Kelewele is a dish that does not require a massive list of ingredients. It is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. If you love plantain or are looking for a different way to eat it, then you must try this popular Ghanaian street food.
What Is Kelewele?
Kelewele is spicy fried plantain. A delicious and moreish street food that is popular in Ghana. It is similar to dodo (fried plantain) as eaten in Nigeria, but the addition of spices adds a kick. The combination of the sweetness from the plantain with the savoury spices in this Ghanaian street food gives a fantastic depth of flavour, characteristic of African dishes.
Like suya, kelewele is sold by vendors on the streets of Ghana, usually at night. These sweet, golden-brown cubes of well-spiced, fried plantain are served on a piece of paper with roasted groundnut or fried gizzard.
This Ghanaian plantain recipe is easy and quick to prepare at home. It is excellent as a snack or a side dish to accompany rice, beans or waakye.
How To Make Kelewele
Here are the ingredients you need...
Oil for frying
A few notes about the ingredients...
- Plantain: Ripe plantain is best for kelewele. If you have over-ripe plantain, you can use this too for sticky sweet fried plantains. In fact, it is a good way to use up dark over-ripe plantain.
- Kelewele Spices: Traditionally, this snack is prepared by mixing plantain with spice paste before frying, but a dry spice blend works as well. Kelewele spice mix depends on regional and individual preferences. I have kept it to a basic combination of garlic, ginger and ground pepper, which most traditional recipes call for. Other spices which could be added include grain of selim, cloves, anise seed etc.
- Ground Pepper: Use this according to your heat tolerance. It your heat tolerance is zero, the omit.
How To Make It
Cut off the ends of the plantain and cut into the skin with a knife.
Remove the skin and cut the plantain into small cubes. Pour into a bowl.
Add the plantain, ginger, garlic, pepper and some salt into the bowl.
Stir the plantain and spices gently with a wooden spoon so the spices coat the cubes. Be careful not to mash the plantain when mixing the spices in.
Heat the oil in a shallow pan and pour in the plantain when it becomes hot. You need enough oil to keep the plantain cubes floating. If the cubes touch the bottom of the pan, it could lead to sticking and burning.
Make sure the oil is hot enough for frying by dropping a plantain piece in it to check. Bubbles should form around it, and it should float up. If you add the plantain before the oil is hot enough, it will soak up the oil and become soggy.
Stir the plantain in the oil regularly to prevent sticking. When the colour becomes golden brown, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon. You want the plantain to be crispy on the outside.
Other Ghanaian recipes for you to try;
Kelewele - Spicy Fried Plantain
- 1 Ripe Plantain ripe
- 1 teaspoon Ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper or chilli flakes
- Salt to taste
- 200 ml Oil for frying
- Cut off the ends of the plantain and make a cut into the skin with a knife.
- Remove the skin and cut the plantain into small cubes. Pour into a bowl.
- Add the plantain, ginger, garlic, pepper and some salt into the bowl.
- Stir the plantain and spices gently with a wooden spoon so the spices coat the cubes. Be careful not to mash the plantain when mixing the spices in.
- Heat the oil in a shallow pan and pour in the plantain when it becomes hot.
- Stir the plantain in the oil regularly to prevent sticking. When the colour becomes golden brown, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon.
Looks delicious and easy
Just another home cook
I don't cook with plantains often, but it was easy and tasty (you had me at garlic and ginger). Served with peanuts, it made a terrific snack. I'd recommend this recipe to anyone who's never tried plantain before and wants an easy introduction to cooking them.
You made me chuckle with the "garlic and ginger". I'm glad you liked the kelewele.