Abenkwan II Recipe - A Delicious Ghanaian Dish

Abenkwan II

Abenkwan II Recipe - A Delicious Ghanaian Dish
Region / culture: Ghana | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes | Servings: 4


Abenkwan II
Abenkwan II

Abenkwan II, also known as Palm Nut Soup, is a cherished dish originating from Ghana, West Africa. This rich and hearty soup combines the unique flavors of palm nut cream with a variety of meats and vegetables, creating a vibrant and nourishing meal. It is a staple in Ghanaian cuisine, enjoyed by families during gatherings and special occasions. The recipe provided here offers a step-by-step guide to creating this traditional dish, inviting you to explore the depths of Ghanaian culinary heritage from your own kitchen.


The history of Abenkwan II dates back centuries and is deeply rooted in Ghanaian culture. Palm trees, which are abundant in the region, have been utilized by locals for generations, not only for the nuts but also for the sap, which is fermented into palm wine. The palm nut, however, holds a special place in the culinary landscape of Ghana. The process of extracting the creamy liquid from the nuts to make soup is a tradition that has been passed down through generations. This dish is a testament to the ingenuity of Ghanaian cuisine, making use of locally available ingredients to create a meal that is both nutritious and flavorful.


How to prepare

  1. Clean and cut the meat into pieces, then wash them.
  2. Put the meat in a saucepan and season it with salt, chopped shallots, garlic, and a little ginger.
  3. Add enough water to cover the meat and boil it for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the palm liquid to the meat along with the washed vegetables (tomatoes, onions, garden eggs) and ground pepper.
  5. Cook until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Remove the tomatoes and onions, grind them, and return them to the soup.
  7. Remove the garden eggs, remove the seeds, strain them, and return them to the soup.
  8. Simmer the soup for about 1 hour.
  9. Serve the soup with fufu, banku, kenkey, etc.


  • While the traditional recipe for Abenkwan II is beloved by many, there are several variations that can be made to suit different tastes or dietary needs:
  • Vegetarian Version: Omit the meat and use a variety of mushrooms for a meaty texture and umami flavor.
  • Seafood Version: Replace the meat with fish or mixed seafood for a lighter, but equally flavorful, version of the soup.
  • Spicier Version: Increase the amount of ground pepper or add fresh chili peppers for those who prefer a spicier soup.
  • 1. Vegetarian Version: Substitute the meat with mushrooms or tofu for a vegetarian variant.
  • 2. Seafood Version: Use fish or mixed seafood instead of meat for a different flavor profile.
  • 3. Spicier Version: Increase the amount of ground pepper for those who prefer a spicier soup.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

1. For a smoother soup, blend the palm liquid before adding it to the meat.

2. To enhance the flavor, marinate the meat with the spices for at least an hour before cooking.

3. Adding a bit of ginger can introduce a warm, spicy note to the soup.

4. For a thicker consistency, simmer the soup uncovered to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.

5. If the soup is too thick, add a little water or stock to reach your desired consistency.

Serving Suggestions

Abenkwan II is traditionally served with fufu, banku, or kenkey. These starchy sides complement the rich, flavorful soup perfectly, making for a filling and satisfying meal. For a lighter option, it can also be served with boiled rice or yams.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in preparing Abenkwan II is the simmering process, which allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Another important technique is the preparation of the palm nut cream, which involves extracting the creamy substance from the palm nuts, a process that is central to achieving the authentic taste of the soup.

Ingredient Substitutions

1. Palm Nut Cream: If unavailable, substitute with a mixture of tomato paste and peanut butter to mimic the rich, creamy texture.

2. Smoked Dried Shrimp: Smoked paprika can be used as a substitute to provide a similar smoky flavor.

3. Garden Eggs: Eggplants are a suitable substitute for garden eggs, offering a similar texture and taste.

Make Ahead Tips

Abenkwan II can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month. To reheat, simply thaw (if frozen) and warm over medium heat, adding a little water if the soup has thickened too much during storage.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Abenkwan II in a large, decorative bowl to highlight the vibrant color of the soup. Garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley for a touch of greenery. Accompany the dish with a side of fufu, banku, or kenkey, presented in traditional Ghanaian style for an authentic dining experience.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, crisp beer or a fruity white wine pairs beautifully with the rich flavors of Abenkwan II. For non-alcoholic options, a ginger beer or palm wine (if available) complements the dish wonderfully, enhancing its traditional flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage. To reheat, warm on the stove over medium heat, adding a bit of water if necessary to adjust the consistency. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Abenkwan II contains approximately 300-350 calories. This makes it a hearty meal that can provide energy without being overly calorific, especially when served with a side of complex carbohydrates like fufu or banku.


A serving of Abenkwan II contains approximately 15-20 grams of carbohydrates. The primary sources of carbohydrates in this dish are the vegetables, such as tomatoes and garden eggs. These not only add flavor and texture but also provide essential dietary fiber and a range of vitamins.


The fat content in Abenkwan II primarily comes from the palm nut cream, which is high in saturated fats. However, when consumed in moderation, palm nut cream can be part of a balanced diet. The total fat content per serving is approximately 10-15 grams, depending on the meat used and the amount of palm nut cream added.


This dish is a good source of protein, providing about 20-25 grams per serving. The protein comes from the meat, which can be varied according to preference, including beef, chicken, or fish. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, making Abenkwan II a nutritious meal option.

Vitamins and minerals

Abenkwan II is rich in vitamins and minerals, thanks to the variety of vegetables and meat used. It contains vitamins A, C, and E from the palm nut cream and vegetables. Minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc are also present, which are vital for maintaining healthy bodily functions.


The main allergens to be aware of in Abenkwan II are shellfish, due to the ground smoked dried shrimp, and potential allergens in the meat used. Individuals with allergies to these ingredients should exercise caution or seek alternatives.


Overall, Abenkwan II is a balanced dish that provides a good mix of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It is a hearty, flavorful meal that can fit into a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.


Abenkwan II is a traditional Ghanaian dish that offers a taste of West Africa's rich culinary heritage. With its combination of palm nut cream, meat, and vegetables, it provides a nutritious and flavorful meal that can be enjoyed in various ways. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or explore variations, Abenkwan II is sure to be a delightful addition to your cooking repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

I recall the feeling of curiosity that overcame me when I found this recipe for Abenkwan II. It was many years ago, when I was a young girl living in a small village in Ghana. My grandmother, who was known for her amazing cooking skills, had passed down many recipes to me. But this one was different. It was a secret recipe that she had learned from a friend who had traveled to a different part of the country.

I remember watching my grandmother as she prepared the dish, a traditional Ghanaian peanut soup that was rich and flavorful. The aroma of the spices filled the air, making my mouth water in anticipation. I begged her to teach me how to make it, but she refused, saying that it was a special recipe that was not to be shared with just anyone.

Determined to learn the secret of Abenkwan II, I set out to find the friend who had shared the recipe with my grandmother. It took me weeks of searching, but I finally tracked her down in a nearby village. She was an elderly woman with a kind smile and a twinkle in her eye. When I told her about my quest to learn the recipe for Abenkwan II, she laughed and said that she had been waiting for someone to come asking about it.

She invited me into her home and we spent the day cooking together, as she shared stories about her travels and the people she had met along the way. I learned that Abenkwan II was a dish that was traditionally served at weddings and other special occasions, and that each family had their own unique twist on the recipe.

As we cooked, she taught me the secrets of making the perfect Abenkwan II. We ground the peanuts by hand, using a large mortar and pestle until they were smooth and creamy. We added in the tomatoes, onions, and spices, stirring the pot gently as the flavors melded together.

The elderly woman shared with me the importance of patience in cooking, how each ingredient needed time to develop its own unique taste before being combined with the others. She also stressed the importance of using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, as they were the key to creating a truly authentic dish.

By the end of the day, the pot of Abenkwan II was simmering on the stove, filling the room with its delicious aroma. The elderly woman ladled out a steaming bowl for me to try, and as I took my first bite, I knew that I had finally unlocked the secret of this amazing dish.

I returned home to my village with the recipe for Abenkwan II in hand, eager to share my newfound knowledge with my grandmother. She was overjoyed to see me, and together we cooked up a batch of the soup, using the skills and techniques that I had learned from the elderly woman.

As we sat down to eat, my grandmother took a spoonful of the soup and closed her eyes in delight. She smiled at me and said that she was proud of the cook that I had become, and that she knew I would carry on the tradition of making Abenkwan II for generations to come.

And so, thanks to my curiosity and determination, I was able to learn the secret recipe for Abenkwan II and pass it down to future generations. It is a dish that holds a special place in my heart, a reminder of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories.


| Dried Shrimp Recipes | Garden Egg Recipes | Ghanaian Meat Dishes | Ghanaian Recipes | Ghanaian Soups | Tomato Recipes |

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