Delicious Vegan African Cuisine

How to Make Banku at Home

In this blog post, I will show you step by step how to make banku at home using only two ingredients: corn and cassava.

What is Banku?

Banku is a fermented swallow from Ghana, made by mixing fermented cornmeal with cassava (manioc can be fermented or not) and cooked in balls. The balls are used to eat the most famous okro he soup, but they can also be eaten with fresh pepper or palm nut soup. If you’re familiar with sourdough, banku has a similar aroma and taste, but with a softer, luscious mouthfeel.

Ghanaians primarily identify as Banku, especially from the Gaadumbe region of southern Ghana. However, the Ewe people of Ghana also traditionally eat it, calling it amokpur and made with slight variations. . It is now a popular ingredient nationwide.

Why should you try Banku?

  1. Diversity! When people talk about West African food they mention either fufu or jollof rice. I can do it.
  2. Healthier! Fermentation can enhance the nutritional profile of any ingredient. Because banku is cooked with heat, it is not considered a probiotic food, but the fermentation of cassava and corn helps break down indigestible fiber and sugars, making more nutrients available. It will start the digestive process for you!
  3. It’s fun! Who doesn’t like kitchen projects?After 5 days of all the “hard work” it’s nice to enjoy the fruits of your labor

Things necessary

Cassava/Yuca and Cornmeal

You literally need 2 ingredients

  1. Cornmeal, especially white cornmeal! Do not use corn flour like Masa Harina. Masa Harina is treated with a non-fermentable lye/nistamalization. Most Ghanaians abroad use Indian Head White Cornmeal. You can also buy cornmeal from stores in Africa. See our FAQ (click here) for more information on stores in Africa.
  2. Cassava. Cassava, also known as yuca, can be found in most grocery stores, but can be found in most stores in Asia, Latin America, or Africa.

how to make banku

These instructions will appear on 4-5 banku balls. You can increase the amount if you wish. The full YouTube video below outlines the details of the process.


  1. Cornmeal and cassava are fermented separately.
  2. Peel the cassava and remove the core. If you are not good with knives, cut it on a cutting board and peel it by hand.
  3. Place the cassava in another bowl and soak the cassava in the filtered water. Make sure there is enough water so that all the cassava is under water.This is also left at room temperature for 5 days in the same environment as the corn.
  4. Mix 3 cups of cornmeal and 2.5 cups of water in a bowl. All cornmeal should be properly mixed with water to form a very thick paste that sticks together when squeezed by hand. All you need is enough cornmeal to hydrate.
  5. Press the cornmeal flat into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (stuff the plastic wrap directly over the cornmeal so that it touches the cornmeal dough). Let this sit at room temperature for 5 days. Store in a cool, dry place, preferably away from heat and sun.

After fermentation

  1. After 5 days, the corn should smell fermented and sour.
  2. Remove the cassava from the bowl, wash it well and put it in the blender without adding water. Blend the cassava until it forms a thick paste.
  3. For corn, skim off any mold growing on top. “Mold” is fine. Be sure to remove them all. Stir in the blended cassava and corn. Do this in a bowl or add the corn dough to the blender and mix everything together.
  4. Divide the dough into 4-5 pieces, bake only the amount you want to eat, and freeze the rest. I like to put them in a ziplock bag and freeze them flat.


  1. To cook banku, you can mix about 1 part of the dough with enough water in a pan to make a thin porridge. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt for each cup of dough used.
  2. Place the pot on a medium stove and stir constantly. When the porridge is cooked, it thickens until the porridge comes together.
  3. This is where I recommend watching the video to know how to properly make a banku. The literal translation of what you are trying to do is “drive” the bank. The idea is to make sure there are no this for about 5 minutes
  4. Once the balls are formed, make a few holes in the dough and fill the pan with about 1/4 cup of water, or enough water to cover the holes, but not the banku. Cook over low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. This is what actually cooks the banku and changes its texture and color. If you’ve doubled or tripled the banku dough, cook for up to 15 minutes.
  5. Then remove the cover and continue to drive the bankoo for another 5 minutes until the bankoo is really nice and smooth.
  6. At this point, you are ready to go. Shape the scope into the bowl with a wet plastic spoon. I know some people use plastic wrap to shape themselves, but I don’t think it’s good or healthy for you.
  7. Let it cool slightly before eating to avoid burning.

What can you eat with Banku?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use other corn? No, use white cornmeal.Not cornbread (i.e. yellow cornmeal) or cornmeal used for masa harina
  • My corn has mold, is that a bad thing? It’s normal to have mold on the corn, but after 5 days, skim off the mold.This is why it is important to hydrate the corn properly, as the dough will not mold well if enough water is mixed. is important
  • My cassava is bubbly, is this a bad thing? Fermentation triggers the release of gas, so it’s normal to have a few bubbles here and there. However, if the entire container is covered with foam, throw it away.
  • Can the final mixture be stored in the refrigerator? Yes, I can. It should be kept in the coldest place in the refrigerator for several days. Freezing is highly recommended.
  • How long does it last in the refrigerator? Can be frozen for up to 6 months.

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