Some dispute that okra originates from West Africa but there’s no denying that the word okra is of Western African origin. Okra soup and banku is a traditional recipe from western Africa and is most popular in Ghana. Banku is made from partially-fermented ground maize and grated Cassava.
We met the Okra Lady in Mallam Atta market (also known as Malata market). If you want a true local market experience, you’ll find it here. In the three hours we were there we didn’t see any other tourist and you won’t find African masks or other tourist handcrafts at this market.
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Fufu is a staple food of West Africa and originated from Ghana. It is made by pounding boiled cassava, yams or plantains into a dough-like consistency. Men mostly do the pounding because it requires a lot of physical strength. Fufu is usually eaten with a light soup or groundnut or palm nut sauce. I tried fufu and it was pretty starchy and like nothing I've tasted before. It may be an acquired taste.
There is no shortage of unusual sights at the Malata Market in central Accra; unusual at least to my western eyes. My first thought on seeing these two piles of pig feet was a group of pigs, each with four prosthetic legs, but then I quickly realized the Ghanaians eat the whole animal. I'm sure our pigs feet end up in hotdogs or cat food, but these hooves will most likely end up in a traditional Ghanaian Pigs Feet Stew.
A trip to the Malata Market in Accra is worth your while on so many levels. You get to see how the locals shop in this non-touristy place of culinary commerce, you get to eat some authentic Ghanian fare (if you dare) and you inevitable meet a bunch of super curious, super cute kids. The Banana Boy was not shy of our lens and flashed us his pearly whites without us asking.