Kelewele (pronounced Kay-lay-way-lay) is a very popular Ghanaian food made of fried plantains and delicately seasoned with spices.
It is sometimes called Hot Plantain Crisps when referred to in English.
Kelewele has a similarity to dodo of Nigeria.
In the Ghana capital, Accra, kelewele is sold by street vendors, and mostly at night and sometimes in the afternoon by the women traders.
It is sometimes served with peanuts, beans stew, or alone as a dessert.
Kelewele is also popular for dinner.
Originating from Ghana, kelewele has been popularized in America by several recipe books.
The plantains are peeled and may be cut into chunks or cubes.
Cayenne pepper, ginger, and salt are the usual spices used to make kelewele.
Nonetheless, onions, anise, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and chili powder are also used as spices.
In actual fact, everyone has secret spices to make their kelewele taste exceptional, however commercial preparations exist that can simplify preparation and offer a standardized taste.
The oil should be hot and the plantain not be too soft, or it will absorb too much oil.
It is cooked until the sugar in the plantains caramelizes, with brown edges.
The basic ingredients are spices, ginger, hot pepper and salt . The rest is up to the individual . So with these 3 ingredients, you are good to go.
In this recipe, we used onions , African pepper and maggie cube sub (chicken bouillon) . Or leave it out completely to make it paleo friendly.
Slice the plantain into small bite size pieces and place into a large bowl.
Mince the ginger and onion to a paste. You can do this in a small blender with a little water or in a pestle and mortar.
Put the ginger and onion paste into a small bowl, add 2 teaspoons of the kelewele seasoning, salt and the warm water and mix.
Add paste to the plantain and mix ensuring all the pieces are coated then leave to stand for at least 30 minutes minutes (very important). This is to ensure the paste sticks to the plantain.
Heat about an inch and a half of oil in a pan until hot and in small batches add plantain to the oil with a slotted spoon ensuring the pieces are not touching.
Deep fry plantain pieces until golden brown then place in a bowl lined with kitchen towel.
You must keep a very close eye on the Kelewele, they can burn easily because of the sugar in the plantain.
Also ensure all sides caramelise by moving the pieces around.
Once done serve immediately with roasted peanuts sprinkled all over or on the side.
You can eat this as a snack on its own or as part of a meal e.g with jollof rice.