In Europe we think of shredded meat from a big roll of meat being cooked in a street kitchen, served in pita bread with garlic sauce, jalapeños and salad. In Norway, a traditional after-closing-hours-on-Saturday-night-meal, and very important for hungover days as well. In e.g. Germany Döner Kebab has almost become the national dish.
But hey, kebab isn't shredded meat in a bread, now, is it?
Oh, no, the real kebab is meat on a stick!
In Ghana this means chunks of BEEF, chicken, or sliced giant sausages, grilled and drenched in pepper, served in news paper wrappings by a nice guy at the street corner, often referred to as Lambert, or the kebab guy.
The kebab guys where I have stayed in Ghana, have been lovely life savers, super friendly guys, one called LAMBert which we found quite hilarious, the go-to guys if we had a party, or just wanted to enjoy these delicious, hot lollipops of meat. I miss kebab! Or the feeling we had in Community 1 when we lived in a room with a mattress and no money to waste, but decided to buy kebab and coke one night, just to enjoy it. Or when we, in Community 2, desperately needed to spice up our good old rice and stew with some extra meat and bought kebab, carefully removing the pieces from the sticks and put them in our bowl. Always making sure we had an equal number of meat pieces each. I'm getting hungry as I write...
Me and Hubby had a nice division of labor when we had a kebab night. I usually felt shy of going out at night to the kebab stand, cos it is usually placed next to a bar, with lots of people, looking at the obroni all of a sudden emerging from the dark to buy kebab. My job was therefore to go to the nearest shop to buy drinks. In the shop the people knew me, cos I would always come there for other things during the days. Hubby went to do the man job, buy the kebab and hanging around outside the bar. Worked like a charm, but many times Hubby mysteriously ended up doing both tasks. Don't ask me how that happened.
But, I have bought kebab myself. Just so you know it.
I have got to find a way to make kebab the way it is made in Ghana. Should be easy enought, some meat, some sticks, a grill, and red pepper that we have straight from Ghana. But my experience is that no matter how similar the ingredients are, the food we make never really get the true taste of Ghana.
And in Ghana, the kebab guy is never far away...
Pic. 1: Kebab lying on its wrapping paper, ready to be chopped (eaten). The red powder to the left is red pepper. Dip it, if you dare!
Pic. 2: Me, with a cold beer and lovely kebabs in front of me.
Pic. 3: Our room in Comm. 1, with the famous mattress. You'd feel like eating kebab too, if you were to be in this room, right?