How To Make Dawadawa (African locust bean) at home all by yourself easily

Dawadawa is an irresistible ingredient when it comes to traditional meals. It is used for preparing soups, stews, and traditional meals. If you are asking how to make Dawadawa, then you are on the right page. I will be showing you how to prepare locust beansall by yourself at home, the health benefits and traditional beliefs about it. But first…

What is Dawadawa?

Dawadawa is the Hausa name for a spice made from locust beans which is boiled and fermented. It is usually used to prepare soups, stews, rice and tea. Dawadawa is not only used in Nigeria, but also in other countries. It will interest you to know that dawadawa contains calcium, fats and protein.

How To Make Dawadawa

How To Prepare Dawadawa

To make dawadawa, you will need the following:

  1. African locust bean seed (Dawadawa seed)
  2. Water


  •  Mortar
  •  Pestle
  •  Fabric bag


  • Put the locust beans seeds and pulp into a mortar and pound. By doing this, the seeds will be separated from their coats.
  • After pounding, dry the seeds in the sun for a day. Remove any chaff that may be left on the seeds.
  • Put the seeds in a saucepan, add water and allow it to boil for some time. This will make the seeds soft enough for you to separate them from their coats.
  • Pour them back into the mortar, add wood ash, and pound again for some time.
  • Dry the seeds in the sun after pounding.
  • Now, sift the dawadawa seeds again to get rid of the seed coats.
  • Wash the seeds again to remove any leftover wood ash.
  • Boil the seeds again for two hours, then drain the water and put them in a fabric bag and squeeze out the excess water in them.
  • Leave seeds for about 3 days until they have completely fermented.
  • You can now mould them into small balls and use them for any meal you want.

How do you make dawadawa powder?

The African locust bean’s seeds are extracted from its sweet, yellow pulp and boiled. They are then pounded, dried, and cleaned. Then they are boiled again, this time to create a sticky, fermented mixture.

Balls of dawadawa (also called iru and sumbala) made from fermented African locust bean seeds.

How to make dawadawa tea?


  1. Put dawadawa seeds and pulp into a mortar andpound/crush with a pestle.
  2. Dry the seeds in the sun for one day.
  3. Remove any chaff that may be mixed with the dawadawa seeds.
  4. Put the seeds in a saucepan, add water and boil for some time.
  5. Add wood ash and pound again for some time and dry the seeds in the sun.
READ ALSO: Health Benefits of Acha and Why You Need To Consume It Regularly

Traditional uses for the African locust bean tree

Locust beans grow on the Parkia biglobosa tree, which grows in a long belt from the Atlantic coast of Senegal, through southern Sudan and into northern Uganda.

As usual, we Africans waste nothing if we can help it. From root to fruit, the tree is edible and used in a variety of different ways. The bark is rich in tannins and used for tanning hides; boiled pods are used to dye pottery black; the leaves can be used in soups and stews; and the fruit, whose pulp is rich in carbohydrates, is eaten raw or mixed with water as a sweet and refreshing drink (I like to think of it as nature’s Gatorade).

READ MORE: Health Benefits and Side Effects of Bitter Leaf

These fermented seeds are mainly used to make a condiment for seasoning sauces and soups. The Yorubas classify it into two groups: Iru Woro, which is commonly used to make stew, and Iru Pete, which is used to make ewedu and egusi soup.

The ground seeds are sometimes mixed with moringa leaves to prepare a sauce and are also used to make doughnuts, while the roasted seeds are used as a coffee substitute known as Sudan coffee or café nègre.

Health benefits of the African locust bean tree

But this magical little seed isn’t just a culinary wonder — it, like so many African ingredients, also has a myriad of health benefits and valuable nutritional properties. The seeds, leaves and bark of the African locust bean tree have been traditionally used in West African communities to treat a variety of medical conditions such as malaria, diabetes mellitus, infections etc…

The African locust bean is very important to West African culture, playing a role in major rituals like birth, baptism, circumcision, marriage and death.

Once you try dawadawa, you will be blown away by its capacity in your kitchen. Hold your nose and dive into this West African staple that could very well be the savior of your spice rack. But before you do, please purchase it responsibly — preferably from communities that have spent hundreds of years using it.

Local Food Dawadawa Jollof | how to prepare African Locust Bean Jollof

Local food from the northern part of Ghana and this food is one simple and delicious meal made with AFRICAN LOCUST BEAN locally known as DAWADAWA INGREDIENTS: Dawadawa (African locust bean) rice tomatoes pepper onion dry smoked fish shea butter.

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