Waakye- Rice With Beans And Waakye Leaves

waakye
Photo source – _gh_foodies

Waakye is a Ghanaian dish that is mostly served at breakfast. I’ve never met a Ghanaian who didn’t like waakye, this is because it is a very tasty meal.

But that’s not the only reason why waakye is a great meal. Waakye is prepared with some dried leaves; which are actually dried sorghum leaves. But most people simply call it waakye leaves.

These leaves give waakye the burgundy color and it is chocked full of healthy ingredients and antioxidants that make waakye a very healthy breakfast meal for all.

One secret ingredient that you need to indeed make your waakye healthy is saltpeter (potassium nitrate). This is because although sorghum leaves are chock full of healthy ingredients and antioxidants, you may not get enough of these ingredients infused in your waakye if you don’t add saltpeter.

The saltpeter helps the waakye to absorb and retain the antioxidants and nutrients. But you should not add a lot of saltpeter to your meal as that can cause indigestion. So just a pinch of saltpeter is enough to absorb and retain the nutrients in your waakye. What you should add more of should be the waakye leaves.

Health benefits of waakye and waakye leaves
Photo source: sams_kitchen_jungle

Health benefits of waakye and waakye leaves

Due to the dried sorghum leaves (waakye leaves), waakye is chocked full of health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits.

  • It contains powerful antioxidants which prevent cell damage and provides protection against cancer, diabetes, and other diseases
  • The leaves are also rich in fiber which improves digestive health and helps prevents hemorrhoids
  • It is also high in iron which helps the human body to produce more hemoglobin thereby enhancing blood in the body.
  • It contains magnesium which is essential for strong teeth and bones and it also helps regulate certain functions in the body like blood pressure and blood sugar levels, this makes it a great meal for diabetics.
  • Waakye leaves also contain vitamin B which boosts brain function and provides the body with energy. No wonder it’s a breakfast meal in Ghana.
  • You can also use the waakye leaves as a detox to get rid of toxins in the body.
Photo source – chefrudyspecakes

To make waakye you need;

Dried sorghum leaves (waakye leaves): This is a chief ingredient when preparing waakye. This is actually what makes it waakye without these leaves, you just be cooking rice with beans.

Beans: You can use any beans of choice (red beans, black-eyed beans, reddish-brown beans, Bambara beans, etc. But the most common beans used in Ghana for waakye are the black-eyed beans. Since beans take longer to cook than rice, it is best to soak the beans in water for some time, preferably overnight.

Rice: Your favorite choice of rice will do. Could be white or brown rice – you choose.

Saltpeter: to help absorb and retain the nutrients in the waakye. If you don’t have saltpeter, you can use baking soda instead. This also helps the beans to cook faster.

Salt: to taste

Water: When it comes to rice, the amount of water to use differs with various brands. Also depending on how long you soaked your beans, you might need some more water to make it cook right.

Photo source – waakye_supreme_gh

How to cook waakye

Wash your waakye leaves properly, then put them into a saucepan. After that pour some water into the saucepan and add a pinch of saltpeter. Bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling, you will see the water change color to deep wine color.

Now rinse your soaked beans and pour them into the boiling water. Cover the saucepan and let the beans cook for some time. Beans generally take longer to cook than rice. So it is important to cook the beans for some time before adding the rice. How long you cook the beans depends on how long you soaked it.

When it’s time to add the rice, wash your rice thoroughly and pour it into the beans. Add a little salt to taste. You may have to add some more water after adding the rice. Just put into account how much water you need to cook the rice.

Do not remove the waakye leaves after adding the rice. remember to stir the rice and beans together and then cover the saucepan tightly and bring the fire to medium heat as the rice cooks.

After about 30 minutes, check on it to see how it’s going. If it’s cooking just fine, you can simply cover the waakye with aluminium foil and lower the heat, so it can simmer.

if you check on it and the water is not enough, sprinkle a little water on it before covering it with aluminium foil, then allow it to simmer.

Check back on it after about 15-20 minutes and your waakye should be done. Let it cool down for some time and then remove the sorghum leaves before serving.

Serving waakye
Photo source: ghanaianfoodnetwork

Serving waakye

Waakye is best served with tomato stew and shito(Ghanaian hot pepper sauce). You can add fish, meat, and wele to your waakye stew. For garnishing, you can serve your waakye with spaghetti, salad, fried ripe plantains, pear and gari, oh and boiled eggs too.

Waakye- Rice With Beans And Waakye Leaves

Waakye is a Ghanaian dish that is mostly served at breakfast and it is chocked full of healthy ingredients that provides the body with energy and so many health benefits.
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Ghanaian
Keyword: waakye, waakye leaves, waakye recipe
Servings: 5 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup black-eyed beans soaked over night
  • 2 cups rice
  • 10 dried sorghum leaves(waakye leaves)
  • water
  • salt
  • saltpeter or baking soda

Instructions

  • Wash your waakye leaves properly, then put them into a saucepan. After that pour some water into the saucepan and add a pinch of saltpeter or baking soda. Bring it to a boil.
  • Now rinse your soaked beans and pour them into the boiling water. Cover the saucepan and let the beans cook for some time ( about 30 minutes).
  • Wash your rice thoroughly and pour it into the beans. Add a little salt to taste. You may have to add some more water after adding the rice. Just put into account how much water you need to cook the rice.
  • Do not remove the waakye leaves after adding the rice. Remember to stir the rice and beans together and then cover the saucepan tightly and bring the fire to medium heat as the rice cooks.
  • After about 30 minutes, check on it to see how it’s going. If it’s cooking just fine, you can simply cover the waakye with aluminium foil and lower the heat, so it can simmer.
  • If you check on it and the water is not enough, sprinkle a little water on it before covering it with aluminium foil, then allow it to simmer.
  • Check back on it after about 15-20 minutes and your waakye should be done. Let it cool down for some time and then remove the sorghum leaves before serving.
Rice With Beans And Waakye Leaves
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