Rice and Black Beans

Black Beans & Rice

This is what I come home to on some Fridays, rice and black beans – It’s @adjoa’s specialty.

My mom usually announces as soon as I come through the door, “your sister made waakye, if you’re nice to her maybe she’ll give you some,” When ever am I not?

This rice and black beans is of course a riff on the popular Ghanaian street/fast food, waakye.

Traditionally, it’s rice and black eyed-peas cooked with millet stalks, which gives it it’s distinctive reddish to purplish hue.

One day @adjoa discovered that black beans and rice yields the same colour as the traditional waakye, and practically tastes the same, and our version of waakye was born – as close to authentic as we can get from oceans away.

IMG_3880 IMG_3872

She had to convince my mom though; she starts with, “Our kind adapts…” I don’t exactly know what that means, but it’s the same convincing tone she uses to get us to try Burmese food and capoeira.

So on some Fridays, she goes by the African Market on Kingsway and buys shitto, the hot dried-fish and pepper sauce that usually accompanies waakye.

At home, she cooks the black beans first, then adds the rice when the beans is half done, and then let the rice and beans simmer and cook slowly until it’s tender and fluffy and the liquid is absorbed.

I love coming home to this on Fridays…



Rice and Black Beans


  • 2 cups black beans, rinsed (soak overnight or 3 – 5 hrs if you prefer softer beans)
  • 3 cups parboiled rice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Place beans in a large pot with 6 – 7 cups of water
  2. Cook covered on high heat for 35 – 40 minutes, or until the beans are soft but not done
  3. Add rice, coconut oil and salt, stir and cook for 10 minutes
  4. Stir, lower heat and cook on low covered for another 10 minutes, or until rice and beans are cooked through
  5. Serve with a tomato based sauce and/or Ghanaian Shitto with a side of greens or steamed/roasted vegetables
  6. Enjoy!


Black Beans & Rice with Hot Pepper Sauce

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  • Reply Kitchen Butterfly

    Waakye, I remember it well from the one time I tried a bit in Cape Coast. I am so fascinated by the name versus the pronunciation.

    Your photos are gorgeous. When are you going to do a how to on photography. Inspiring.

    14 January, 2013 at 10:31 am
    • Reply Elsa

      In the Akan alphabet ‘kye’ is pronounced ‘che’ (like Che Guevara)*,* hence the name/pronunciation difference.

      Anyway, thank you, thank you… 🙂 one of these days I’ll get my act together and do a post on my photography.

      14 January, 2013 at 11:33 pm
  • Reply LohiO

    OMG! I just found your blog and I am in love!! absolute love! The photography is amazing! I have tried Waakye at my Ghanaian friends house and I loved it. Now I have a recipe to re-create. Thank you!

    15 January, 2013 at 12:48 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Thanks for your wonderful complements and saying hi! I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t like Waakye 🙂 Let me know how the recipe turns out for you.

      15 January, 2013 at 3:52 pm
  • Reply Freedes Em

    By far the sexiest Ghanaian food I have ever seen. I love the photos!

    23 January, 2013 at 2:54 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Awwww… Thank you 🙂

      23 January, 2013 at 4:35 pm

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