Waakye, pronounced “Waashay,” is a flavorful and irresistible Ghanaian one-pot meal of rice and beans boiled in sorghum leaves. Less stress for clean up after cooking, isn’t that amazing?
The first time I saw this dish, the wine-red colour attracted me. I was left in awe because I knew it wasn’t food colour. Something must have given it that beautiful colour, and guess what? It was so flavorful and super yummy. My Ghanaian friend taught me how to cook this, and it’s now stable in my home. You will love this recipe, trust me.
What is Waakye?
This Ghanaian dish of cooked rice and beans is mostly eaten for breakfast and lunch. The sorghum leaves give this dish its inviting colour. It originated in Northern Ghana with the Hausa. Waakye is the short form of “shinkafa de wake,” which means rice and beans in the Hausa language.
I also noticed this is almost similar to Jamaican Rice, Peas, and Guyana cook-up rice, although the method and ingredients may differ slightly.
Ingredients Needed for this recipe:
- Rice: White rice like basmati, jasmine, or Uncle Benz is perfect for this recipe. The cooking time may differ from any other rice, like brown rice.
- Beans: Traditionally, black-eyed peas are what this recipe calls for. But it can be substituted with pinto beans or white beans.
- Sorghum leaves or Waakye leaves: This gives this meal its ideal colour. This cannot be substituted. Unfortunately, you aren’t making waakye if you don’t have them.
- Baking soda: This makes the sorghum release more juice and colour. It speeds up cooking. Limestone is a perfect substitute.
- Cooking oil
What Can I serve with Waakye?
This meal includes eggs, shito ( a spicy sauce), stew, spaghetti, and salad.
How to Preserve Waakye.
Store in an air-tight container for about 3 days, then freeze for up to 3 months.
Ghanian Waakye Recipe
- 3 cups Rice
- 1 cup Black-eyed peas white beans or pinto
- 1 tsp Salt
- 7-10 Sorghum stems
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 3 tbsp Cooking oil
- Water to boil beans and rice
- Pick dirt or debris from the beans, wash, and soak the beans overnight.
- Drain water from the beans. In a large pot, add the beans, sorghum stems, and baking soda.
- Pour enough water to boil beans for about 30 minutes - 1 hour until tender.
- Now add take out sorghum stems, add the washed rice, oil and salt. Add more water if needed.
- Boil rice and beans until tender.
- Serve with stew, shito, or any of your choice.