Even though it is produced from fermented corn or maize, there are two varieties of kenkey, depending on small twist in the production… the Ga Kenkey and the Fanti Kenkey. Both types are produced by cooking fermented dough of corn wrapped in maize husk or plantain leaves.
The Ga Kenkey, also called Komi, is fermented for a few days, 2 – 3 days, wrapped in a single layer of maize husk, with salt added to spice up the flavour.
The Fanti kenkey is also called dokon, meaning "mouth watering", obviously referring to the pleasant taste and aroma that emanates from it after preparation.
It is usually fermented a little longer than the Ga type, and no salt is added. It is wrapped in about 5 – 6 layers of plantain leaves.
Traditionally, kenkey is made by women at home in what is now seen to be a very tedious process. These days, you can buy already prepared kenkey from the shops.
White maize is soaked in water for a day to soften, and then milled into dough. The dough is allowed to ferment for two to four days.
The fermented dough is then kneaded using the hand into a smooth ball, cut in two equal portions and a portion cooked for about 10 – 20 minutes in a pot of water into a gelatinous solid paste.
This is wrapped in either maize husk or plantain leaves and put in a pot with water and allow to boil for 1 – 3 hours, depending on the size of the dumplings and or heat source.
The cooked dumpling is the kenkey, and is ready to be served with a traditional Ghanaian soup or stew which is usually a vegetable sauce with fish or meat.
These days, kenkey is made from grinding maize into a dry powder, mixed with warm water, and allow to ferment for 2 -3 days, then the other steps remain the same. Instead of a maize husk or plantain leaf, a foil can be used to wrap the dough before cooking.
If you live in Ghana, it is easy to get kenkey from most staple food shops, already prepared.
If you are in London, you can get prepared kenkey from some solely Ghanaian foods shop. You do not need a cheap flight to Ghana to get kenkey. Why not prepare your own kenkey today from maize. You can buy kenkey maize online here at our Kenkey Store.
Thinking of what soup to eat kenkey with? Try this kenkey soup - palm nut soup – today.