Kpekple, also known as kpokpoi, stands as a cherished dish among the Gas of Ghana, typically relished during the Homowo festival—an event signifying the “hoot at hunger.” This delightful meal incorporates steamed and fermented cornmeal, complemented by palm nut soup and smoked fish, creating a distinct and flavorful culinary experience. During the festivities, the chief often sprinkles kpekple, symbolizing an offering to please the ancestors.
Ingredients for Kpokpoi
- Corn meal
- Palm nuts
How to Prepare Kpokpoi
- Preparing the Corn: Commence by washing the corn thoroughly to eliminate impurities. Soak the grains overnight for hydration or send them to a nearby mill for grinding, ensuring immediate use to prevent fermentation.
- Steaming the Corn: After milling, steam the corn using a rice cooker and its steamer basket. Place the milled corn in the basket covered with cheesecloth or mosquito net, steaming for approximately 10 minutes until cooked and slightly thickened.
- Preparing the Palm Oil: Heat palm oil in a saucepan and add chopped onions for flavor. Set aside the caramelized onions. Create salted water by mixing salt with water for sprinkling onto the steamed corn.
- Pounding the Kpokpoi: Once steamed, transfer the corn to a mortar and add salted water and palm oil gradually while pounding. Incorporate the palm oil until well blended, adjusting the amount based on preference.
- Final Touches: Optionally add cooked and chopped okra for thickness. Sieve the pounded kpokpoi to refine the texture, separating clumps for further pounding and sieving.
- Serving: Enjoy the delectable Kpokpoi with cooked palm nut soup, and consider reserving some for delightful dry toasting the next day.
Embrace the rich flavors and cultural significance of Kpokpoi, a cherished culinary delight steeped in tradition and enjoyed during festive celebrations!
Image Credit: Sweet Adjeley