The sister of a friend opened up a brand new catering company here in Edmonton, and I was lucky enough to snag an invite to the launch party. Ayikarley’s Kitchen serves up authentic Ghanaian cooking. The proprietor, Ellen, is building up her list of dishes and has a wonderfully bubbly personality.
Plantains look like bananas but are more firm and aren’t as sweet as bananas. They require cooking, and Ayikarley’s Kitchen fried some up to start off the meal. It was hard to resist snacking on these things.
Peanut butter soup with crab and smoked fish
This was probably my favourite dish of the evening. The soup was light, but filling, and I somehow managed to have a whole catfish head in my serving. Mmmm fish heads are yummy!
Okra stew with goat and rice
Made with onions, tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, egg plants, okra and spices. Oh and goat. Goat tastes basically like tougher lamb. The flavour was good with this dish, but I didn’t care for the okra too much as it was a little mushy. I think that’s more of a personal preference though, as I’m not fond of mushy vegetables.
Black-eyed bean stew and plantains, also known as red red
A mix of tomatoes, onions, and scotch bonnet peppers, black-eyed beans and spices. Great dish. I forgot to ask if these beans were the same thing as black-eyed peas.
Jollof rice and baked spicy chicken
Spinach stew with beef
By this time I was getting extremely full. I managed to find enough room for some chicken, as well as a taste of the rice and spinach stew. The chicken was fantastic; the meat melted off of the bone. And the spinach stew had wonderful flavours too. The rice was a good way to cool you off after eating all the spicy food.
I hadn’t realized how much spicy food there was in that culture. It must be related to the weather somehow, as it seems to me that Asian food is always spicier when it originates from hot climates. Not that all the food I had that night was spicy; some dishes were hot and some were mild.
I would definitely recommend Ayikarley’s Kitchen to anyone looking for an alternate to the old roast beef/sandwiches kind of catering. It’s a unique experience that I’m looking forward to trying sometime in the future.