Kelewele: Ghanian Spicy Fried Plantain

by Ishani Bose last updated -

 Likes  Comments

You may know Ghana for its chocolate and coffee, but did you know that it is also known for its delicious street food – kelewele? Kelewele is simply some old school deep-fried plantains, caramelized with goodness to make your soul happy. Crunchy and spicy on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside, kelewele (as they are popularly known in Ghana), has the potential to push the West African cuisine in the global food arena. You can either have it as it is or with peanuts and as a side dish to your protein-rich main course meal such as barbequed beef or chicken.

How to Make Kelewele?

In West Africa, kelewele is sold as popular street food. By West Africa, we mean, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Cameroon, and Ivory Coast. While it is known as kelewele in Ghana, it is known as aloco in Ivory Coast and dodo in Nigeria. This sweet and spicy West African street food is quite easy to prepare at home. All you need to do is cut ripe plantains and coat it with various spices before deep frying it in peanut oil or any other oil of your choice. Let us take a look at some of the important steps or pointers to remember while making this famous West African street food at home.

  • Traditionally, some people prefer to use overly ripe plantains for this dish, but it tends to soak up a lot of oil. That is why, in this recipe, we make use of reasonably ripe plantains.
  • Kelewele can be custom-made as per your choice, however, the three basic ingredients are ginger, salt, and hot pepper. Spice recommendations differ according to individual preferences and also the region in which this dish is made. Apart from the basic ingredients, some also use spices like cardamom, nutmeg, star anise, and cloves.
  • Some also like to use onions in the recipe. This is, however, optional. You can blend fresh ginger and onions along with the aforementioned dry spices to make the paste for spicy kelewele sauce. You can either blend two shallots or one bulb of onion with an inch of the ginger root along with the dry ingredients to make the paste. You can then pour this sauce over the plantains (that can either be sliced or cubed as per your preference) and then thoroughly mixed together before being deep-fried and caramelized. Let us take a look at the detailed recipe below.
Stack of fried sliced plantain bananas on plate

Homemade Kelewele Recipe

The perfect recipe to bring Ghana's popular street food to your dinner table! Crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside - this is what soul food tastes like!
0 from 0 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: West African
Keyword: kelewele, aloco, dodo
Appliance: Stove, Frying Pan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Author: Ishani Bose


  • 10 ripe plantains (peel must contain a few black spots)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp ginger and garlic paste fresh
  • 2 tsp onion paste
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • salt as per taste


  • To make kelewele, first, peel the reasonably ripe plantains and cut them either into vertical slices or bite-sized cubes, according to your preference. 
    Flatline picture of a plate of plantain chips along with bowl banana slices and bananas on a slate background.
  • Add the ginger-garlic and onion paste along with the aforementioned dry spices and salt to make the spicy paste to mix the plantains in. Mix the sliced plantains with the spicy paste in such a way that it is evenly distributed. 
  • Meanwhile, heat the peanut oil or olive oil, whichever you choose to use. Once the oil has heated up, drop the sliced plantains into the oil using a slotted spoon. 
  • Fry the plantains till they turn golden brown and caramelized around the edges. Enjoy the yummy fried plantains aka kelewele with some delicious dips. You can also serve it alongside rice or barbequed chicken, pork ribs and beef steaks. 
    Ripe fried plantain, a local banana served for breakfast


  • Don't put too many sliced plantains all at once into the pan. This won't allow them to fry evenly and consistently. It is okay to fry them in batches so as to ensure that they turn brown evenly. 
  • Make sure that the oil is properly heated before frying the plantain slices. When it isn't properly heated, the plantain slices tend to soak too much oil and will end up being too soft. 
  • Also, be careful and ensure you remove the sliced plantains on time. Over-frying the plantains can ruin the taste. 

So maybe when life gives you plantains, you make some spicy kelewele and make your soul happy. If you have any other interesting way to make this dish, share it here. And while we can’t taste it, we would love to see how it turned out! You can connect with us on Facebook or Instagram and tag your picture with #organicfactsrecipes. Do you wish to share your winning recipes with us? Please click here and fill in the details to get started. Protection Status
About the Author

An alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Ishani Bose has worked as a reporter/features writer for several leading newspapers and organizations in India. It was her love for food, health, and wellness that brought her to Organic Facts. As a Content & Culinary Outreach Specialist, she is responsible for developing and managing the website’s recipe section. She is also passionate about mental health and enjoys writing about it for the website to educate more and more people about the same. An avid Instagrammer who knows the latest social media trends, Ishani helps strategize and create authentic content for the website’s social media platforms. When not writing or cooking, you’ll find her reading, traveling, soaking herself in music, arts, and culture in every way possible. Ishani has completed an online program on “Introduction to Food and Health” by Stanford University, US. Furthermore, she has completed an online course on “The Science of Wellbeing” by the Department of Psychology, Yale University.

Rate this article
Average rating 0.0 out of 5.0 based on 0 user(s).

Latest Health News:

Group of wood figurines huddled together with one figure outside the group.

Pandemics, Epidemics Can Worsen Social Prejudices

A time of crisis can exacerbate our social prejudices, particularly bigotry and xenophobia. A study, published in the journal Proceedings of The Royal Society,…

Graphic of the human brain

Research Reveals How Memory Works

Why do our memories not get muddled with other new events? Why are they long-lasting? Researchers from the University of Bristol may have found answers to…

A kid showing a random act of kindness by sharing flowers with a grown up lady

Random Acts Of Kindness Boost Health: Study

Kindness and compassion are behavioral traits often associated with positive feelings. While there have been studies supporting this association through…