Fried plantains are popular wherever plantains grow- Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and a the tropical regions of South America. Kelewele is an especially popular Ghanaian dish made of fried plantains seasoned with spices. In Ghana’s capital city of Accra, kelewele is usually sold at night by street vendors and sometimes in the afternoon by women from the countryside.
Kelewele may be served as a snack, a starter, or as a side dish to main course dishes such as Jollof rice, spicy barbecued meat, tomato and peanut stews. It is made in different ways: salted or unsalted, cut into “ears”, “fingers”, diced, or fried whole.
Kelewele- Ghanaian Spicy Fried Plantains
- Large skillet or wok
- Spider scoop or slotted spoon
- Large bowl
- 4 ripe Plantains, peeled (see notes) and cut into bite-sized cubes
- 2 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp Ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Water
- 2 cups Palm or vegetable oil
- ¼ cup Peanuts, chopped (garnish)
- Combine grated ginger, pepper, and salt in a bowl. Add water and mix everything together.
- Add plantains to the bowl and mix everything together to coat.
- Heat oil in a skillet or wok to 350°F (175°C). Frying plantains in uncrowded batches, fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with crushed peanuts as they come out of the skillet. Serve hot.
- Peeling plantains is very different than a banana. To peel, warm plantain on the counter or in warm water. Cut off both ends. Cut a deep vertical slit. Peel plantains from the sides, not vertically like a banana.