After almost a year in Ghana I can tell you one thing: if you don´t eat meat, you will have a limited choice of local dishes to choose from. Even food which does not contain meat, will be boiled with bones “to give taste”, or they will saturate it with maggi borth cubes cubes for the same reason.
However, there are some excellent vegetarian restaurants serving the local dishes the veggie way. In Accra you should visit AssasePaa close to Kwame Memorial Park, and further down the road by the sea, Rising Phoenix serve even better food. Slow though, so you will have plenty of time to enjoy a drink and the wonderful view while you wait! The prices of both these restaurants are affordable.
Just tasting the food is not good enough for me – I have to learn how to cook it! So I requested to come and visit Baobab vegetarian restaurant and guesthouse in Cape Coast, and they accepted to take me in as a trainee for two days to teach me their veggie secrets. Wow, did I love that!
Baobab is actually a children project, where the hostel and the restaurants create income for the organization. They have long term volunteers to help them out, and then they hire local staff to work there. The most important aspect of the Baobab House is the idea of sustainability of the Baobab School Project. The children can’t pay school and feeding fees and all students stay during the week at our school centre. With the business house with the hostel, the restaurant and the art store, they want to earn money to finance the running costs of the school and become more independent of sponsorship. They also include the students in the hostel and restaurant business, and all of the students help regularly at the Baobab House get an idea of business, book keeping, cooking, catering and dealing with local and foreign customers
I was there for the vegetarian cooking, and I learned a lot about local ingredients and about the way they cook their food. Baobab serves a mix of local and international food, most of it is vegan, but some dished contain eggs. I have already shared the recipe of ground nut soup and red-red on the blog. These were two of my favorite dishes in Ghana! Another favorite of mine is the yam-balls. All though I´m not a big fan of yam because of the “dry” taste, once you mix an egg and some vegetables with mashed yam and fry the balls, it is delicious! I also loved the garlic mushroom sandwich, and off course the chocolate pancakes! They also make their own tofu, and their tofu kebab with hot spices is a great snack.
Do NOT visit this restaurant without trying their homemade pineapple-moringa juice – it is the best juice I have ever tasted! Moringa is also very healthy, and is included in most food in Baobab.
Is it worth spending a few days in a local restaurant if you get the chance? YES, it is! I learned a lot during the two days I was there, I´m left with more knowledge about the local ingredients, I got the permission to share a few of their recipe on my blog, and it was an excellent opportunity to make some local friends!
Do you like to learn about local cuisine and cooking when you travel?
I´m an Oslo based web publisher with passion for communication, travel and a green lifestyle. When I travel, I prefer to go slow, sustainable, and “live like a local”. Why slow? It is about challenging the cult of speed, and to enjoy the small things in life and to live in the present.