As a child, rice was not one of my favorite meal (shocker right?), considering the fact that most kids go bananas for it. Not me. The only time I truly enjoyed rice is when paired with beans. On the flip side, I love love beans- still do. I cannot let a month pass , without cooking up some good old beans like this one here.
In my hometown, Cameroon, we always prepare rice separately- then top it with stewed beans.
In Ghana, it is cooked together and most often referred to as Waakye (pronounced “Waatchy”) The basic version consist of beans, oil, onion, and baking soda (used primarily to soften the beans).
Here is my version of this spicy flavorful rice and beans. While I absolutely love smoked meat or fish in my beans; I thought it would to a good idea to make this without any fish. However, if you have crayfish do include them to make up for the loss of the smoky flavor.
I did not include crayfish in this version. I added some smoked paprika to make it tastier and it always does the trick.
Since Waakye is more on a dry side, it is best served with stew like this one featured here
Or accompanied with some sort of protein (chicken beef, fish) vegetables like this stewed brown chicken featured here
- ½ cup red / palm / or canola oil (I used ½ and ½)
- 2-3-garlic clove, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ scotch bonnet pepper or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 tomatoes diced
- 2 cups washed long grain rice(I used basmati)
- 2 cups cooked beans (black, red, black-eyed peas)
- 4½ - 5 cups chicken broth or water
- 1-tablespoon salt or more to taste
- 1-teaspoon chicken bouillon (optional)
- Heat a saucepan with oil. Then add onions, garlic, thyme, smoked paprika and hot pepper, sauté for about a minute, add tomatoes. Cook for about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in rice to the pan; continue stirring for about 2 minutes.
- Then add beans , 4½ cups of chicken stock/water, bring to a boil reduce heat, and simmer until rice is cooked, about 18 minutes or more. Adjust for salt and pepper. You have to stir occasionally to be preventing any burns.
- Serve warm with chicken, stew or vegetables