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Accra, 2013, 6 a.m.: The scrawny Rooster strangles his voice and my sleep with his fuss. Mercy’s broom has already begun switching away last night’s dreams. I hear my uncle scurrying out the screen door headed for the waakye stall across the street on the corner of Palace Street, North Kaneshie—his first breakfast beckons. Waayke (pronounced WAH-chay). The ludicrously extravagant breakfast that is sold on street corners in a plastic bag or wrapped in a plantain leaf puts any UK street food and even some brunch menus to shame.


Credit: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey

Recipe Summary test

2 hrs 20 mins
2 hrs 40 mins


For the Goat Stew
For the Rice
For serving, your choice of any/all of the following:


Prepare the Stew
  • Remove goat from refrigerator. Toss goat with 1 teaspoon of the salt in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature 25 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, grind Guinea pepper pods in a mortar and pestle; remove grains and discard any pods. Toast Guinea pepper and grains of paradise in a small skillet over medium, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. With a mortar and pestle, grind Guinea pepper mixture to a coarse powder.  Add 1 cup of the onion and 1 teaspoon of the fresh ginger; grind and smash into smooth juicy paste. Set spice paste aside.

  • Process red bell peppers, plum tomatoes, Scotch bonnet chile, 1 cup of the onions, 1 teaspoon of the fresh ginger, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth, about 45 seconds; set aside.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or medium Dutch oven over medium. Add goat and sear, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, about 12 minutes. While goat cooks, stir together garlic, brown sugar, paprika, corn flour, and turmeric in a small bowl. Reduce heat to low. Add garlic mixture to goat, and stir to coat goat in garlic mixture. Add water, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Cover and steam over low until meat juices run clear, about 20 minutes. (You should not hear water bubbling vigorously while steaming goat.) Uncover pan and transfer the contents of the pot to a medium bowl. Wipe pan clean.

  • Heat remaining 1/2 cup oil in same pan over medium. Add cayenne pepper and remaining 1 cup onion and 1 teaspoon fresh ginger.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add allspice, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground ginger, and stir to coat onion mixture in spice mixture. Stir in ground Guinea pepper spice paste. Return seared goat along with drippings to pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir crayfish powder into goat mixture. Add processed bell pepper mixture, tomato sauce, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring and scraping bottom of pan  occasionally, until goat is tender, sauce thickens, and stew darkens in color, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Prepare the Rice
  • Place rice in a medium bowl, add water to cover, and swirl rice with your hand. Drain through a fine mesh strainer; return rice to bowl. Repeat process until water is clear when swirled with rice. Heat a large, heavy saucepan over medium. Add coconut oil and yellow onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned around the edges, about 6 minutes.

  • While onions cooks, swiftly rinse dried millet leaves under water because the color will start to run as soon as they get wet; cut into 3-inch pieces.

  • Add sliced chiles, black-eyed peas, millet leaves or baking soda, salt, and drained rice to onion mixture in pan, and stir to coat each grain of rice in oil. Stir in stock and bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 12 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand, covered, until water is absorbed and rice is very tender, 8 to 12 minutes.

  • Serve the stew ladled over the rice. Top with eggs, chives, sesame seeds, avocado slices, Shito hot pepper sauce, chiles, and cilantro, if desired.  If you eat this for breakfast we’ll make a Ghanaian out of you yet!