4248 W Century Blvd
Inglewood, CA 90304
Call

Nana and Naa International Enterprise

Offer Available!
pleasurepalate photo

pleasurepalate

 Los Angeles, CA
 

Ghanaian Dining Behind an African Market

When it comes to African food, let alone Ghanaian food, I hadn’t a clue. Other than reading Noah Galuten’s blog, Man Bites World, about his outing to Nana and Naa, I didn’t do any other additional research, before going on this culinary jaunt.

However, I didn’t go completely uninformed about how things worked at Nana & Naa. I already knew that the market was inside the building and the restaurant part which consisted of tables and metal chairs covered by tenting was behind the storefront. I also knew that getting to the back of the restaurant meant walking through the kitchen and what delicious aromas we inhaled as we made our way to the back.

Before I get into the food, I have to mention this popular Ghanaian malt drink called Malta Hatuey that we tried. Wow, that drink was thick. One sip felt like it coated the inside of your mouth. It had an interesting flavor. Of course, the malt was there, but it also tasted a little like black licorice. I’m a red vine kind of girl myself, so this isn’t a drink I’d get again. I just thought I’d mention it in case any of you would like to experience it for yourself.

As for the food, it’s hard for me to pinpoint what spices or herbs were used. The food tasted unlike anything I’ve ever had before. Nothing I had was spicy, but everything was seasoned well and overall really flavorful. We started with the Deep Fried Tilapia on a Bed of Spinach served with Yam and Egg. The yams were a little bit dry, but the fish, fresh off the frying pan, was nice and crispy. The spinach was definitely mixed with other ingredients and at the time, I was thinking tomatoes and something nutty perhaps, but I wasn’t sure. After doing some online research, I’m pretty sure that the spinach that came with the fish is referred to as “Palava Sauce.”

The next dish to arrive was a Tilapia on a Bed of Black-Eyed Peas Served with Plantains and Egg. Again, the fish was crispy. The fried plantains had a nice sweetness to them and those black-eyes beans were hearty, meaty and with a little kick to them. This dish is referred to as Red-Red. Some sources I read referred to the Bean Stew as Red-Red or the plantains themselves as Red-Red. Regardless, this is a dish where the beans and plantains seem to be forever partnered.

Two soups followed soon after the above two dishes along with the banku (fermented corn and cassava dough) and the fufu (cassava), both starchy sides that are used to sop up the soup. One was the Peanut Butter Soup with Tilapia, which is also referred to as Groundnut Soup. I had high expectations for this soup, based purely on my experience with Kare Kare, a Filipino dish I grew up that’s also made up of a Peanut Butter Sauce. When I looked down at my bowl, it was seemed more like a tomato soup than anything else. Dipping a piece of fufu in it, I could taste a little bit of the peanut butter, but it was definitely overshadowed by the tomatoes. I actually still enjoyed the soup, but I just felt that it was misnamed.

The second soup was called simply “Light Soup” and came with Beef. While sometimes served as a starter to a meal with fufu, it’s also thought to help with those recuperating from illness when spiced appropriately with ginger chili. “Light” is definitely a good description. It’s the kind of soup that would be good to eat if you don’t want anything too hearty, but just enough to assuage a little bit of hunger.

Rice and Red Beans with Goat and Cassava Grains was the last dish of our meal. I couldn’t find any reference to the Ghanaian name for this dish. One thing I can say is that the rice and red beans tasted similar to what you would expect to get a Southern or Creole restaurant, although the rice in this case seemed more heavily sauced, perhaps tomato-based. I did find out that Cassava Grains are referred to as Gari and are very much a staple of Ghanaian cuisine. Basically, Gari is made from fresh cassava, which is grated with the excess liquid squeezed out. The remaining cassava is then fried with over an open fire, on a broad metal pan that has been greased with a little oil that could be palm oil or other vegetable fat. The resulting product is crunchy, stored easily and than can be eaten with stew or soup or meat or fish.

Overall, I really enjoyed the food. It’s not a cuisine I’d eat on a regular basis just because from what we had, the entire meal was very starchy and I like my veggies. However, the flavors were unique and everything tasted good and you can’t beat the price. Between the 5 of us, we spent around $12 each for the entire meal.

Deep Fried Tilapia on a Bed of Spinach served with Yam and Egg at Nana and Naa International Enterprise

Deep Fried Tilapia on a Bed of Spinach served with Yam and Egg

We started with the Deep Fried Tilapia on a Bed of Spinach served with Yam and Egg. The yams were a little bit dry, but the fish, fresh off the frying pan, was nice and crispy. The spinach was definitely mixed with other ingredients and at the time, I was thinking tomatoes and something nutty perhaps, but I wasn’t sure. After doing some online research, I’m pretty sure that the spinach that came with the fish is referred to as “Palava Sauce.”

Tilapia on a Bed of Black-Eyed Peas Served with Plantains and Egg at Nana and Naa International Enterprise

Tilapia on a Bed of Black-Eyed Peas Served with Plantains and Egg

Again, the fish was crispy. The fried plantains had a nice sweetness to them and those black-eyes beans were hearty, meaty and with a little kick to them. This dish is referred to as Red-Red. Some sources I read referred to the Bean Stew as Red-Red or the plantains themselves as Red-Red. Regardless, this is a dish where the beans and plantains seem to be forever partnered.

Peanut Butter Soup with Tilapia at Nana and Naa International Enterprise

Peanut Butter Soup with Tilapia

I had high expectations for this soup, based purely on my experience with Kare Kare, a Filipino dish I grew up that’s also made up of a Peanut Butter Sauce. When I looked down at my bowl, it was seemed more like a tomato soup than anything else. Dipping a piece of fufu in it, I could taste a little bit of the peanut butter, but it was definitely overshadowed by the tomatoes. I actually still enjoyed the soup, but I just felt that it was misnamed.

Light Soup at Nana and Naa International Enterprise

Light Soup

The second soup was called simply “Light Soup” and came with Beef. While sometimes served as a starter to a meal with fufu, it’s also thought to help with those recuperating from illness when spiced appropriately with ginger chili. “Light” is definitely a good description. It’s the kind of soup that would be good to eat if you don’t want anything too hearty, but just enough to assuage a little bit of hunger.

Rice and Red Beans with Goat and Cassava Grains at Nana and Naa International Enterprise

Rice and Red Beans with Goat and Cassava Grains

Rice and Red Beans with Goat and Cassava Grains was the last dish of our meal. I couldn’t find any reference to the Ghanaian name for this dish. One thing I can say is that the rice and red beans tasted similar to what you would expect to get a Southern or Creole restaurant, although the rice in this case seemed more heavily sauced, perhaps tomato-based. I did find out that Cassava Grains are referred to as Gari and are very much a staple of Ghanaian cuisine. Basically, Gari is made from fresh cassava, which is grated with the excess liquid squeezed out. The remaining cassava is then fried with over an open fire, on a broad metal pan that has been greased with a little oil that could be palm oil or other vegetable fat. The resulting product is crunchy, stored easily and than can be eaten with stew or soup or meat or fish.

Tags
Ghanian Cuisine African Market Good For Kids
Website
Video
Hours
Contact Business

Nana and Naa International Enterprise    Restaurant Reviews

Copy the link below and paste onto your website or blog to display badge.

Nana and Naa International Enterprise is located near the cities of Lennox, Windsor Hills, View Park, Los Angls Air Force Base, and View Park Windsor Hills.
People found this by searching for: Banku With Tilapia, Plantain And Egg, Groundnut Soup With Tilapia, Banku And Tilapia, Peanut Butter Soup And Gari, African Peanut Butter Soup, Peanut Butter Soup, Yam And Palava Sauce, and Fried Yam And Plantain.