With the rise of pop up restaurants and other trends, we could see Summertime British West African Food as a thing in a few years to come. Imagine looking towards West African food for British Summer ideas. Last week I made up what I would call my most perfect plate of the Summer to date, and I am only getting started. My plate was a true representation of where British eats marries West African bbq treats.
I wouldn’t call it a quintessentially British or West African plate, but it was quintessentially food. And it took me about 25 minutes max to make. I chose to go really light to compensate for days where I just can’t help but eat… and eat. It was also a great way to help jump start my healthy eating habits.
Over the years I have learned to eat seasonally and the vegetable of the moment is asparagus, a quintessentially British vegetable. Did you know that there is an entire festival dedicated to it? Our cultures are not that far apart when it comes to food. In the Ghanaian Ga culture we have the Homowo festival dedicated to food. Both cultures are on the right track to highlighting something worthy of the fuss.
I have an increasing interest in my father’s culture, the Ga culture. This lead me to take weekly Ga language lessons in the evenings. But one evening as I prepared myself to attend I decided that attending with a satisfied stomach would at least ensure that hunger would not distract me. That’s right. And this is what I whipped together.
Oven Roasted Plantain Bites
The feelings I have towards deep frying have never been warm and never will be. But that has not stopped me from having my plantain and eating it.
Pan Seared Asparagus
The way it is done and enjoyed in Blighty. Nothing could be simpler yet so elegant as pan seared asparagus with a little drizzle of balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette.
Kyinkyinga a.k.a Suya Spiced Kebab
Nothing says, “Come, eat me!” better than these suya spiced kebabs from Ghana known as kyinkyinga (chichinga). Now when I say from Ghana, what I mean is the idea of grilled skewered meat and onion covered in a spicy peanut powder. I have called the spice suya spice, which is what the Nigerians call it, but I suppose it is simply (or not so simply) called kyinkyinga spice in Ghana. I skewer full of yumminess.
Or should I say lazy, yet crisp and refreshing? Cucumber and tomato cubes.
The idea that the two stated cultures could fuse onto one plate may seem a little far fetched but I think we could be seeing more and more of these fusions both in the UK and abroad, somewhere in Africa. The asparagus is very well-traveled after all.