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Recipes New Cooking Bag

 Trial cooking
To make sure certain dishes can be prepared in the New Cooking Bag and to find out how long it takes to prepare them, we tested all the recipes first. It was such fun to start experimenting with the New Cooking Bag!

The women were sceptical at first. They thought it all sounded very nice, but they weren't sure it was actually going to work. Which was great, because when it turned out that it did work, their enthusiasm, amazement and joy were ever the greater.
For weeks on end, delicious smells filled the workshop. Passers-by who were attracted by the smells were dragged in immediately. We told them what we were doing and let them taste the delicious food. And every single one of them was as impressed as we were.

It made Hamdia muse: ‘We should be starting a restaurant...'









In order for us to successfully introduce the New Cooking Bag in Ghana, people must be able to prepare local dishes with it. We tested nineteen staple dishes of Ghana. You'll find the descriptions below. They are great for preparing in the New Cooking Bag.


Rice water

  Rice pudding. A popular breakfast dish. The rice is cooked in water because normal milk is hard to come by. When it's cooked, you add a tin of condensed milk and finish it off with sugar.  

Baby rice

  A simple dish of rice cooked in some oil with chopped onions. A simple sauce of raw tomatoes, ground pepper and onions is then added. Also called 'End of the week rice' because it's relatively cheap.  

Jolof rice

  In Ghana we eat local rice, which is unpolished rice, or imported white rice. For Jolof rice, you make a tasty sauce first. The rice is then boiled in the sauce, so it fully absorbs all the flavours.  

Rice Balls


You make rice balls from sticky rice, using your hand and a small bowl. The way you keep throwing a baseball into a glove. It's a very good solution when your rice accidentally turned out too sticky. Very nice with peanut soup!


Rice and Beans

  Ghaneans love mixing up all kinds of food. You often see them eating rice with beans and spaghetti to go with it. Rice and beans  is a traditional dish. With a little bit of saltpetre to soften up the beans...  



Beans come in all shapes and sizes in Ghana. Waakye is heavy food, often made with quite a lot of palm oil and onions. It's even popular for breakfast. They often add ground cassava which absorbs the oil, making it even richer.


Waakye Jolof

  A little bit of everything. You make a spicy sauce, boil the rice and beans in it, and voilà. It's easy to burn, just like the basic Jolof Rice, which makes it very suitable for cooking in the New Cooking Bag.  



Stew is the word for sauce. You usually make a full pan of stew that needs to be reheated daily to be preserved. You part of it every day. It's usually spicy and salty, so you don't need much.


Okru Soup

  Okru Soup accompanies T-Z and Banku, and it's either made from fresh or dried okra. The okra makes the soup a little slimy and slippery, which doesn't sound very nice but tastes delicious. When you drop something from your hands, people jokingly say: that must be the okra!  

Light Soup


Goes with Fufu, mashed yam. Light Soup always reminds me of a thick tomato soup. Nice and substantial, even though they call it 'light'. When you're ill, people often bring you Light Soup. It's nice with meat as well as fish and usually contains both.


Oats Water

  Oat flakes, for sale in shops in Ghana. This is a healthy and easy-to-make porridge for the mornings. You cook it with water: bring it to the boil and put it aside in the New Cooking Bag. Add condensed milk and sugar later.  


  Wheat can be used in the same way as rice, to make Jolof or have it with a sauce or even as wheat porridge. It's very healthy but relatively expensive. Ideal for finishing off in the New Cooking Bag!  


  T-Z is the traditional staple food in the Tamale area. Stirring corn flour with water until it' smooth isn't easy, so this is a laborious dish to make. You eat T-Z in a bowl of soup. In the villages surrounding Tamale this is everyday fare.        


  Maize is set to one side in water for a few days. Just as it's starting to smell sour and you think it's going off, it's perfect for Banku. It's ground and them boiled in water to form a firm lump. It's wonderful with some soup and it tastes a little bit like sauerkraut.  


  Small bits of yam cooked in a sauce. Very convenient if the yam you bought has little brown spots all over it. You simply cut the spots out and use the good bits for this easy recipe.  

Boiled Yam

  The yam is cut into cubes and boiled. Just like potatoes, really: they are quite similar. You eat this with your fingers and dip it into a sauce. Yam can be mashed too, to make Fufu, and it can even be fried to make chips.  


  Fresh fish is a staple food along the coast and around lake Volta. Here, in north Ghana, there's a large supply of dried and smoked fish. You can only buy fresh fish frozen, but it's very popular for use in soups and sauces.  


  The meat people eat around here is mostly beef and mutton. In Ghana, people also eat all kinds of meat we may find rather unusual. Goats and sheep are often slaughtered for traditional celebrations.  



Although chicken can also be bought frozen, people usually eat local free range chickens. Guinea fowl meat is very similar and very popular as well. Guinea fowl live in the wild here. It's domesticated by letting chickens hatch out Guinea fowl eggs.





Leaflet / manual
The NCB comes with a laminated leaflet. Cooking is usually done outdoors, on the ground, which is where these leaflets also end up. They are an A4 size, with recipes printed in black-and-white on one side, and instructions and tips for using the New Cooking Bag on the other.
Klik voor de recepten   Klik voor de werkwijze
 Cooking demonstrations

When something new appears on the horizon in Tamale, it's breaking news. And even though it's usually promoted, makes people curious, is much discussed and tried out by a brave few, people are mostly conservative. It always takes a while for novelties to be accepted and adopted. Trying to change something that has been done in the same way for centuries is hard work. Especially where cooking traditions are concerned!

To let cooking with the New Cooking Bag take root, we have to show people it works. That's why we give cooking demonstrations to women's groups at the church or the mosque, for example. We invite people into the workshop to demonstrate the new way of cooking and throw New Cooking Bag Parties in compound houses, bringing women together to show them all the possibilities of cooking with the New Cooking Bag. We cook and give information in the marketplace and if events are organised we always try to be there. And the highlight of these demonstrations is invariably... the tasting!