Waakye is a Ghanaian dish of cooked rice and beans. It is cooked using many of the methods without additional spices and herbs. The rice is cooked with an indigenous leaf (sorghum leaf sheaths) and black eyed peas (indigenous) or kidney beans (originally from the Americas). It is commonly prepared in the home but it is also sold by roadside vendors. It is a very popular dish in Ghana.. A typical waakye meal usually consists of the cooked rice and beans, shito (hot black pepper sauce), stew, some spaghetti, and moist gari (both of which are sometimes mixed with oil from the stew), boiled eggs, stewed meat or stewed/fried fish, stewed wele (cooked-down cowhide) and vegetable salad (which may include cabbage, onions and tomatoes). It may also be eaten with kelewele (fried plantain). It originated from the northern parts of Ghana.


  •        3 cups rice
  •        11/2 cup red beans or black-eyed peas, or any kind of beans or peas
  •        6 dry sorghum leaves (or 1 teaspoon of baking soda)
  •        Some salt to taste
  •        15 cups of water


The preparation is quite easy.

  • Rinse the beans thoroughly and then soak in water for 3–4 hours.
  • Then drain the beans and pour in a pot of water, and let it cook for about 45 minutes.
  • Wash the sorghum leaves before cutting them to small pieces. Toss them in with the boiling beans and allow them to cook together. If sorghum leaves are not available, add a teaspoon of baking soda to give the Waakye its distinct colour. Remember to remove the sorghum leaves from the beans after 5 minutes.
  • Now it’s time to wash the rice and add it to the beans in the pot. Be sure to add a little more water to accommodate the rice.
  • Allow the mixture to cook for 15–20 minutes. By this time, the rice should be done. You may now add your preferred seasoning. Keep stirring the mixture while cooking to prevent it from burning and allow the water to drain enough.

Voilà!  Your Waakye is ready to be eaten! Waakye is usually served for breakfast or lunch with a typical Ghanaian spicy pepper sauce. It can be a standalone meal itself or it can be eaten with some spaghetti, boiled eggs and with fish, chicken, beef, and vegetables. You can choose fish stew or Shito sauce to go with your Waakye. The choice is simply yours!

Country: Ghana

Dish type: Breakfast/Lunch

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