Angwa mo (angwamo, angwa moo or angwamu) is a classic favorite dish of most Ghanaians as it is a flavorful and quick recipe to follow. Angwa mo is simply rice fried and cooked in oil. It is one of the easiest dishes you will make.
Ghanaian main dishes are organized around a starchy staple food, with which goes a sauce or soup containing a protein source. We reckon the menus of Ghanaians are packed with a whole lot of carbs, and so is this rice dish. Many argue that the fat and carb content level of this meal makes it relatively unhealthy.
What is angwa mo?
Angwa mo also referred to and translated as “oiled rice” is unlike fried rice in which you cook the rice before frying. Oiled rice is cooked by first frying the onion in oil, then adding water after the onions have browned. This will give the rice a different fragrance.
The rice is then cooked in the water-oil mixture, to give the rice an oily feel when ready. It may be cooked with vegetables or salted beef, to add to your taste. It is mostly served with earthenware-ground pepper, with either tinned sardines or fried eggs complementing it.
The browning of the onions gives the rice a golden color and sweet flavor to the dish. Frying the diced salted beef gives the beef a nice crunch, allows the beef to take on the sweet flavor of the onions and slight heat from the chilies. Onions are aromatic and is usually a main angwamo ingredient. The crunchy bottom of the rice, also known as scorched rice, is incredible and everyone will fight for a portion.
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What is fragrant rice?
Aromatic or fragrant rice is one of the major types of rice. It is a medium- to long-grained rice and is known for its nut-like aroma and taste. While there are a few varieties of aromatic rice, the two most common ones are basmati and jasmine. When cooked, the grains have a light and fluffy texture. For the angwa mo recipe, you may use jasmine rice.
Salted beef is used in flavoring many Ghanaian dishes. The recipe for the Ghanaian salted beef is elusive. However, it is usually pink in color due to the inclusion of food dye. The inclusion of spices into the curing process of the meat, gives the meat a musky and aromatic taste. Making salted beef or Ghana tolo beef at home is simple and you don’t need refrigeration. Some fancy steakhouses like to call this method “dry-aged”.
Tolo beef is also used in the preparation of stews and soups. It is also very delicious when used in the preparation of the popular jollof rice, one of the most common dishes in Western Africa.
The quantity of oil used is to ensure the cooked rice maintains a perfect glossy sheen. You can substitute with sunflower oil or coconut oil (for a healthier version).
To reduce the saltiness of the beef you can wash it under cold, running water for a few seconds to get rid of any excess salt. This enables you to control the amount of salt used. Once you add the water, taste to ensure it’s perfectly seasoned. If not, add a few pinches of salt at a time (not more than half a teaspoon) to the recipe.
You can also use salted tilapia in this recipe, as both tolo beef and salted tilapia are used in Ghanaian cuisine.
What are the different versions of angwa mo?
Ngwo moo (Palm rice) is an alternative to the oiled rice. The only different is that it is cooked with palm oil instead of cooking oil. The taste is determined by the type of palm oil used. The rice is usually cooked with salted beef and served with an omelet and/or tinned sardines. The inclusion of salted beef gives the rice an umami flavor which works perfectly with the browned onions.
Ideally, using Thai fragrant rice (popularly known as perfumed rice in Ghana) for this recipe gives the dish an aromatic flavor. You can use long grain or basmati rice as a substitute.
In the absence of salted beef, you can use salted ham or fish like koobi (dried salted tilapia). However, for that authentic Ghanaian flavor, you need your salted beef. You can find the salted beef at most African grocers.
The intoxicating smell of the oiled rice cooking could make your tummy rumble and send off an open invitation to your neighbors. Don’t be surprised if you get a knock on your door, when you try this recipe.
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 cup fragrant white rice
- 3 oz. salted beef (tolo beef), diced (recipe below)
- 2 onions , chopped (divided in 2)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cube Maggi chicken broth
- 1 red hot pepper , diced
- 2 cups water
- 3 oz. beef (sirloin or rib eye)
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- In a plastic or glass container with a lid, add the beef and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Rub the beef with the salt, then add the bay leaves.
- Cover the container and place in a warm place for 24 hours.
- Drain the blood then cover the container again and place in a warm place for another 24 hours.
- Wash rice, drain and dry.
- In a pot, heat the oil and fry the chopped onions in hot oil until golden brown.
- Take half of the onion and set aside.
- Add the salted beef and mix well.
- Add rice and fry over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the bouillon cube and stir. Add the hot pepper and mix.
- Add the water and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining onion and cook again for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat.
- Cover and let stand 5 minutes before serving.