‘Say what’, I can hear some of you saying.

Haha! Don’t worry, kelewele isn’t some strange incantation or voodoo word. It is simply the word used to describe that wonderful Ghanaian delicacy of plantain marinated in a heady mix of spices, deep fried in a mix of coconut and vegetable oil and served in newspaper with groundnuts sprinkled on top. Kelewele is basically dodo on crack. I remember this very fondly from when my family lived in Ghana. Every residential area had its own kelewele joint and in the evenings, just as it got dark, the wind would carry the seductive smell of it to your nostrils, encouraging you to go for a walk and buy some. There was also a very famous spot in Tudu, near Melcom in Central Accra where the afternoon kelewele was legendary and well worth braving the heat for.

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This is straight up street food, and if you have never tried this, I encourage you to do so when you next visit Ghana. After all theses years, kelewele is still nostalgic for me, and on this particular Saturday evening when I made this, I was really in need of that taste. It was either get on a flight or cook… OK not really, but you get what I mean :).

kelewele-spices-seasoning-mix-ginger-pepper-onion-clove-salt

I kept the spices really true to what pertains in real street kelewele, the only thing I changed was the way the plantain was cut. Rather than then usual diagonal cubes (same style of cubing party dodo) I cut these into fingers so I could stack em up and have them look pretty for the camera. Also, I’ve got family members with severe peanut allergies so I skipped those altogether and just garnished with spring onions instead.

how-to-make-ghanaian-kelewele

 

This made the house smell soooo nice. Someome needs to make a reed diffuser that smells like kelewele. Honestly. I would buy it. Think of the smell of dodo that you love, and then overlay that with ginger, coconut, and orange. It is just divine. Looking at these pictures  I feel like making this again :).

 

kelewele-ghanaian-street-food-plantain-coconut-oil-recipe

elegant-kelewele-fingers-omnomlagos-recipe
Elegant Kelewele Fingers
Print Recipe
Kelewele is a glorious Ghanaian street food snack. It is made by marinading ripe plantain in a special blend of spices and then deep frying the plantain in hot, flavoured coconut oil. I warn you, it is moreish and you should always make more of this than you think you will need because it goes quick!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 2 hours
elegant-kelewele-fingers-omnomlagos-recipe
Elegant Kelewele Fingers
Print Recipe
Kelewele is a glorious Ghanaian street food snack. It is made by marinading ripe plantain in a special blend of spices and then deep frying the plantain in hot, flavoured coconut oil. I warn you, it is moreish and you should always make more of this than you think you will need because it goes quick!
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 2 hours
Ingredients
  • 4 large plantains
  • 4 heads fresh ginger peeled
  • 1 hot scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 500 ml coconut oil
  • 500 ml sunflower oil or other vegetable oil suitable for deep frying
  • 1 orange peel
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Peel and cut your plantain into fingers, set aside.
  2. Put the ginger, pepper, and half the red onion in the blender with a splash of water, and blend into a thick paste.
  3. Add the salt, clove and nutmeg and blend again until thoroughly mixed. This is your marinade ready.
  4. Pour the marinade over the plantain, and add more salt if needed. Mix, and cover for at least an hour (but preferably more) prior to frying.
  5. Remember that half onion? Cut it into 3 or 4 large chunks and place them in the oil you intend to use to fry the kelewele. Also add the orange peel to the oil. It is important to add these BEFORE the oil is hot, and leave them in all through the frying because it adds something to the over all flavour.
  6. Now heat up your oil for deep frying in a sturdy frying pan.
  7. When the oil is suitably hot, put the seasoned plantain in the pan, and deep fry in batches until the fingers are dark brown.
  8. Remove from the oil and drain in a colander lined with kitchen paper towels to drain off the excess oil. Serve and enjoy!
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