This is not the first time I have made rice and beans, but I would just use regular black eyed peas/beans with white rice. It tasted good but could hardly be called Waakye. Last weekend I decided to go all out and make the kind of waakye I go out and buy almost everyday.
Here are my Ingredients:
4 cups Brown Rice
3 cups red beans
3 millet stalks
3 medium Tilapia (cut into 3 each)
1 pound of wele (cow skin) cut into sizeable pieces
8-10 medium sized tomatoes
2 medium sized onions
2 Maggi cubes
I start by soaking the beans overnight. I find that it not only softens them and reduces cooking time, but it makes it easier to pick out stones and such, which I do and then put the beans on to boil.
You could also season the fish with some salt, black pepper and one Maggi shrimp cube and leave overnight, otherwise, you could just do that 10 to 15 minutes before you fry it.
Wash the millet stalks to remove any dirt or dust. Do this quickly since the colour starts to run as soon as they get wet. Cut them into lengths of 3 to 4 inches, toss them in with the boiling beans and allow then to cook together.
Pick through the brown rice if you have to. There are a few husks of rice that are better not found in the waakye as well as stones depending on how "brown" your rice is. I bought mine from a lady in Kaneshie market who had brown rice that had been picked as well as a cheaper version she said hadn't been picked. The price difference wasn't equal to the amount of work I saw looming ahead of me, so I chose the picked version.
Wash and drain your rice and add it to the beans as soon as they are cooked, add salt and some water if necessary and cook as you would cook rice.
Now as you may have noticed from the picture, I left the millet stalks in and cooked the rice with them in ... don't do that. It is easier to remove them before adding the rice than when they are cooked with the rice, as I found out the hard way.
Blend the tomatoes and pepper. Chop the onions and heat about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and start frying the onions.
When the onions turn translucent and just start to brown around the edges, add the tomato puree.
Add a Maggi cube some salt and cover for about 5 minutes to allow the tomatoes to cook.
Uncover and allow the sauce to simmer down and start to fry. Fry the stew till it is dry and almost sticking ...
... then add the wele and a cup or 2 of water depending on how thick or tough your wele is. The tougher it is, the more water you will need. Cover and simmer on a low fire. when the stew thickens and the wele is the desired texture (a fork can go through), you don't want to over cook it as it will become a gooey gluey mess.
Heat 1/2 a cup of oil in a pan. When it is hot, lower the heat and gently place the fish into it making sure to space them enough that they don't touch. If they do, the will tear when you try to turn them. Fry each side for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Using a spatula or fork, turn the fish, if there is significant resistance leave it for a minute or so, then try turning again, when it is ready, it should turn easily. When it is evenly cooked, remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Continue till all the fish is fried.
Serve the Waakye with the Fish and Wele stew. Enjoy!!