The New Christianity exists all over the world and across many diverse cultures. Aisha Peltier shares some glimpses of one of these places–her home country of Ghana.
I’m originally from Ghana– a country in West Africa.
Ghana has a vibrant set of cultures centered around our 10 regions. Each of these 10 regions has their own way of life which includes traditional dialect, dressing, food etc; which helps to maintain Ghana’s unique identity. But the country’s official language is English.
Ghanaians place huge emphasize on being polite and hospitable. When they meet an acquaintance, they expect a hand shake and a little conversation about each other’s health and family. Visitors (even if it’s someone they have never met) to a house must greet and shake hands with each family member. They are then seated and greeted in turn by all present–sometimes with hugs…haha. Hosts provide their guests with something to eat and drink, even if the visit does not occur at a mealtime. I think this is one of the special features of the Ghanaians.
Peanut butter soup over rice is one of my favorite dishes of all time. Most countries in West Africa claim ownership to this unique delicacy but no one knows for sure where it originated from. Peanut (known as “groundnut”) Soup is commonly called Nkate Nkawan in Ghana. This soup has a rich full flavor with a kick of spice like no other, the spice blend on the meat provides a fantastic contrast to the creamy taste of peanut butter which is only enhanced by the heat of the peppers.
I find myself missing my old home at times, but Peanut butter soup brings a taste of my country to my new home and always brings a smile to my face. This meal sounds a little bizarre but believe me you have to taste it before you rule it out.
Here is the recipe for Peanut Butter Soup over Rice:
The soup can be made with any kind of meat: chicken, beef, goat, pork etc.
1 large onion
3 ripe large tomatoes
¼ Tin tomatoes (tomato paste)
Chicken with bone in it
Garden eggs (optional) (white eggplant)
1 habanero pepper or kpakposhito
1 tbsp Ginger
I tbsp Garlic
½ Cup smooth and creamy peanut butter
Chicken or shrimp bouillon
Blend ginger, garlic, onion, habanero pepper, and a pinch of salt in a food processor and pour over chicken to marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Then put the marinated chicken on the stove to cook with enough water to cover half way with the bouillon.
While the chicken is cooking, put the peanut butter in a pan and mix with 1 to 1 and a half cups of water until you get a very smooth liquid consistency.
Then blend the tomatoes. Add the blended tomatoes and tomato paste to the liquid peanut solution, and leave it on the fire to cook down until the peanut oil is separated at the top of the peanut solution.
After the oil has separated from the solution add about a cup of water to the peanut butter solution making sure there are no lumps. If there are any lumps use a fine colander to remove them as you pour the peanut butter solution over the chicken that has by now been thoroughly cooked and flavored.
Add the garden eggs and okra after slicing the tips off. Let the soup simmer on low for a little over a half an hour gently stirring periodically. While the soup simmers make sure the soup is not too thick if it is just add some water to thin it. The soup should be the consistency of a thick tomato soup when it is finished.
Serve over white rice and enjoy this rich and tangy delicacy that I grew up with.