Zopeliga Primary school preparing beans

On December 2nd 2015 Zopeliga Primary School teachers along with form 5 and 6 students organized a food day at their school. They prepared two foods: ngbegira (beans cakes) and tentaareh (chips from beans flour).

Zopeliga Primary School students who volunteered for the project, classes 5 and 6

The first dish was Ngebegira. The ingredients needed to prepare this dish were the following: cowbeans (soaked overnight), water, sheabutter, onions, saltbitter and pepper.

The soaked beans were ground and then saltbitter was added to it. The children rolled small cakes out of the dough and put them to cook on clean grass on top of  boiling water. The cooking took place over hot steam for about 20 minutes.

Until the cakes were cooking, the students prepared the sauce: melted and heated sheabutter mixed with small slices of onion. The natural taste of sheabutter and onion did not need any other spices added to it.

Once the cakes and the sauce was ready the cake should be dipped into additional pepper (if needed, spices up the taste) and the sauce and it is ready for savoring!

Take a loot at the whole process explained by Zopeliga’s students.

Before the students started the second dish we had a nice talk about food: the students introduced themselves, explained who cooks at home, what they like to eat in general. The discussion was interesting and took place outdoors, hence you can hear the Harmattan winds blowing and how the nature has tried up.

The second dish, tentaareh was unfamiliar for many teachers too, the dish originally comes from Zuarungu area between Kongo village and Bolgatanga town. For this food the students used ready made beans flour that they mixed with salt and water. The paste was smeared on a  then placed again inside a pot with clean grass and boiling water. The cooking process was similar to ngbegira, they used hot steam, but the cooking was a lot faster. The cooked dish was then scraped from the walls of the calabash with a spoon and could be eaten as a side dish for dinner or as lunch.

The Zopeliga cooking event was as success not only because the students could show their skills and teach them to the Estonian volunteer who could then in return try to prepare it at home with Estonian students, but local teachers also learned more about their own culture. Both teacher Alice and Mary were positively surprised and wanted to cook it also for their own children.


Zopeliga Primary School: headteacher Martin (third from left) with teachers Mary, Rafiatu, Alice, Bawa and Alex

World Food Week brought fresh ideas and tastes to Väike-Maarja

World Food Week in Väike-Maarja (in Lääne-Viru county) took place on 16th to 20th of November in 2015. The activities stroked senses and encouraged to think about food and its origin.

On 17th of November we had meetings, lectures and cooking classes with an inspiring guest, Mrs Liina Saaremäe, a representative of NGO Mondo. The subject of the day was “Food in Ghana and Ghanaian food”.

The day began with Liina’s meeting with our pupils in elementary scool (1st-4th classes). We learned that Liina is an Estonian school teacher, who was deployed by the NGO Mondo to the Republic of Ghana in West-Africa to do volunteer work. As an introduction, every child had to choose a candy: raisin in cocoa, almond in cocoa or hazelnut in cocoa. They were told about the cocoa and the fact that in Kalevi kommivabrik nearly 70% of cocoa comes from Ghana, a country which was the main topic of the day. Pupils learned about Ghanaian life, society and food. The best questioners were awarded a bookmark-rulers and teachers received different proverbs to discuss their significance in classes. The pupils were shown and given to sniff a kalebass – a bowl made of pumpkin, from which people in Ghana are eating.


Liina's lecture to the 5th-12th graders and students from vocational school
Liina’s lecture to the 5th-12th graders and students from vocational school

On the same day, we had a next meeting in Väike-Maarja with Liina and our older students from 5th-12th classes and vocational school. At first, Liina opened the meaning of volunteering. Her volunteer work in Ghana took place in 2014. As we learned, her responsibility was to develop cooperation, global education and humanitarian assistance. Her specific tasks in Ghana were teachers methodical training and food projects, plus additional lessons to teach children to read and write. With numerous images and stories she shared her moments in Ghana – so called ice cream (or frozen juice in a plastic bag), Ghanaian national dishes, custom to carry things on your head, we all learned the Ghanaian hello “toma-toma” and the Ghanaian approving rhythmic clap. It was eyes-opening and interesting to learn that food and eating is of vital importance in Ghana, and a private activity – even so private, that the dinner guest is left alone to eat in the hut. Our students were directed to think about the one billion people in the world who live below the poverty line.

IMG_5642As in Väike-Maarja we also have a vocational school, Liina held a cooking course for vocational students and their supervisors. Together they prepared a Ghanaian dish called „red-red“ that was served with fried bananas. The participants all agreed – the result was delicious. Liina had only positive words about the active cookers, who were even ready to take a next cooking lesson by the end of the class.


Degustation of different countries breads

During the week our pupils had a possibility to taste various countries breads, participate in photo competition of world food and recipes. Food provided by the school canteen was also by the week theme, from different regions of the world – Ukrainian, Italian, Chinese, the Mediterranean, Estonian. Primary school added a playful nuance – a guessing game about the region of the food for the children.  Different nationalities from the Vao refugee center nearby came to school to introduce, share recipes and offer their snacks – Ukrainian pancakes with cottage cheese, biscuits from Afghanistan and Dagestan.


There’s no doubt, World Food Week brought new tastes and ideas to Väike-Maarja. We are grateful to all the people, who contributed to the success of the World Food Week, especially to you, dear Liina, and NGO Mondo!


Heili Nõgene

Public Relations Specialist

Väike-Maarja Gymnasium

Ghanaian food in Peetri School

This event took place as a part of world month named “World’s Different Faces”, read more here:


Few weeks ago, when it was our cooking class, we got to meet a volunteer from Ghana. At the beginning she introduced us Ghana’s traditions and different foods and then she introduced us what we were going to cook. So the meal was made of fried bananas and some spicy sauce called „red-red“. It was a bit surprising that African people don’t eat bananas as a dessert. Bananas are considered as a salty food or a dish.

When it was time to start cooking, we were told what to do and then we started. At first, some of us fried the raw bananas and the others were making the sauce. Our food was smelling so good that some teachers even came and peeked into our kitchen to see what we were doing. Besides cooking African food, we got to hear different stories about volunteering life in Africa. Finally it was time to eat our delicious meal and we were positively surprised about the good taste of fried bananas with „red-red“ sauce. We are thankful for that fun experience.

Peetri kooli toidupäev

Making omushenye in Mungan’ga Secondary School

This is how we prepared food:

We had beans, sweet potatoes, mashed simsim (sesame seeds). We started to boil beans almost 1 hour, after that you put there sweet potatoes, then you mash together like ugali (maize meal in Kenya). After that you try simsim and mash. This is food in our language called Omushenye.

This food is carrying out nutrition and makes the body to be strong. This is the traditional food and also food for our visitors which is carrying carbohydrates and fats.

It is the best nutritional food in our culture in Africa.

Keenia kool

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Kenyan foods by Rise and Shine Special School

Together with Rise and Shine special school we prepared Omushenye with sour milk. Omushenye is a Kiluhya (tribe in Kenya) well liked sweet meal witch is prepared for supper. It makes one satisfied and contains nutrients for body growth and development. It contains carbohydrates, proteines, minerals. Omushenye comprises of beans and sweet potatoes. They are cooked differently by boiling and later mashed together till they are mixed evenly to be one. It’s left to cool then served as main meal with sour milk or any drink one can prefear for. It boasts body growth due to the extra suppliments in them.

Mashed bananas are prepared by peeling the outer cover, washed, then boiled, mashed, left to cool, then served with omufuluko (marshed groundnuts which have been roasted)

Ugali and local vegetable (murere) is mostly to the old aged people. It’s very nutritious and easy to prepare. Murere is a local green vegetable which grows even without planting. It needs lett attention and can survive in any weather condition. Preparing murere is easy. It’s boiled with local burnt ash from bean leaves, it becomes ready after some minutes and served after cooling with ugali or mashed bananas.

Sour milk is a luhya drink liked by most of the people. It’s a drink drunk by any age-group, because it contains nutritive forming microorganisms which builds up and boost body growth. During its preparation fresh milk is put in guard (Eshimuka) and left to stay there for some three to five days. The guard is shaken smoothly on the thighs to make the milk to taste sweet and smooth to the tongue. One can drink without adding sugar or add depending on one’s taste and choice. Sour milk can be drunk with potatoes, ugali, bananas, yams (nduma) or drunk without any solid food. Taste sour milk and can not miss to have it for meal as it contains proteins, vitamins and calcium in it.

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Beans cakes with stew by Yakoti PS

Usually is Ghanaian national dish “tobani” (beans flour cakes) eaten with sheaoil and pepper but Yakoti Primary School wanted to prepare “tobani” with stew.

It is the same dish as “tubani” or “toubani”, different villages call it just differently.

There are some photos about our food project below.

Our camera-man with Mondo donated tablet.
Grass and leaves are used in preparing “tobani”
Cooking place is ready
Cakes are cooked by steaming
“Tobani” is ready now, removing the leaves
Cooks are presenting: stew and beans cakes
Bon appetit! Head isu! Nayen song ka la sigi!


Video tells more than photos, so watch our video too!


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Ghanaian doughnut – “koosi”

Today the teachers and students from Zopeliga Primary School, Upper East Region, Ghana prepared their national food called “koosi”.

“Koosi” is a deep fried doughnut without the hole made from beans flour and added onions inside. This is a delicious light meal which is good to eat for example with porridge for breakfast or lunch. Ghanaians don’t prepare “koosi” every day but you can buy it from the market.


Our food project photographer
Even our head master was there to see what are we doing!
Preparing koosi
Koosi is ready!
Our project is finished: tablet is resting and koosi is ready.
It’s sooooooooo good!!!!

Want to prepare “koosi” yourself? Watch our short video and try!

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Ghanaian dish “kanzagma” of beans by Gane-Asonge PS

The students and teachers from Gane-Asonge Primary School prepared Ghanaian national dish called “kanzagma” using beans.

Asonge team
Our cooking team

Local people don’t eat “kanzagma” every day, it is a meal that they make for special guests.

Ingredients needed for “kanzagma” we prepared:

  • beans;
  • water;
  • salt bitter;
  • groundnut oil;
  • “yahzi” if you like  (made from “kulikuli” which gotten from groundnut);
  • one onion;
  • pepper and salt.

Instead of a blender we used our “local blender” called “atta aueia”  – “woman power blender” as our teachers named it.

Blogisse blenderi pilt
Local blender

First of all you have to put the beans into water for 30 minutes, after that you can grind them.

Blogisse kolm osa oad
Beans in the water; grinding the beans and already ground beans.
Blogisse ubade tampimine girls
Students grinding the beans

Watch our video and find out how simple but delicious dish of beans is prepared:

Blogisse valmitoidu viimne lihv
Blogisse valmistoit
Our “kanzagma” of beans is ready

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Ghanaian dish “nkanzagma” by Yakoti JHS

Yakoti Junior High School prepared Ghanaian national dish “nkanzagma”

Little helper from kindergarten!

“Nkanzagma” is a dish prepared mainly from millet flour and cooked by steaming. It is a delicious light meal for lunch.



  • ½ bowl of millet flour
  • Pepper and salt to taste
  • Cooking oil
  • White beans leaves


  1. Wash and pound beans leaves
  2. Add salt-bitter and water
  3. Mix thoroughly and squeeze out beans leaves
  4. Sprinkle the mixture on the flour and mix well
  5. Put cooking pot on fire and spread with net or clean leaves/grasses
  6. Put mixture in a calabash or shallow rubber and roll till smaller balls are formed
  7. Spread them on the net or clean grasses and allow the steam to cook it
  8. Serve with oil and pepper hot or cold.

Very important part of the procedure is shaking/rolling the mixture to form small balls.

Shaking the mixture in calabash

Here’s our video! Have a nice 7 minutes with us!



BON APPETIT! (English)

HEAD ISU! (Estonian)

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The best “koosi” masters are in Sekoti JHS!

Koosi” – fried beans cakes

How to you call a fried cake in your country? A pancake? A doughnut? Something else? We, in Ghana, Upper East region, call  fried beans-flour-cake as “koosi“. We don’t eat “koosi” every day, it is a dish for special occasions. Today was special occasion for us – we, the 3rd grade students from Sekoti Junior High School (in Estonia 9th grade) prepared our national dish in front of our school house, under the tree.

There were following people in our cooking team:

  • two teachers who guided us (but we did all by ourselves)
  • Video: Samuel
  • Cooks: Alice, Martha, Jennifer, Grace and two Mary’s.
“Koosi” masters from Sekoti JHS

The process was fun and the result tasty. Actually, the volunteer from Estonia, Liina, said that “koosi” was the best national dish she has tasted in Africa so far!

Isn’t it delicious?



Yes? Yes! Watch the video and find out how we prepared “koosi“!


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