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Name Variations

  • Djansang
  • Munguella (Angola)
  • Essessang (Cameroon)
  • Bofeko (Zaire)
  • Wama (Ghana)
  • Okhuen (Nigeria)
  • Kishongo (Uganda)
  • Essang
  • Ezezang
  • Njasang

About Njangsa

The term Njangsa refers to the oily seeds of a tree, Ricinodendron heudelotii, found in tropical West Africa. These seeds are red-brown to black in colour, rounded and some 1cm in diameter. The seeds are oily in texture and can be bought either raw or dried. They have an odour reminiscent of oily chocolate, but their flavour is truly unique: subtly aromatic with a mild bitter aftertaste. Trunk of a Njangsa tree

As well as the seed form the spice is also sold in African markets rolled into sausage shapes. Here the oily seeds are pounded in a pestle and mortar, shaped by hand before being sun-dried. This spice is used either as a thickener for West African 'soups' (stews) or it's used as a flavouring for rice.

The whole seeds are pounded in a pestle and mortar and added as a thickener to West African 'soups' (stews). The prepared seeds (either pounded in a pestle and mortar or the prepared form from markets) are steamed and then crumbled into rice as a flavouring.