Banku is a popular Ghanaian dish made from a mixture of fermented corn dough with or without cassava dough in hot water, stirred until a smooth, whitish paste-like form is stained.
It is distinguished by its sour-like taste, which comes from several days of fermentation of the corn to make corn dough. It is usually shaped into a ball and served with a variety of fish dishes, soups, and stews.
Banku is consumed by almost all Ghanaian tribes and can be traced back to the tribes in the southern part of Ghana, the Ga-Adangme people along the South-Eastern coast, and the Fantis’ from the central part of Ghana.
Banku (Etew) is very popular with the Fantis’ to the extent of having a food market for it, these markets can be found across the central regional towns like Agona Swedru, Mankessim, Cape Coast, etc.
Types Of Banku
There two types of Banku found in Ghana depending on the person cooking it, tribe and the geographical area, and the taste of the person.
It is traditionally made from fermented corn dough and cassava dough. For many Ghanaians around the world, the popular among the two is the one made from fermented corn dough with an amount of cassava dough for a very soft smooth texture.
The second type is the one made solely from fermented corn dough without any cassava dough, this type is popular with the typical Fante’s in the Central Region of Ghana popularly known as Etew.
It is often eaten with Okro Soup or Stew, pepper sauce/Shito (black pepper sauce) with fish in any form; dried, fried, grilled, or even boiled.
It can also be eaten with all the varieties of Ghana Soups. In a nutshell, what goes with Banku depends on the preference of the consumer, the occasion, the location, or better still what’s available.
Banku & Tilapa
The most popular Banku dish known around the world is Banku and Tilapia, which is mostly associated with the rich in society since it’s seen to be somehow exotic and it’s mostly preferred by foreigners who visit Ghana.
How To Prepare Ghana Banku (Recipe)
The cooking of this dish time and maximum energy, follow the steps below to make the best Banku you will love.
- Corn Dough
- Cassava Dough
- Salt to taste
Make sure your hands are thoroughly clean before you begin with the Banku.
Mix and mash your portions of corn and cassava dough in a pot of water, making sure to take out all lumps and fibre pieces in it. Do this until the mixture is paste-like, with an extremely smooth consistency Add a pinch of salt.
Put your paste on fire and stir with your wooden stirrer or Banku Stick (Locally known as Banku ‘Ta’). Stir gently until it starts to thicken.
With time, it gets thicker and thicker and gathers at the bottom of the wooden stirrer. You would have to apply more force here as it gets harder with time.
Reduce the heat, hold the pot in place with a napkin or sackcloth and start to beat through with the wooden spoon. Do this for about 6 minutes with brief stops in between.
Use the wooden Stick to create holes in the thick mass, add water, increase the fire and cover to cook for about 3 – 5 minutes.
Check on your Banku and make sure the water does not fully dry up. Repeat the kneading process until smooth.
When smooth to your satisfaction, use a smaller bowl to shape the Banku into preferred serving sizes.
Congrats, your yummy Bank is ready, enjoy it with tilapia and some hot pepper, Okro Stew/Soup. Yummy yummy!
Thanks for reading, also check the video instruction below.