Kelewele is a popular Ghanaian snack dish of fried plantains seasoned with spices. In English, it is sometimes called Hot Plantain Crisps. In Africa, kelewele is sold by street vendors, usually at night. It is sometimes served with rice and stew, peanuts, or alone as a dessert or a snack. Kelewele is also popular for breakfast.
The plantains are peeled and may be cut into chunks or cubes. Usually, ginger, cayenne pepper, and salt are the typical spices used to make kelewele. However, onions, anise, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and chilli powder are also used as spices. The oil should be hot and the plantain not be too soft, or it will absorb too much oil. It is cooked until the sugar in the plantains caramelizes, with brown edges.
- 4 - 6 plantains, ripe, but not past ripe, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or ½ teaspoon red pepper
- ½ teaspoon peeled grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons water
- palm oil or vegetable oil (for frying)
- Grind together grated ginger, pepper, and salt, then mix with water.
- In a glass bowl toss together the plantain cubes and spice mixture.
- In a deep skillet, heat oil (just deep enough to allow plantains to float) to 175°C. Fry plantains, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. (Don't try to fry them all at once; they should not touch each other while frying).
- Drain on absorbent paper, keep in warmed oven until all the plantains are fried. Serve kelewele immediately.