Much like rice in the west, many many people are making and eating Banku every day here in Ghana. Banku is fermented corn flour. You add it to hot water and stir. The stirring eventually becomes a kind of whipping or beating, until it is a smooth soft white mound. It is eaten with stew or soup.
I enjoy watching the fluid, rhythmic movements used to transform the white water into a thick white substance. I do this from the sidelines, always as a spectator. This particular day, I was curious. I wanted to jump in and try it, so I asked if I could stir. Well here is the blow by blow of Ratched versus Banku…
As I sat down, I was instructed to place my feet on the metal rods that hang down and support the pot. I never really understood why this is done, but I did it anyway. About 30 seconds in, beads of sweat began to form on my brow. 49 seconds in, my arms began to protest as the white stuff in the pot began to fight me for the stick. At the one minute mark a full on battle was underway between me and it! Sweat pouring, my arms screaming, members of the compound giving me moves to make and me battling it out with the corn flour. There IS a reason you hook those metal rods to each side of the pot and secure them with your feet! It was a complete TKO. I went down for the count at a minute and 30 seconds, give or take, lol.
To all the sisters and or brothers who go toe to toe for Banku, in the words of Heavy D, “I got nothing but love for ya baby!”
Until next time.
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