Authentic Ghanaian Kenkey Recipe: A Step-by-Step Guide


  • 2 cups of Corn dough
  • 1 cup of Corn husks
  • 1 cup of Water

Steps and instructions

  1. Soak the corn husks in water to soften them.
  2. Separate a third of the corn dough, add a cup of water, and mix thoroughly to form a smooth mixture.
  3. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat under moderate temperature. Stir the mixture continuously until it thickens.
  4. Add the remaining two-thirds of corn dough to the hot mixture and mix until they blend well.
  5. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting and leave the mixture for about 10 minutes to cool.
  6. Take small portions of the cooled mixture and shape them into balls or ovals.
  7. Wrap each ball or oval with the soaked corn husks, ensuring each is fully covered.
  8. Place the wrapped dough balls in a large saucepan, add enough water, and boil for about 2 hours. Ensure the kenkey is fully cooked by inserting a clean fork into one. If it comes out clean, it's done.
  9. Remove the kenkey from the saucepan, let them cool, and serve with hot sauce, fried fish, or any other accompaniment of your choice.

Tools for making

  • Mixing Bowl - A large bowl to mix the corn dough and water.
  • Saucepan - A deep pan to cook the corn dough mixture.
  • Fork - To test the doneness of the kenkey by inserting it into one and checking if it comes out clean.
  • Large Saucepan - A pot to boil the wrapped kenkey.
  • Knife - To shape the kenkey dough into balls or ovals.
  • Corn Husks - To wrap the kenkey dough for cooking.

Recipe variations

  • Using whole wheat flour instead of corn dough for a healthier alternative
  • Adding grated coconut to the corn dough for a tropical twist
  • Using banana leaves instead of corn husks for wrapping the kenkey
  • Adding spices such as ginger, garlic, or chili powder for extra flavor
  • Adding cooked and shredded meat or fish to the dough mixture for a meaty version
  • Replacing water with coconut milk or broth for a richer taste
  • Adding finely chopped vegetables such as onions, bell peppers, or carrots for added texture
  • Using different types of corn dough, such as yellow or blue corn, for a colorful variation
  • Experimenting with different shapes and sizes, such as making mini kenkey balls or larger oblong shapes
  • Serving with a variety of sauces and dips, such as peanut sauce or avocado salsa

Recipe overview

Kenkey is a traditional Ghanaian dish, mainly made from fermented corn dough, and it's a staple food in many parts of the country. This dish is a great source of probiotics due to the fermentation process used in its preparation, making it not only delicious but also good for your health. Shaped into balls or ovals and wrapped in corn husks, Kenkey is typically served with hot sauce, fish, or any other protein of your choice. In this recipe, you'll learn how to prepare your very own Kenkey right at home. The process involves mixing corn dough, cooking it to form a thick mixture, shaping it, wrapping it in corn husks, and finally boiling it to perfection. It's a simple yet rewarding process, and the end product is a flavorful and nutritious meal that's well worth the effort. Enjoy the culinary journey!

Common questions

  1. How long does it take to soak the corn husks?
    Soak the corn husks for at least 30 minutes to ensure they are fully softened.
  2. Can I use store-bought corn dough?
    Yes, you can use store-bought corn dough if you prefer.
  3. Can I add spices or seasonings to the corn dough mixture?
    Yes, you can add spices or seasonings such as salt, pepper, or herbs to enhance the flavor of the kenkey.
  4. What size should the kenkey balls be?
    The size of the kenkey balls is a personal preference, but they are typically about the size of a tennis ball.
  5. Can I steam the kenkey instead of boiling?
    Yes, you can steam the kenkey instead of boiling if you prefer. Steam them for about 2 hours or until fully cooked.
  6. How long does it take for the kenkey to cool before serving?
    Allow the kenkey to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.
  7. How should I store any leftover kenkey?
    Store any leftover kenkey in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be reheated by steaming or boiling when ready to serve again.

Serving dishes and utensils

  • Large saucepan - Used for boiling the kenkey.
  • Mixing bowl - For mixing the corn dough and water.
  • Saucepan - For heating and cooking a portion of the corn dough.
  • Fork - To check if the kenkey is fully cooked.
  • Corn husks - Used for wrapping the kenkey before boiling.

Origin stories

Kenkey, also known as Komi or Dorkunu, is a staple food in Ghana, a West African country known for its rich culture and history. The preparation of Kenkey is deeply rooted in the Ga tribe, primarily in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The Ga people are known for their elaborate and painstaking culinary processes, and Kenkey is no exception. This dish, made from fermented corn, is not just about the taste but also holds a significant cultural value. It is a common sight to see street vendors selling Kenkey wrapped in corn husks, often served with hot pepper sauce and fried fish—a snapshot of Ghana that presents a palate of both taste and tradition. Moreover, Kenkey has crossed borders and reached international popularity, becoming a symbol of Ghanaian cuisine all over the world.

Disclaimer: This recipe was not created by humans and we cannot ensure that it will turn out as expected. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this recipe (including steps, ingredients, nutritional information, and all sections on this page). You should check to make sure you are not allergic to any ingredients and take safety precautions while making this. The images on this page are generated by AI and may not accurately represent the result of making this recipe.