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 or apotoyewaa (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).