Waakye-Rice and beans cooked with dried millet stalk leaves.
Waakye should be made Ghana’s national dish. I am yet to come across anyone who does not like waakye. I truly do. Surprisingly, waakye is just a simple side dish of rice and beans cooked with dried millet stalk leaves.
To make waakye, you need:
- dried millet leaves’ this is what makes it waakye. Without it, it is just rice and beans. Don’t bother making it without the millet leaves, your efforts will not be appreciated.
- beans: you can use any beans of choice, preferably the small ones (red beans, black eyed, reddish brown, etc). I prefer black eyed beans/ peas because it cooks faster and looks nice with the rice.
- rice of choice
- 1 cup dried black eyed beans/ peas soaked overnight
- 2 cups rice
- 8-10 dried millet stalk leaves
- water for cooking
- salt as required
Pour over a litre of water into a saucepan together with the millet leaf stalks. Put on high heat to boil. The millet stalk leaves will start omitting its colour and the water will start turning into a deep wine colour.
Rinse the soaked beans and add to the boiling water. Cover and let it cook till tender. Mean while rinse the rice till the water is cleared. Add the washed rice into the saucepan together with salt to taste. (You might need to add more water.) Add water if needed. Stir and cover tightly.
Do not remove the millet stalk leaves. When the rice boils over, reduce heat and simmer till the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Rest for three to five minutes, remove millet stalk leaves and fluff with a fork.
Rinse the beans and soak it overnight with the millet stalk leaves with over a litre of water. The leaves will omit it colour, the water will change to a deeper wine colour and the beans will take up that colour. Put the soaked beans together with the water and millet stalk leaves into a saucepan. Bring to boil and cook till tender. Add the washed rice, salt and some water if needed. Stir and cover tightly. When the rice boils over, reduce the heat and simmer till the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Rest for about three to five minutes, remove millet stalk leaves and fluff with a fork.
Serve as a side dish with Ghanaian style beef stew or any stew of choice.
Have a great weekend.