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Asanka/ Earthen ware pot

Asanka is the traditional spice grinder that is used throughout West Africa. There are several variations, including a baked clay / earthenware version with ridges inside, a metal version, or a heavy flat stone version. This spice grinder is similar to spice grinders used throughout Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.  Using the asanka is a more effective way to thoroughly crush the spices and completely mix the ingredients - in effect, creating a better spice blend compared to the blender which tends to slice vs. grind spices. 

Name variations:  Asanka orapotoyewaa(by Akan, Ashanti, Akuapim), Kaa (Ga), Traditional spice grinder, Spice mortar and pestle.  


  1. Make sure the asanka is thoroughly washed, cleaned. 
  2. Wash your spices and put a small batch in the asanka. 
  3. Take one end of the pestle / tapoli and use the other end to gently grind the spice, going in a twisting motion.  
  4. To effectively/more thoroughly grind, use the tapoli to move a portion of the spices into the ridges and use the pestle to grind against the ridges
  5. When you’re satisfied with the texture, take a spoon and scoop up the spices to use in your dish.   

Other uses

  1. Can also be used as serving bowl for fufu or ampesi (yam/plantain with spinach or garden egg sauce).

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