Saturday, May 13, 2006
Nkwan Pa! ("Good Soup". . . Bon Appetit!): I recently became aware of another self-published Ghanaian cookbook that deserves wider exposure. It's called Ghanaian Cooking with a Twist, by Asantewaa Tweedie, an Ashanti and a nurse, currently based in Maryland, USA. In her own words, the book "celebrates the delicious foods from many of the ethnic groups in Ghana, and beyond." Her book "has been structured to reflect the Ghanaian sensibility for food and allow the user to more fully understand and appreciate the true spectrum and essence of African cuisine. It does not simply put the "round pegs" of Ghanaian food into the "square holes" of Western concepts of cuisine. It celebrates Ghanaian foods on African terms. . . Ghanaian Cooking with a Twist describes common sense techniques to cook African dishes in more healthy ways for the needs of today's health-conscious consumer."
Several things attracted me to the book: It is a good resource for both novice and experienced cooks, with cultural information as well as practical guidelines for preparing and presenting the dishes; features color and black and white illustrations by Kwamena Essilfie-Essel; includes a number of dishes from the northern regions, which tend to be under-represented in Ghanaian cookbooks; and has a handy "meal selection matrix," that clearly explains what soups, stews, and sauces "go with" what kinds of "foundations" (starches/carbohydrates). She's also considered her African readers, and has included a section on "Obroni Aduane (White Man's Food)" with recipes for pizza, garlic bread, scones, hamburgers, meatballs, etc. "Obroni" actually refers to a "white person," male or female. At $10 a copy, the 86-page book is definitely an incredible bargain. Since 2002 it has only been available via word of mouth. BETUMI has agreed to become the U.S. distributor, so if you'd like a copy, simply mail a check for $10 (ten U.S. dollars) plus $3.50 shipping and handling, (that's $13.50 U.S. dollars total) made out to BETUMI, to BETUMI, P.O. Box 222/State College, PA 16804 U.S.A. and we'll rush a copy to you.