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Iru / Sumbula / Dawadawa


Dawadawa is a local seasoning or condiment used in soups and stews. A very popular soup ingredient, globally, it is referred to as African locust bean with the botanical name as Parkia biglobosa (member of the Fabaceae family). 

The process involves boiling, cleaning and then packing away the locust bean to ferment - the fermentation process gives it a pungent smell. This condiment is traditionally sold in balls or patties that can be kept for several months at a time in the case of the best quality.

Name variations with region: Sambala by Manding Language,  Iru by Yorubas, and Dawadawa by Hausas

Preparation and use

Dawadawa is a very popular ingredient when cooking Tuo Zafi and Ayoyo Soup. It can be used in any soup or stew as well.

Recipes, meals, and how this is usually eaten

  • Ayoyo soup (Jute Leaves soup)
  • Egusi and spinach stew
  • Tomato stew

Nutritional info and health benefits

Dawadawa has numerous health benefits. Local research has shown that the locust bean helps to promote good sight and drives away hypertension and diseases conditions like stroke and diabetes. It also contains tannins, astringent substances found in many plants.

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