The Ghana Files: I bought a coal pot!

I won’t lie, I’m pretty darn impressed with myself right now.

I couldn’t resist a self-timer shot. Yes, I was that excited.

Coal pots are a traditional way of cooking food in much of West Africa. The coal is held in a bowl or a pot, and the food is cooked over it. Well, I decided impulsively today that I was going to buy myself a coal pot. My goal was to use it like a small grill. Considering I live next to the ocean, I wanted to grill myself some fish! They were only 5 GHC in the market, that’s about $2.

My home-made charcoal chimney

My first challenge was to actually light the charcoal. The kind they sell here is not self-lighting, and I had no lighter fluid. Man, lighting charcoal is really not as easy as it seems! After a quick internet search, I learned how to make my own charcoal chimney out of an empty Ovaltine can. I couldn’t believe it, but it worked like a charm!

As my coals were lighting, I began to prepare my fish with some spices purchased at the market. Much to my dismay,

They’re a little mutilated, but it’s my first time.

I discovered that the woman had not fully cleaned out the fish. She had removed the fins and scales from the outside, but she had left all of the guts. I was terrified! I have never cleaned a fish before. I really didn’t want to clean the fish out, but at the same time I  didn’t want them to go to waste. So I grabbed a knife and… um…. did what I had to do.

Bon appetit!

So at this point, I have successfully lit the charcoal and I’ve cleaned out & spiced the fish.

After that, I just slapped them on the grill! As the fish cooked, I prepared some jollof rice using some leftover vegetables.

In general I’m not that great of a cook, but this meal turned out to be so delicious! I was so proud of myself! I bought the coal pot and charcoal, I lit it, I cleaned the fish and I made the rice. Not only that, but everything turned out really well!

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