In this Ghanian-inspired side dish, broccolini is marinated in a flavourful Suya spice blend, then roasted till tender and topped with crushed peanuts and caramelized onion.
Country Number 67: Ghana
You learn something new every day. Today I learnt that the Gold Coast is not just the name of Australia’s gaudiest hot spot, but also the former name of Ghana. Situated on the West African coastline, the country was called the Gold Coast due to its rich mineral resources. Inevitably, these resources meant that it was the first place in sub-Saharan Africa that Europeans arrived to trade. First, in gold, then, in slaves. However, the country made its comeback, and also became the first black African country south of the Sahara to achieve independence from this colonial rule.
History of Ghanaian Cuisine
Ghanian cuisine is a real reflection of the local culture and history of the country. A traditional meal varies across the country, with every tribe, village and region bringing their own unique dishes to the table. A lot of what is eaten is determined by what crops are grown in the region. In the south, cassava and plantain are the two main staple foods. In the north, millet and sorghum are more commonly eaten. Yam, maize, and beans are used fairly universally. Most meals across the country feature some kind of starch served with a soup, stew or sauce.
Popular Ghanaian Vegetarian Dishes
- Waakye– A medley of beans and rice which is served as a main dish with sides such as plantains, garri or spaghetti.
- Red-red– Cowpea beans that are boiled to make a broth that is served with palm oil and fried plantains.
- Tuo zaafi– Cooked corn dough and cassava that is made with rare herbs and often accompanies soup.
- Kelewele– Often sold as a snack, it is made of soft plantains are soaked in peppers, ginger and garlic then is fried.
- Omo tuo– Balls of rice that are served with variety of soups
- Suya– A ghanian spice blend that is used as a marinate for grilled meats and vegetables
Vegetarian rating of Ghanaian Cuisine:
Making Marinated Broccolini with Suya Spice
Choosing a recipe for Ghana was a bit tricky. Out of all the traditional Ghanian vegetarian dishes, we’d either made something similar for another African nation or the dish didn’t sound overly appealing. Just as I was beginning to give up hope, I came across the blog of a well-known British chef, Zoe Adjonyoh. Zoe’s goal has been to start an African food revolution and introduce African (and specifically, Ghanian) cuisine to the masses. Her food looked a cut above the other Ghanian recipes I had come across online. I decided to use a recipe for broccolini marinated in suya spice (a traditional West African spice blend) as the basis of our Ghanian dish.
For the sake of this blog’s transparency, I have to let you know that I really stuffed this dish up when I made it. For such a simple recipe, I am impressed I managed to make such an epic fail of it. I accidently poured way too much of the suya spice blend into the marinade for the broccoli, and it completely overpowered the whole dish. It wasn’t good guys. Please don’t let this put you off. I promise the recipe below includes the correct quantities of suya spice blend. If you follow it, your broccolini will not be overpowered with spice as mine was. We live and we learn with all our kitchen fails and wins.
How to make Marinated Broccolini with Suya Spice
This broccolini dish is super easy to prepare and only takes 20 minutes to cook, however for best results, leave at least an hour (or overnight) for the marinade.
- In a food processor, blend together all ingredients for the marinade until smooth paste has formed.
- Place broccolini in oven-safe dish and pour over marinade, making sure each piece is thoroughly coated. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180˚C (360˚F).
- Take broccolini dish out of the fridge, top with sliced garlic and peanuts, then place into oven and cook for 20 minutes or until tender.
- Serve immediately.
Ingredient notes for Marinated Broccolini with Suya Spice
- Broccolini- Broccolini (sometimes called tender stem broccoli) works particularly well for this dish, but broccoli would also work. You can also try this spiced marinade on tofu or any vegetable of your choosing!
Serving suggestions for Marinated Broccolini
Other African side dishes to try
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