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Nkara Chicken Soup

Photo by Nassima Rothaker

Nkrakra: Chicken Light Soup Fufu by Zoe Adjonyoh

London chef Zoe Adjonyoh shares her recipe for a light and spicy, wholesome and warming broth. It's her 'go-to dish' for chilly winter days, and infallible for making her feel better when she's under the weather.

Book Credit: Zoe's Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh is published by Mitchell Beazley, £20.00,


25 May, 2021
Average: 4.3 (7 votes)

serves for



2kg (4lb 8oz) or 8–10 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
1, finely diced
handful of thyme sprigs
Guinea peppers
4–5, cracked open
Red chili powder
1 teaspoon extra-hot chilli powder
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 teaspoons sea salt
Chalé sauce
500ml (18fl oz) uncooked Chalé Sauce
Chicken stock
1 litre (1¾ pints) hot good quality chicken stock
Black pepper
freshly ground black pepper
400g (14oz) mixed peeled (where appropriate) and diced vegetables, such as yams or sweet potatoes, carrots and white cabbage (optional)
sprig of coriander, to garnish (optional
For the Chalé Sauce
Cherry tomatoes
400g (14oz) can tomatoes or 600g (21oz) fresh tomatoes
Bell peppers
2 roasted red bell peppers
Tomato puree
30g (1oz) or 2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 small white onion, roughly diced
5cm (2-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated
Scotch bonnet chilli
1 small red Scotch Bonnet chilli (use half and de-seed if you have a low heat tolerance)
Chili flakes
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
3 garlic cloves (optional)
sea salt to taste
Cooking oil
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 onion, finely diced
Curry powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
Red chili powder
1 teaspoon extra-hot chilli powder

Step 01

Place the chicken in a large, heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole dish with the onion, thyme, guinea peppers, chilli powder, garlic and 1 teaspoon of the sea salt. Cook together over a low heat, partially covered, until the juices start to run from the chicken.

Step 02

Pour the chalé sauce over the chicken mixture, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until the chicken juices run clear.

Step 03

Stir in the hot stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour until the chicken is tender. Season to taste with black pepper.

Step 04

Add your choice of vegetables, if desired, and cook until tender. You can remove the sprigs of thyme before serving.

Step 05

I love to serve this dish in a traditional Ghanaian asanka pot with a ball of Fufu on the side (see page 173), as it looks so inviting that way. You can also serve it on its own in a large bowl garnished with a sprig of coriander, or with a slice of slightly toasted sourdough bread on the side

Step 06

For the Chalé sauce:

  1. Place all the ingredients except the ‘to cook’ ones in a blender and blend together until you have a fairly smooth paste.
  2. Saute the onion until soft - add the spices and cook until all melded together. Add the blended tomato mixture and simmer gently for 35–40 minutes until the tartness of the tomatoes has cooked out.
  3. Use straight away, or leave to cool then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for future use.

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