Ghanaian-Style Beans and Rice

December 2008-February 2009

Beans and rice is known as Waakye or Wakye in Ghana. A popular dish, it is often eaten at breakfast or lunch and is sold by vendors on the streets. It’s served with meat, fish, or alone and is usually topped with a spicy sauce called Shitor Din.

  • 1 cup small red kidney beans, black-eyed or gungo (pigeon) peas
  • 2 cups washed, uncooked rice
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, cayenne pepper or red pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, chopped


  1. Soak beans in cold water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse.
  2. Combine beans with enough water to cover them by two inches in a Dutch oven or large pot.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until tender (about an hour).
  4. Stir rice into the pot which should have 2 to 3 cups of liquid.
  5. Season rice and bean mixture to taste.
  6. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until rice is done and liquid absorbed.
  7. Remove from heat and let stand uncovered for 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Fluff with a fork, serve hot.

Baking soda is sometimes used in place of salt.
Make it richer and moister by adding a bit of coconut milk at the end of the cooking process.

Shitor Din

This tasty topping is used liberally in Ghanaian cuisine.

  • 1 cup dried shrimp, ground or pounded
  • 1 cup red pepper flakes or dried hot chili pepper, chopped or ground
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt


  1. Combine ingredients in a large pot. Cook over high heat, stirring continuously, until ingredients are well mixed.
  2. Cover and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Transfer to glass jars or bottles with airtight lids and store in a cool place such as the refrigerator for up to several months.

Serve with rice and beans.

-By JamaicanEats magazine

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