Banku: Ghana’s Fermented Staple By Nourishing Africa

                                                                                            Image Credit: Fast Food Products


Banku is a Ghanaian dish which is cooked by mixing fermented corn and cassava dough in hot water into a smooth, whitish paste, served with soup, stew or a pepper sauce with fish. Banku originated from the Ewe people in Volta Region and is one of Ghana’s staple foods. In Southern Ghana, Ga, Ga-Adangme and Ewe speakers are the largest consumers of banku. Ewe speakers living in Togo and even parts of Benin also enjoy variations of banku. Banku-like staples here differ due to changes in ratios of dough parts or minor additions. Examples include akple, akume or wokumé and, kom.


Not only is Banku one of the favourite dishes in Ghana and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa.  Its importance in Ghanaian homes is comparable to the importance of rice in Chinese cuisine. Just like kenkey or ugali, those who eat banku often pair it with watery soups, thick stews, or at times with a serving of ground pepper-based sauce.



A banku-based meal is nutritious and easy to prepare. Leftover banku can last for up to a week, some prefer to keep it longer because the fermentation process continues and gives it more flavour and taste if stored properly.