Ghanaian Kelewele

Ghanaian Kelewele
Kelewele (pronounced kay-lay-way-lay) is a West African street food that is particularly popular in Ghana. Commonly sold as cubed bits, people also like to slice them more like fries or potato wedges, and sometimes as medallions. These spicy seasoned and fried treats are great for parties, hors d’oeuvres, side dishes, and even tossed on salad.

The traditional Kelewele works off a base of ginger and salt. After that, each street vendor or Chop House can spice it up however they choose. I’m going to run with this idea and claim this as my own version of Kelewele.

…However, in reality I was having quite a hard time making anything tasty by working with the traditional recipes I was finding. Either the seasoning was dry and bitter-hot or wouldn’t stick to the plantains. Finally I decided to use yogurt as a base and have battered Kelewele.

The next time I am in West Africa, (the first time,) I will be sure to check out the ‘correct’ way to make these treats, but for now I am rather proud of what I’ve come up with, and know it will be a hit with your next guests as well.

Kelewele – Spicy Fried Plantains

By: Semiserious Chefs
Serves: 2-4


  • 2 green or yellow plantains
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (6 oz container)
  • 2 T grated* fresh ginger
  • 1 small red onion, grated*
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated*
  • 1-2 serrano chilies, finely minced
  • 2 T packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 t ground clove
  • 3/4 t sea salt
  • Oil for frying

*I used a micro planer for each of these. You may find success with a food processor.


  • Peel the plantains and halve. Slice each half lengthwise twice to make 8 wedges total for each plantain.
  • Add the ginger, onion, garlic, chili, sugar, spices, and yogurt to a bowl and whisk well.
  • Add your sliced plantains and let marinade while your oil heats.
  • Prepare you frying oil. It needs to be around 350°F, or just hot enough to sizzle a few very small drops of water.
  • Fry each wedge for 3 minutes, working in batches as needed. Let them cool on a drying wrack.
  • Serve hot with a cold beer for rave reviews.

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