DELICIOUS: Benjamin Ato Sam has created a cookbook full of African recipes to teach people about traditional African food. Picture: DARREN HOWE
When Benjamin Ato Sam arrived in Bendigo from Ghana in 2008, he was excited to share his African culture with his new home.
To help, Ato has created and published a cookbook full of traditional African recipes.
“When migrated from Ghana to Australia, I wanted to share my culture and connect with people in the country,” he said. “I also wanted to show how to cook African food and show African music and culture.”
With the help of his wife, he has spent the past few months collating and preparing his book for printing.
“Last time I was in Africa I decided I wanted to teach people how to cook,” Ato said. “The best way to do this is to write a cookbook.
“It took almost three months to write everything down. It was printed last weekend.
“Ever since moved to this country I have wanted to share and teach people to cook and prepare African food.
“The recipes are generational and passed on. What’s in this book is something, when go to my country, you will find it there as well.”
Ato moved to Australia to live with his wife who was born in Bendigo. He is an ambassador of City of Greater Bendigo’s Intercultural Ambassador Program and presents a show on Phoenix FM
Ato said the cookbook uses a lot of vegetable and fish based recipes. One of his favourite recipes is a drink that uses dry hibiscus.
“It is mostly vegetable recipes and also snacks and rinks,” he said.
“The one I really enjoyed is drink made of dried hibiscus flower. It has very strong health benefit.
“It is an authentic Ghana Sobolo drink with dry hibiscus, sugar, pineapple, ginger cloves, black pepper, dry chilli powder and sugar and water.
“It helps lower blood pressure and fight bacteria while helping your immune system. But I love all the recipes in the book.”
Ato has also created his own spicy African sauce – also called Good Vibrations.
“Black Shito Sauce is popular in Ghana, West Africa, and is often used as a condiment for fried, grilled and steamed fish and barbecue dishes,” he said.
“It can also be eaten with thin rice, fried potato chips and green vegetables. It’s very yummy.”
For more information or to buy a copy of Ato’s cookbook email email@example.com.