Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

Kelewele (Ghanaian Fried Plantains)

Ghanaian Kelewele - The Duo Dishes

Plantains are eaten in many parts of the world, from the Caribbean to the continent of Africa. Most of the time, they are a side dish or integral ingredient in a main dish. This time, they are a snack. Pieces of sweet plantain are spiced, fried and popped into eager mouths. When done right, they’re hard to resist. Forgot about banana chips, and try these little snacks instead.

Head over to The Duo Dishes for more about Ghanaian dishes, including Peanut and Chicken Stew and FuFu.

Kelewele – Serves 4-6 (adapted from Cumin and Cardamon)
4 very ripe plantains, peeled and sliced into large chunks
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger
5-6 dried, whole red chilies
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Sugar, for dusting
Oil, for frying (we used half palm and half canola)

1. In a food processor, grind the onion, ginger, chilies, garlic and cloves into a paste. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Scrape the mixture into a separate bowl and add the plantains. Use your hands to coat the plantains with the spice blend. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to an hour.

2. When ready, heat oil to medium high in a frying pan. Drop marinated pieces of plantain in the oil and cook until they have a deep brown color on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes. Place on a paper towel-lined plate, then immediately sprinkle with sugar and more salt as desired. Serve warm.

Chrystal Baker is a freelance culinary assistant, blogger, and food and events contributor for CBS Los Angeles and Basil Magazine. She is the creator of the recipe blog, The Duo Dishes, as well as her personal site, Any and Everywhere.

About The Duo Dishes

Chrystal Baker is a private cook, recipe developer, culinary production artist and freelance contributor to, as well as a culinary production team member for various TV shows, commercials, photo shoots and online content. She maintains, a Los Angeles-based food blog that features dishes influenced by family tradition, regional fare and worldly flavors. She also shares travel stories and links to published work via a personal blog, You can follow her trail on Instagram and Twitter-- @AnynEverywhere and @TheDuoDishes.


This entry was posted on December 21, 2014 by in 2014, Recipe and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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