Waakye Stew

Waakye Stew as the name goes is basically a popular stew served with waakye. A good waakye must have a good waakye stew otherwise it’s not ‘the waakye’. In Ghana, waakye stew is known to be best made by people from the northern parts and it’s one of their native dishes so it isn’t surprising!

Waakye stew is just a tomato stew however, it has this authentic and different taste which keeps the mind wondering on what the secret ingredient is. If you’ve not been let in the secret, you’ll never guess it right. My sister in-law who is from the northern part of Ghana let me in the secret after a lot of coaxing :). I have shared the secret here but I won’t point it out on what it actually is! Follow my step by step guide and you’ll make a lovely waakye stew with an authentic taste. If you find out what the secret is, do let me know :).

When I set out to write out this recipe, I didn’t realize how long the instructions will be. Please don’t be deterred by how lengthy it is, it is easier than it looks. In actual fact that is the perception most people have about Waakye stew. They think it’s so difficult to make but I tell you it’s so easy. The ingredients list may seem like a tall order but it’s the little touches and processes that makes this stew what it is. Give it a try and let me have your feedback, comments or questions. Enjoy!


Meat & Seasoning for Meat:

  • 800g – 1 Kg Goat Meat (mixture of goat leg/shoulder)
  • Tripe and cow foot (handful each or more)
  • 1 Stock Cube Meat Seasoning
  • 2 Tsp Egye Aware Spice Blend (alternatively use a teaspoon each combination of thyme,
  • Star Arnise, Aniseed (nkitinkiti), Rosemary & Cloves)
  • 50g Fresh ginger
  • 1 small onion
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tsp salt


  • 2 x 400g Canned Tomatoes or Fresh Tomatoes on the vine (blended)
  • 2 x 500g Passata
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 620g Onions Julienned or thinly sliced.
  • 20g Onion
  • 20g Fresh Ginger
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tsp Mild curry powder
  • Small Scotch Bonnet
  • 1/2 Tsp Cayenne powdered pepper (or to your taste)
  • 2 Tsp Cray Fish Powder
  • Oil – 8 ladles
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut up meat, tripe and cow foot into medium sizes.
  2. Place all the meat seasoning in a blender or food processor and blend all together. Add a bit of water to help with the blending if required.
  3. Add the blended mixture the meat, tripe and cow foot. Add salt to taste, about a teaspoon. Mix well and let it season for some couple of hours or preferably overnight.
  4. Place the passata and blended tomatoes in a deep pot, add the bay leaves. Place on the hob and let it simmer into paste.
  5. When ready to cook the meat, let it come to room temperature if it was left overnight in the refrigerator. Separate the cow foot and tripe from the meat. Add any excess liquid from the seasoning to the meat pot. Boil the two separately. Start to boil the meat in its own juices until tender. Add extra water if needed.
  6. To the cow foot pot add enough water to cover it up. Boil until soft. You may need to add extra water.
  7. To start the stew, heat up the oil till hot. Remove the meat from the stock if any is left. Fry the meat in the hot oil until well browned. If you happened to cook the meat and the tripe together separate them from the meat. Do not fry the tripe.
  8. Once all the meat has been fried, add the julienne onions and fry under medium heat until it caramelizes.
  9. Blend the 20g onion, ginger, scotch bonnet and garlic. Add the blended mixture to the caramelized onions. Stir and use the liquid to de-glaze the pot. In other words, whilst stirring, scrap off any browned and sticky bits into the mixture. Fry until most of the water has evaporated.
  10. Add curry powder, and cayenne powder stir for about 2 minutes.
  11. Now add the simmered tomatoes and stir. Let it fry for about 30 minutes. If there isn’t enough oil, add more. You can always drain off excess oil after the stew is cooked. The tip here is to let the stew fry well to develop the flavour.
  12. Now add the fried meat, tripe and the cow foot. Stir well.
  13. Add crayfish powder stir for about 2 minutes.
  14. Add any stock from the meat and cow foot. Stir well and let it fry until most of the water has evaporated.
    Taste and season well with salt. The flavours should come through now, if not add about a teaspoon of the spice blend, let it fry and then taste to check seasoning.
  15. Do let the stew fry for as long as you can without it burning. Frequent stirring will prevent burning.
    Once the stew looks dark and the flavours have come through, skim off any unwanted oil.
  16. The stew is now ready to serve with your waakye, see here for my recipe. It equally goes well with white rice, spaghetti, yam, kenkey, eba, or any carbohydrate accompaniment.

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