Food is a basic necessity of life but eating is not an end in itself. Eating in moderation, eating the right proportions and taking into account all the food nutrients, which are paramount to a healthy individual. Ghanaians are blessed with a variety of foods that are highly nutritious including the popular traditional Apapransa, which is a pap from roasted corn flour cooked in palm soup or a stock of palm oil.
The corn flour and palm soup meal is widely prepared by almost all tribes in Ghana and they all have their various ways of identifying it. The Ewe’s call it Dzenkple, the Ga Adangbes refer to it as Akplijii and the Akans call it Apapransa. This delicacy is not just for the family or the home settings but it can be enjoyed at social functions or occasions such as weddings, funerals, parties, engagements and so on.
Some of the characteristics of this traditional meal are that it highly filling after eating only a few scoops. Apapransa does not require a lot of ingredients: all you need the palm soup and the corn flour. Some of the ingredients needed for the soup are palm fruits, salt, pepper, Onions, tomatoes, spices, meat or dried fish if preferred.
The palm fruits are washed thoroughly to remove unwanted substances and boiled to soften the flesh covering the nuts for easy pounding. After pounding the palm paste is mixed with water to the desired level and sieved. The preparation is then put on the boil to begin the soup-making process which typically takes about an hour. Spices and other condiments are added to taste in addition to fish, meat or crabs after some 30 minutes and left on the boil for another 30 minutes. Meat, when used, would normally have been previously steamed before adding to the pot of soup. The same process is used for the crabs that are used to garnish the meal or served separately.
When the soup is ready part of it is scooped into a different saucepan to be used as stock in the preparation process. The corn flour is mixed in while the remaining soup is still on the boil to make a well mixed and smooth pap. More corn flour or soup is mixed in depending on how soft or had the preparation is.
The corn flour is mixed gradually while stirring avoid lumps. Speed and accuracy is required in gauging the quantity of soup or flour required. The mixing process continues till uniformity is achieved in colour and smoothness of the mixture.
When the meal is ready, it can be served hot or cold depending on the number of people to be served. For a household or group of a maximum of thirty, it can be served hot but beyond that it may have to be prepared an hour or more earlier to meet the demand.