The Ghanaian and Foreign way of measuring ingredients

The right quantity of ingredients is essential for great food at all times. Watching food vlogs and blogs makes things sound and look so easy most times but when we try these recipes at home, our worst nightmares happens usually. Lol! But what we miss out on is the experience of these chefs/cooks.

As you might have deduced by now, I am a proud Ghanaian ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ. And where I come from, only a few people know or make use of what a kilogram is or even the unit for measuring certain ingredients. Our women are magicians when it comes to cooking. We usually just use our discretion most of the time when cooking and there is no doubt we make some of the best meals the world has ever had. (yaayyy..go Gh)lol..
So on this blog I’m going to do a combination of both local and foreign methods of measurement.

In most foreign countries professional cooks and even at home on a normal day, lots of people make use of

  • Scales- For weight
  • Liquid measuring cups- For volume of fluids
  • Measuring spoons-For spices, salt, etc
  • Portioning scoops- For measuring cookies, meatballs, muffins
  • Cooking thermometers- checking temperature of fluids

And others just to mention a few.

But over here, we use our

  • Cans- For grains, cereals,legumes
  • Spoons-Salt, spices
  • Fingers -Salt, spices, temperature
  • Eyes- Almost every ingredient, temperature
  • Discretion-In all aspects of our cooking and baking processes.

For instance one will use a scale for the measurement of rice or some cereals, in Ghana, we have something we call a โ€œcupโ€. Mind you, the cup refers to a medium sized can of used tin tomatoes(interesting huh)! I actually think it’s the same in most west African countries just that we have different names for it.
Tin=400g therefore, when we say a cup of rice in Ghana we mean 400g of rice

We use this measurement for most dry ingredients including grains, cereals and legumes.

When it comes to spices and salt, most people in my country unlike most foreign countries, we usually do not use spoons rather we make great use of our fingers ๐Ÿ˜„and the most interesting aspect is if not all the time, we get it right most of the time.
I am not going to hype or downgrade our ways of measurement neither am I going to condemn the modern or foreign units of measurement. Both are very essential to know if we want to get the best out of various recipes. Unfortunately for us all, there is no single standard way of measuring cooking ingredients that is used world widely.

Obviously we can all tell when food is too salty or too spicy. No woman wants to be referred to as a bad cook. A little piece of advice to my fellow learners (because I’m still a baby cook) is to try our best to be precise with all our measurements. You can even find a little book and jot your measurements and ingredients down and depending on the outcome of your meal, you can decide to increase or reduce certain quantities.Also, always start with less so you can add up if it’s not enough but you can’t take out all you have already added.

I will take some time to do some conversions for some of us who grew up in homes without measuring tools.Lol..

But in all of this the most important tool for measurement is CONSISTENCY

Whichever way of measurement you decide to go or use, the key is Consistency,Consistency,Consistency!!


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Pacienartistry says:

    Thanks for the insight…. Wish to learn more from ya passion….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alby says:

    Thnx dr…..very educative

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You welcome. Will be doing a conversion as well so kindly stay tuned.


  3. Teddy says:

    Observation that i have gathered through these years is , African women in the diaspora especially African Americans have this step in cooking aswell over centuries, with out fancy measuring tools and gadgets if i may add, and as you stated it turns out magically, i sincerely believe it’s a technique that has to be passed on just like a baton in a 400metre relay race. Hopefully this tradition doesn’t erase from our proud Ghanaian culture due to technology.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mharmie Ahenkan says:

    I’m inspired and have had knowledge about measuring ingredients in the kitchen but most of all I took the key word CONSISTENCY ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mharmie Ahenkan says:

    I’m inspired and have had knowledge about measuring ingredients in the kitchen but most of all I took the key word CONSISTENCY ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ekow says:

    good to know as a student of cooking

    Liked by 1 person

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