Fried plantain

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(Redirected from Kelewele)
Roasted plantain sellers in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Fried plantain is a dish cooked wherever plantains grow, from West Africa to East Africa as well as Central America, the tropical region of northern South America and the Caribbean countries like Haiti to Cuba and in many parts of Southeast Asia and Oceania, where fried snacks are widely popular. In Indonesia it is called gorengan. It is called ojoko in Igbo in South East Nigeria, and dodo in Yoruba in South West Nigeria, otherwise known as simply fried plantain in other parts of Nigeria. Kelewele is a fried spicy plantain or can be fried as a side dish for Red Red (African stewed black-eyed peas) and fish stew in Ghana.[1]

Fried plantain is also eaten in some countries in South America or the Caribbean where African influence is present. For example, in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and to a lesser extent Cuba. it is common to cut plantains in slices, fry them until they are yellow, smash them between two plates and fry them again. Mangu is a popular hearty breakfast dish consisting of mashed boiled green plantains eaten with salami, eggs and fried cheese with pickled red onions. Puerto Rico has mofongo, a dish consisting of fried and pounded plantains usually served with a fried meat on the side. This is also a common dish in Haiti, referred to as bannann peze, and throughout Central America, referred to as patacones in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador, and as tostones in Nicaragua and the Spanish speaking Caribbean. In Honduras and Venezuela they are referred to as tajadas.

Consumption and uses[edit]

Fried plantain may be served as a snack, a starter or as a side dish to the main course, such as with Jollof rice, spicy barbecued meat, tomato stew or beans. It is made in different ways: salted or unsalted, cut into "ears", "fingers", can be diced, or fried whole.

Fried yellow plantains are sweet bananas from Central America and the Caribbean fried in hot oil. They are sometimes eaten with ketchup, or a mayonnaise-ketchup mixture. In the Spanish speaking Caribbean fried green plantains are eaten with mojo, a wet savory garlic sauce, Dominican wasakaka or chimichurri. In the Pacific city of Cali Colombia plantains are eaten fried and accompanied by a condiment called Hogao. Sweet plantains are also served with savory entrees in the Caribbean especially the Spanish speaking islands Pacific Colombia and Jamaica.



Alloco, as it is called in Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso, is called dodo (Yoruba) in Nigeria, missolè in Cameroon and makemba in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The name alloco (sometimes seen as aloko) comes from the Baoulé, an ethnic group found in the Eastern Ivory Coast. It is derived from the word for loko which signified if a plantain was ripe.[2] It is a popular West African snack made from fried plantain. It is often served with chili pepper and onions. In Nigeria, it often serves as a side or can be consumed by itself.

Gizdodo is a side dish in Nigeria containing fried plantain and grilled gizzard.[3]

Alloco is widely considered as fast-food and is sold on the streets of Côte d'Ivoire. An area with many grilled meat and alloco food vendors in the Cocody neighborhood is named Allocodrome, after this dish.



Ipekere is a traditional Nigerian snack with roots in Yoruba cuisine. It is plantain chips. It is made from ripe and unripe plantains that are sliced into thin rounds or thin vertical shapes and deep-fried to achieve a crispy texture. The name is derived from the Yoruba language and is widely recognized throughout Nigeria.

This traditional snack has a long history and is cherished for its delightful taste and simplicity. It is a staple in Yoruba cuisine and is enjoyed by people of all ages across Nigeria.


To prepare ipekere, ripe plantains are carefully peeled and sliced into thin, uniform shapes, typically using a knife or a mandoline slicer. These are then deep-fried until they turn a golden brown color, resulting in a crunchy and slightly sweet snack.[4] Ipekere is made seasoned with salt and spices or sugar. It can also be flavoured with different spices, such as cayenne pepper, ginger, onion powder, or garlic powder. Some people also fry onions and fresh ginger along with the plantain slices for added flavour. [5] The deep-frying process gives ipekere its distinctive texture, making it a popular street food and household snack in Nigeria.


Place of originGhana
Main ingredientsPlantains, spices

Kelewele is a popular Ghanaian food made of fried plantains seasoned with spices.[6] In English, it is sometimes referred to as hot plantain crisps.[7] In Accra, kelewele is usually sold at night by street vendors and sometimes in the afternoon by the country side women.[8][9][10][11] Kelewele is also a popular choice for dinner.[12]

Originally from Ghana, kelewele has been popularized in America by several recipe books (recipezaar, 2009)


The plantains are peeled and may be cut into chunks or cubes.[11] Ginger, cayenne pepper, and salt are the typical spices used to make kelewele.[9][11][13] Onions, anise, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and chili powder, however, may also be used as spices.[9] Commercial preparations exist that can simplify preparation and offer a standardized taste.[14] For example, the oil should be hot and the plantain should not be too soft or it will absorb too much oil.[15] The plantain should be fried until the sugar in it caramelizes, and produces brown edges on the plantain.[13][15]

Often served with[edit]

It can be served with beans stew, peanuts,[11] or alone as a dessert.[16]

Kelewele vendor in Takoradi, Ghana

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Isoun, H.O. Anthonio, M. (1983). Nigerian cookbook (Repr. ed.). London: Macmillan. ISBN 0333326989.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "Alloco: Ivorian Fried Plantains". Arousing Appetites: Home to the Serious Cook. 2015-04-10. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  3. ^ Onyeakagbu, Adaobi (2018-07-04). "Try this simple gizzard and dodo recipe". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 2022-06-23.
  4. ^ for #OunjeAladun, Omolabake (2015-03-14). "Ipekere (Plantain Chips)". Ounje Aladun. Retrieved 2023-09-27.
  5. ^ Bailey, Lola (2023-06-14). "Mama Gabi's Ipekere (Plantain Chips)". pan-African. Retrieved 2023-09-27.
  6. ^ Elizabeth Harris (1976). Ghana: a travel guide : supplementary notes on Togo. Aburi Press. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Ghana, Food & Drinks, Kelewele". Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  8. ^ "Ph of Banana".
  9. ^ a b c "Kelewele - The Congo Cookbook (African recipes) -". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  10. ^ Jessica Kuper (January 1997). The Anthropologists' Cookbook. Kegan Paul International. ISBN 978-0-7103-0531-2. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  11. ^ a b c d Osseo-Asare, Fran (2002). ""We Eat First With Our Eyes": On Ghanaian Cuisine". Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. University of California Press. 2 (1): 49–57. doi:10.1525/gfc.2002.2.1.49. JSTOR 10.
  12. ^ Angela Shelf Medearis (14 September 2004). The ethnic vegetarian: traditional and modern recipes from Africa, America, and the Caribbean. Rodale. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-57954-618-2. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  13. ^ a b J. Maud Kordylas (6 February 1990). Processing and preservation of tropical and subtropical foods. Macmillan. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-333-46845-6. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  14. ^ "ANIS Spices Facebook Page". Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  15. ^ a b Lydia Polgreen (February 1, 2006). "A Taste of Ghana". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  16. ^ "Ghanaian Recipes" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2011.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]