There are two variations of kenkey that are eaten in Ghana - Ga and Fanti kenkey. Ga Kenkey is the more popular of the two, but Fanti kenkey can hold its own. The best Fanti kenkey is made by the older women of the Fanti tribe in Central Region, Ghana. Fanti kenkey is usually brownish in color and tastes more sour than the Ga kenkey. It is usually eaten in similar ways to the Ga kenkey, with freshly ground red pepper, Grilled tilapia, fried fish (red snapper, big tilapia, small / baby tilapia, or the really small fish called “one man thousand”).
Fanti kenkey arguably tastes than the Ga counterpart when made into “soakings” - the kenkey is dissolved in cold water until it fully dissolves. Milk, peanuts, and sugar are then added. This makes for a very yummy snack.
Name variations: kormi, kokoe, konkee, dorkunu, dokunu, kɔmi, dokunoo, dokono, dokunu, paime (pronounced pay-me in Trinidad), Tamale (Mexican variation)
Preparation and use
Kenkey is made up of maize dough which is usually left to ferment before cooking. As a result, preparation takes a few days in order to let the dough ferment. After fermentation, the kenkey is partially cooked, wrapped in banana leaves, corn husks, or foil, and steamed. Fanti kenkey gets its brownish color from the use of banana leaves to wrap it, whereas Ga kenkey gets its offwhite color from the use of corn husks to wrap it.
You can store your kenkey at home by freezing in a refrigerator. Kenkey tastes a bit sour when eaten on its own, it also tastes quite heavy and dense.
The best kenkey is still made the old fashioned way with a lot of hard labor over many hours. The best recipes have been passed on over many generations, so the best kenkey sellers are well known in every town. Thus, the average person should not attempt to make it on their own - the fermentation, acquiring corn husks, wrapping it well, and exactly how to cook it are all a matter of extreme art that is hard to master. We recommend buying a good brand like Hutwise Fanti Kenkey and enjoy it in a matter of minutes.
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