Ghanaian Waakye

Ghanaian Chicken Waakye

Waakye is very popular all over Ghana. The name derives from waakye leaves that are typically used to turn the color of the dish to reddish-brown. Baking soda has the same effect. Try this basic dish with sides of your choice and grains of paradise to your taste. These peppercorns are native to West Africa, mainly from Ghana, and a mild but pungent alternative to black pepper.
Hands-on Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Ghanaian
Servings 3


Shopping list

  • 1 lb chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 can Kidney beans rinsed
  • 1.5 cups long grain rice washed

You might have

  • 1 onion peeled and roughly cut
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and roughly cut
  • 1 inch ginger peeled and roughly cut
  • baking soda
  • oil
  • salt & pepper

Waakye Culinary Spice Kit

  • Pouch [1] Smoked paprika, thyme, bay leaves
  • Pouch [2] Grains of paradise



  • In a large POT, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat.
  • Careful of splatters, add beans and fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add 1 tsp baking soda, rice, 3 cups of water, and salt to taste.
  • Mix well, cover, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked.


  • In a FOOD PROCESSOR, blend onion, garlic, and ginger with 1/2 cup of water until smooth.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a large PAN, heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat.
  • Add the chicken and fry until it turns brown on all sides.
  • Careful of splatters, add the liquid from the FOOD PROCESSOR and Waakye [1] spices.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked. Add some more water if necessary and salt to taste.
  • On the plated dish, sprinkle Waakye [2] spices to taste from a grinder or the whole peppercorns.


  • Serve Waakye with fried plantains, boiled eggs, and/ or sour cabbage salad (see notes).
  • Enjoy!


▪ Substitute kidney beans with black-eyed peas.
Recipes for:
▪ vegetarian Waakye
▪ optional side dishes