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Banku is a common food in Ghana. It is eaten by all the tribes and regions in the country but it is commonly found among the Ga’s. It is a carbohydrate starchy food. Banku is made from a mixture of maize and grated cassava tuber. When preparing banku you make sure the maize ferment before cooking. When preparing banku and hot pepper the following items are needed;

Six to eight cups of corn (maize) flour or cornmeal (ground corn or ground maize), Pepper, tomatoes, onion, oil fresh fish and salt to taste.

How to prepare the fermented cornmeal dough

In a large container combine the corn flour with just enough warm water to dampen all of it. Make sure it mixes well.

Cover the container with a clean cloth and set it in a warm place.

Fermentation may take longer than two days, especially in cool climates. The flour should ferment before cooking. When it is properly fermented, it should have a slightly sour, but not unpleasant. And once the fermented dough is ready you can then prepare your banku.


In a large pot, bring one cup of water to boil. Slowly add the fermented dough. Cook for 20mins or more, stirring constantly and vigorously. The banku should become thick and stiff.


Add water as necessary, if it becomes too dry.


Serve the banku into serving-sized balls (about the size of an orange)


Prepare your fresh fish by taking out the gills and removing scales. Put another pot on fire, pour oil into the pot and heat the oil on a medium-high and begin to drop fish into the oil by frying it.


Prepare your hot pepper in the meantime by grinding the pepper, tomatoes and onion together. Add salt to the mixture


Pour the mixture into a bowl and slice onions into thin slice and garnish it on the mixture



Banku is a staple from Ghana made from partially-fermented ground maize and grated Cassava.
The recipe below and method described is how my cousin ( prepared it. The photos are the results of the wonderful meal she prepared while I was visiting her.


1 cup grated or blended Cassava/Yuca
3 cups of Corn Flour or Ground Maize

In place of the Corn Flour and Cassava you could opt for the Banku Mix found in most African Stores



Combine the cornflour and grated cassava with just enough warm water to dampen and mix well.
 Cover the container with a clean cloth and allow to stand in a warm place for 2 to 3 days. (In cooler climates it may take up to 4 days to ferment.) When properly fermented the mix should have a slightly sour aroma (rather like that of rising bread).

Making Banku:

Knead the fermented dough with your hands until it is thoroughly mixed and slightly stiffened.
Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a pot.
Slowly add the fermented dough to this and cook on a low simmer for 20 minutes or more, stirring constantly and vigourously. The banku will become thick and stiff.  
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