Wakye@PapayeConsider fufu, a thick paste made from plantain and cassava and shaped into a ball, and the similar omo tuo, made from pounded rice. Each is served floating in a soup flavored by peanut or palm nut or red pepper, with bony chunks of goat or chicken or fish ($10 to $13, combos vary from day to day).

To eat fufu or omo tuo as they do in Ghana, pinch off a bit with your right hand, indent it with your thumb and dip it in the soup. The meat and fish are plucked from the soup separately; the goat, in particular, illustrates the preference of many West Africans for chewier cuts.

Denser starches, such as the fermented cooked corn dough called banku, are matched with heavier dishes like okra beef stew ($12). Beside skin-on slabs of tilapia or croaker, palaver sauce — a stew of spinach and egusi, or ground squash seed — can be scooped up with chunks of boiled yam ($12). If you’ve been to Quebec and twirled a French fry in a mass of cheese curds and brown gravy, you’ve got this move down.

Familiar utensils and plenty of paper napkins are always available, or hold the fufu and request plain white or tomato-flavored jollof rice on the side. Another option is the rice-and-beans plate called waakye (WAH-zhay, $8 or $10), kitted out with fish, goat and, in a twist, spaghetti. (Called talia in Ghana, it’s a common addition to rice and beans.) Accompaniments include gari, or ground cassava, and the potent fish-scented hot sauce called shito. It’s a lip-smacking medley, and the most fun you can have at Papaye without eating with your fingers.

Many of the city’s Ghanaian residents live and work in the Bronx, in a huddle of back streets east of the Grand Concourse, or in the shadow of the elevated No. 4 train to the west.

Managers of two large African markets in the neighborhood enthusiastically recommended Papaye, a year-old restaurant owned by Osei Bonsu and Sam Obeng , who have a five-year-old place of the same name at 196 McClellan Street. This latest one is on a sunny corner of the Concourse, within eyeshot of the giant baroque Loews Paradise Theater.

The restaurant (the name means to be virtuous, or to do good for yourself, in the Ghanaian language Twi) is as sparingly decorated as the Paradise is ornate. No kente cloth, no African drums, except those on the persistent pop soundtrack. Subdued artworks hang on the pale yellow walls, outshone by a flat-screen television that might be tuned to BBC News but, more likely, to soccer. English can be heard — it’s the national language of Ghana, a British colony until 1957 — but many conversations at Papaye (pronounced pah-PIE-yeah) are in Twi.

A typical meal is a one-course affair consisting of a soup or stew, with the aforementioned dunking. (Hence the sink in the dining room itself, in the corner beside the potted plastic plant, for washing up before the meal.)

The picture menu behind the counter, also in English, offers little that might pass for an appetizer — the best are stubby goat kebabs ($2), rubbed with dried red pepper and onion, then grilled — and nothing resembling a salad.

Drinks are self-service, from a refrigerator case. They include bottles of a ginger beverage, with different-colored caps for different levels of pungency.

Since Papaye doesn’t offer dessert, you may prefer Malta Guinness, a syrupy, sweet (and nonalcoholic) barley drink. Or walk north on the Concourse to a well-known doughnut chain, for a more familiar kind of dunking.

Source: New York Times