Brown rice waakye buddha bowl 2


Waakye is a beloved Ghanaian meal typically made from white rice, beans and coloured with waakye leaves. It is served with spaghetti, meat stew, kelewele, garri fotor, shito (black pepper sauce), a boiled egg, avocado and some salad. It makes the perfect post-night out meal, brunch, lunch….well to be honest, people eat waakye at any time of the day!

What distinguishes our waakye from normal rice and beans is the red colour that stems from the waakye leaves which are used to colour the rice and give a unique flavour. (Waakye is also vegan!) In the UK or other Western countries, you can find waakye leaves in any Ghanaian/Afro store. If you are lucky to be in Ghana, you can find waakye leaves EVERYWHERE!

Buddha bowls are currently a huge trend in the Instagram world! They consist of a high-fibre grain, a protein, a healthy source of fat and loads of veggies! I decided to jump on the Buddha bowl bandwagon and created a waakye buddha bowl as the plethora of ingredients used in traditional waakye recipe makes for a colourful and nutritious dish when nutritional tweeks are made.

Here are some of my healthy tweeks:

  • Waakye is usually made with white rice but I decided to use brown rice to add some extra fibre to the recipe.
  • I also created a lower in fat waakye stew using less oil as the typical stew swims in the yellow liquid.
  • I baked my plantain instead of frying to further reduce the calories and fat content.
  • I made a vegan waakye stew without meat as the boiled egg and beans make the dish very high in protein already. Of course, if you would like to add meat to the recipe, feel free!
  • One thing to watch out for is the portion size! Waakye is served in super large portions per person and with all the carbohydrates from the rice, spaghetti, garri fotor and plantain plus the addition of all the trimmings, this meal easily comes in at over 1000 calories per typical portion. It is important in this case to eat until you are full instead of compromising on flavour by cutting one of the components of the dish out. I made sure to add loads of veggies to fill the plate, just a few spoons of waakye and one simple fork full of spaghetti.

Altogether, this Waakye Buddha Bowl was delicious and was reminiscent of the traditional recipe you can buy on street corners in Accra. Brace yourself! This recipe took a loooooong time to make! But it was worth it!



Brown Rice Waakye (1 big pot- 8+ servings)

  • 500g long grain brown rice
  • 250g raw dry black eyed peas/small kidney beans
  • 2 handfuls of waakye leaves
  • 1+ litre water
  • 3/4 tbsp salt

Waakye Stew (8 servings per waakye bowl))

  • 1 white onion
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp crushed ginger
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp crushed kpakposhito/green chilli
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

Garri Fotor (8 servings per waakye bowl)

  • 50g garri
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp waakye stew

Kelewele slice (1/2 plantain per serving)

  • 1 ripe plantain
  • 1 tbsp ginger puree
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Trimmings (per portion)

  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • Lettuce
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 tbsp shito (Ghanaian black pepper)
  • Spaghetti


Waakye rice

  1. Soak your beans in water overnight or for a few hours. After soaked, boil your beans in 1 litre of water until soft (usually 30 minutes). 

  2. Wash your waakye leaves thoroughly and add them to the pot. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the water turns red. (You can either remove the leaves now or keep them in the pot. I removed them).

  3. Add your rice to the pot, salt and more water if necessary. Put a lid on the pot and let it cook for 30 minutes on a medium heat or until the rice is soft. Check on the mixture occasionally. You can add more water during cooking if necessary. 

Waakye stew

  1. Blend your onion, ginger, garlic and green pepper with a splash of water. 

  2. Add your oil to a pot on a medium heat and pour in the blended mixture, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. 

  3. Add your tomato puree and stir for 1 minute. 

  4. Add your chopped tomatoes along with the spices, stir and leave to cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. 

Garri Fotor

  1. Add your garri to a bowl with water. Crumble in your fingers until the mixture is a crumbly texture. 

  2. Add your stew and stir until all the garri is coated.

Kelewele slice(s)

  1. Preheat your oven to 180*C. 

  2. Slice your plantain in half. Coat in ginger, salt and coconut oil. 

  3. Place slice(s) on grill tray and cook for 10-15 minutes on each side until brown. 


  1. Get yourself a bowl!

  2. Add your salad leaves, sliced tomatoes and red onion (salad).

  3. Add 6 tablespoons of waakye (don't eat the leaves), stew, garri fotor, plantain, boiled egg, cooked spaghetti, shito and avocado. 

Waakye Stew ingredients

Waakye Stew 

Garri Fotor

Avocado rose

I hope you liked this post!

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Bry xo