Kenkey (also known as kɔmi, otim, kooboo or dorkunu) is a staple swallow food similar to sourdough dumplings from the Ga and Fante-inhabited regions of West Africa, usually served with pepper crudaiola and fried fish, soup or stew.

Kenkey and ground pepper with sardine
Alternative nameskɔmi pronounced (kormi),
TypeSwallow, dumpling
Place of originGhana
Main ingredientsGround corn
Woman preparing fante kenkey (boiled maize dough)


Kenkey is produced by steeping grains of maize in water for about one week, before they are then milled and kneaded with water into a dough.[1] The dough is allowed to ferment for four days to a week before part of the dough is cooked.[1]


Areas where kenkey is eaten are Ghana, eastern Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, western Benin, Guyana, and Jamaica. It is usually made from ground corn (maize), like sadza and ugali. It is popularly known as kɔmi (pronounced kormi) by the Gas or dokono by the Akans in Ghana. It is also known in Jamaica as dokunoo, dokono, dokunu, blue drawers, and tie-a-leaf. In Mexico, there is a version called "Tamale". Kenkey can also be found in an area of Northern Ghana whose capital is called Tamale. In Guyana, it is called konkee.[2] In Trinidad it is called "paime" (pronounced pay-me) and differs in that it does not contain plantain but may include pumpkin and coconut. In the cuisine of the Caribbean, it is made with cornmeal, plantain, green banana, sweet potato (Asante and Jamaican version, which came from the Asante version) or cassava, wrapped in banana leaves. The food is derived from African cooking traditions.[3][4]

Fante kenkey

Unlike ugali, making kenkey involves letting the maize ferment before cooking. Therefore, preparation takes a few days in order to let the dough ferment. Corn meal is mixed with cornstarch and water is added until a smooth and consistent dough is obtained. It is covered and left in a warm place for the fermentation to take place.[2] After fermentation, the kenkey is partially cooked, wrapped in banana leaves, corn husks, or foil, and steamed.[5] There are several versions of kenkey, such as Ga and Fante kenkey. The Ga kenkey is more common in most parts of Ghana.

Ice kenkey is a meal made from kenkey mixed with water, sugar, powdered milk, and ice.[1]

See also


  1. Atter, Amy; Ofori, Hayford; Anyebuno, George Anabila; Amoo-Gyasi, Michael; Amoa-Awua, Wisdom Kofi (2015). "Safety of a street vended traditional maize beverage, ice-kenkey, in Ghana". Food Control. 55: 200–205. doi:10.1016/j.foodcont.2015.02.043.
  2. "Ghana: Kenkey". 196 flavors. 2019-06-21. Retrieved 2020-06-04.
  3. Jamaican Cooking: 140 Roadside and Homestyle Recipes. 1997. ISBN 9780028610016.
  4. "Regional Dishes". touringghana. Archived from the original on 10 August 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  5. "KENKEY". Ghanaweb. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  1. Nout, M. J. R.; Kok, B.; Vela, E.; Nche, P. F.; Rombouts, F. M. (1995-01-01). "Acceleration of the fermentation of kenkey, an indigenous fermented maize food of Ghana". Food Research International. 28 (6): 599–604. doi:10.1016/0963-9969(95)00059-3. ISSN 0963-9969.
  2. M, Halm; A, Lillie; Ak, Sørensen; M, Jakobsen (July 1993). "Microbiological and Aromatic Characteristics of Fermented Maize Doughs for Kenkey Production in Ghana". International Journal of Food Microbiology. 19 (2): 135–143. doi:10.1016/0168-1605(93)90179-k. PMID 8398627. Retrieved 2020-06-06.
  3. A, Annan-Prah; Ja, Agyeman (1997-04-30). "Nutrient Content and Survival of Selected Pathogenic Bacteria in Kenkey Used as a Weaning Food in Ghana". Acta Tropica. 65 (1): 33–42. doi:10.1016/s0001-706x(97)00650-5. PMID 9140512. Retrieved 2020-06-06.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.