Dawa Dawa (Parkia Biglobosa) is a very valuable tree that produces dawa dawa. When not matured, the pods are green with a white inside, but at maturity the pods turn brownish and the inside yellow. When matured the dawa dawa pod can be opened on the sides and the yellowish parts of the dawa dawa sucked upon and the seeds kept for later use. Most often the dawa dawa is dried then pounded, and the seeds separated from the dawa dawa powder. The dawa dawa powder can be eaten in its powdered form or by fetching a little portion of this powder and mixing it with water to get a smoothie like texture and then eaten as a snack or side dish. As a result of the sweetness of the dawa dawa powder there is no need to add any sugar so is a sugar free treat which we enjoyed taking for years.
Dawa dawa was mostly used in cuisines in the northern parts of Ghana which comprise of the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions but is now used by many Ghanaians in all the other regions of the country in their cuisines. Other countries such as Mali, Niger, Senegal among others also use dawa dawa in their cuisines. To get the spice dawa dawa the seeds are cleaned and treated in water which may take a number of days and fermented before making the spice dawa dawa. (Will make a video on this in the near future).
This spice dawa dawa has a very foul smell but when used in dishes give the dish a very tasty and unique taste. Dawa dawa is mostly pounded alone and put in stews and soups. Or the dawa dawa is pounded with some salt, dried red chili pepper and dried herrings and used in the stews and soups. Others sometimes use the dawa dawa without pounding. It is used in the cooking of jollof rice as well.