Recipes from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen

In the latest issue of Psychologies, with our cover star Drew Barrymore, we featured some delicious recipes from new book Zoe's Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh. Here are the extra recipes that are mentioned in the issue


Recipes from Zoe's Ghana Kitchen

Peanut sauce

1 tablespoon groundnut oil

1 onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon extra-hot chilli powder

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 garlic clove, crushed

5cm (2-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)

1 red Scotch Bonnet chilli, pierced

3 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

500ml (18fl oz) uncooked Chalé sauce

500ml (18fl oz) good-quality vegetable stock (you can use chicken or beef stock if adding the sauce to a meat dish)

100–200g (31/2-7oz) organic peanut butter, depending on how thick you want the sauce

8 green kpakpo shito (cherry) chillies, or substitute green habanero chillies

Makes 850-900ml (about 1½ pt)

Heat the groundnut oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the onion and sauté over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the chilli powder and curry powder, then add the garlic, ginger, Scotch Bonnet, crushed peanuts, sea salt and black pepper and stir well – lots of punchy aroma should be rising from the pot at this point.

Stir in the chalé sauce and vegetable stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes.

Add the peanut butter 1 tablespoon at a time, while stirring, until it has all dissolved, then use a stick blender to blend all the ingredients to a smooth consistency.

Add the whole kpakpo shito chillies to the sauce and leave to simmer over a low heat for at least a further 30 minutes before serving, or leave to cool and then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, freeze for future use. You can then simply reheat as much sauce as needed at the time as a side dip, or create a soup by adding diced yams and plantain or cooking meat in the sauce for a more substantial meal.

Crispy Fried Kale

250ml (9fl oz) vegetable oil, for deep-frying

1 whole head of curly kale, about 150–200g (5½–7oz)

1 tablespoon crushed sea salt

100g (3½oz) Kelewele Dry Spice Mix (see below)

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer (the safest option) or heavy-based, deep saucepan filled to just under half the depth of the pan to 180–190°C (350–375°F) or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Have a lid to hand, as you will need to cover the pan as soon as you drop the kale in.

Break the separate leaf stems away from the central stalk. Using a knife or scissors, trim off the woody ends of the leaf stems and, if necessary, cut the kale at its various stem points into separate pieces of around 4–5cm (1½–2 inches) in length.

Wash the kale in a colander and leave it to drain thoroughly. If necessary, shake off the water and pat the leaves dry with kitchen paper – when frying, the kale will cause the hot oil to splutter in any case, but excess water will make the reaction more violent and dangerous!

Once the oil is hot enough, use a pair of tongs to lower 1–2 pieces of kale into the oil. Put the lid on immediately, or hover your lid over the top of the pan to minimise the risk of hot oil spitting back at you! The kale really just needs to be dunked, so remove with tongs after 20–30 seconds to a tray lined with kitchen paper.

Repeat with the remaining kale, and once drained, you should have some very crispy kale!

Transfer to a dish, sprinkle over the salt and toss to coat, then sprinkle over the spice mix. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chalé Sauce

400g (14oz) can tomatoes or 250g (9oz) fresh tomatoes

30g (1oz) or 2 tablespoons tomato purée

1 onion, roughly chopped

5cm (2-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)

1 red Scotch Bonnet chilli, deseeded

1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes

1 teaspoon sea salt

3 garlic cloves (optional)


1 tablespoon sunflower oil

1 onion, finely diced

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon extra-hot chilli powder

Place all the ingredients except the ‘to cook’ ones in a blender and blend together until you have a fairly smooth paste. This is your uncooked chalé sauce.

For cooked chalé sauce, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the onion and sauté over a medium heat for a few minutes until softened. Then add the curry powder and chilli powder and stir thoroughly to coat the onion evenly. Add the blended tomato mixture and simmer gently for 35–40 minutes.

Use straight away, or leave to cool then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for future use.

Kelewele Dry Spice Mix

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

½ tablespoon ground cloves

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place and use within a few months.

Shito mayo

Makes 350ml (12fl oz)

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Shito (Hot Pepper Sauce; see below)

1 heaped teaspoon cayenne pepper

300ml (10fl oz) rapeseed oil

pinch of sea salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the egg yolks in a bowl. Add the vinegar, shito and cayenne pepper. Use a balloonwhisk to whisk until blended. Add a very small amount of oil and whisk until blended. Continue adding and whisking in the oil gradually until the mixture emulsifies and thickens.

Alternatively, put the egg yolks, vinegar, shito and cayenne pepper in a blender or food processor and blend to combine. Then, with the machine running, add the oil in a very slow, thin, steady stream.

Season with the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Makes about 190g (6oz)

25g ground ginger

25g garlic powder

20g dried chilli flakes

35g dried thyme

25g ground cinnamon

20g ground ginger

15g ground nutmeg

15g ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cooking salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

scant 1 teaspoon dried ground prawn/ shrimp or crayfish powder (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place and use within a few months.

Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh (Mitchell Beazley, £25) is out now

Main photograph: Nassima Rothacker

Enable referrer and click cookie to search for eefc48a8bf715c1b ad9bf81e74a9d264 [] 2.7.22