I decided to start this blog with “gravy” because it is the first Ghanaian dish I learned to make. Before writing this post, I made this gravy with my mom to make sure that I was doing everything right.
My family uses red onions because the strong flavor holds up to many of the bold ingredients in Ghanaian cuisine. You can combine Ghanaian gravy with any of your favorite starches, vegetables, and proteins.
They knew that if I did not learn to make some basic dishes, my college diet would include healthy options like ramen, Velveeta shells and cheese, take-out Chinese food, cereal, and of course, bourbon.
The onions and tomatoes are supposed to fry in oil rather than steam or simmer in their own juices. I slice the onions into quarter-circles, but you should chop them if you want them to totally disintegrate into the stew.

Many people swear by paste tomatoes, such as plum, Roma, San Marzano, or Amish paste, for tomato sauce because their fleshiness, lack of seeds, and low water content creates a thicker sauce. I typically like to make a big batch (double the recipe) and freeze it so that I can use it as a base for other dishes. Add onions and stir until they start to lose their color and become translucent, about 5-7 minutes. If you plan to use the gravy as a base for another dish, such as corned beef stew, don’t add salt until after the corned beef has been added.
Ghanaian gravy is more similar to the tomato sauce you put on pasta than the dressing you pour over biscuits and mashed potatoes.
They taught me how to make gravy because the ingredients are easy to find, the recipe is simple, and it can accompany any starch or protein.
Once the stew is fully cooked, the excess oil will rise to the top and can be spooned off and used to fry eggs, saute meat, fish, or vegetables, or in other dishes.

I find that the tomato paste in this dish gives that stew the perfect thickness regardless of what tomatoes you use and tones down the acidity of regular tomatoes.
Anyone wanting to cook Ghanaian food must know how to make gravy, as it is the base for many other Ghanaian dishes.
If using fresh habanero peppers, spoon half a cup of the tomato-onion mixture into a blender along with the pepper and puree.
Add the pepper mixture into the stew 10 minutes after adding the tomatoes and continue to cook for 10 more minutes.

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