2 limes
    • 1 cup of pineapple juice
    • 1 cup of sugar
    • A few cinnamon sticks/ cloves
    • 6 cups of water
    • In a kettle boil six cups of water
    • Pour boiled water over ginger
    • Cover with lid/ clean cloth
    • Wait 1 hour
    • Place clean paper towel/ cheesecloth in strainer
    • Pour the mixture in a large bowl/ pitcher
    • Squeeze the cloth to extract all the liquid from the ginger root
    • Mix the citrus juice, sugar & spices
    • Fill the bowl with lukewarm water to make a gallon
    • Strain the ginger beer once more and refrigerate until chilled
    • Serve over ice with dishes from West Africa

    Sobolo/ Bisap Recipe

    Cuisine: West African
    Prep time: 10 mins
    Cook/ Infuse time: 20 mins
    Total time: 30 mins

    Serves: 8 servings

    Bissap is a refreshing traditional drink popular in West Africa. It is drunk on special occasions like traditional weddings and during festivals. Its deep red colour comes from the petals of the roselle hibiscus flower. It is packed with antioxidants and believed to have medicinal properties and to boost immunity.

    Note: Individuals who drink herbal drinks and teas should let their doctors know, as some herbs have the potential to interact with medications.

    • 2 cups dried hibiscus petals
    • 8 cups boiling water
    • 1 cup white sugar or sweetener
    • 5 cloves
    • 3 cinnamon sticks
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh
    • chopped or crushed ginger to taste
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • Measure the water into a large pot and bring to the boil.
    • Turn off the heat and add the dried hibiscus petals.
    • Stir in the sugar or sweetener to dissolve.
    • Add cloves, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and lemon juice to taste.
    • Steep the petals and spices for at least 20 minutes then strain with a fine-mesh sieve.
    • Dilute to taste if necessary.
    • Chill in the refrigerator and serve cold as a refreshing drink or warm as an infusion.