Ghana is a land of diversity, filled with different people of different ethnicity, who all have their unique languages, clothing and even foods they eat.
In the last couple of decades, cultures have diversified in Ghana, exchanges between ethnic groups have taken place. For instance people of Southern Ghana, mostly the Akans, Gas and Ewes all now wear the Batakari clothing, a dress which is regarded as the traditional costume of people in the northern part of Ghana.
This culture exchange and diversification did not only happen in the area of clothing but also the foods we eat as a people. Today it is common to go into a Ga community and see households pounding fufu (a local dish of the Asantes and Akyems) to be eaten as their supper.
Another such food which has moved from being an ethnic based food to a national delicacy is the ever tasty Tuo Zaafi, popularly known as TZ in the southern part of Ghana. Tuo Zaafi, a relatively unknown northern delicacy has over the last decade grown in popularity in the Southern part of Ghana to become a national delicacy enjoyed by people in every part of Ghana.
The food which originated from the northern part of Ghana is traditionally prepared with millet dough with the final product looking very white. While the northern part of Ghana still stick to using millet dough to prepare the dish, the people in the southern part of Ghana have made some slight changes to the traditional way of preparing it, by adding maize and cassava though.
Tuo Zaafi is eaten with a special green vegetable stew or soup mainly containing the popular green bitter leaves as its core ingredient known as “Ayoyo”. Notwithstanding, Tuo Zaafi can equally be eaten with Okra soup and this is especially common in the South where consumers prefer the Okra soup over the green leaves soup.
Tuo Zaafi is now common in most chop bars in cities like Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi. If you are yet to taste this God-sent food, the next time you visit any ‘Chop Bar’ be sure to order for some and have a taste of the food stolen from the North and gifted to the entire nation. Ask your guide for popular Tuo Zaafi joints in town.
The attached Tuo Zaafi recipe is from Modern Ghana.