A friend of mine went to Zaria last week. I had previously talked to him about my cooking aspirations and he brought back some ingredients for me to play with. Before using them, I want to catalog them and see what they are and what is possible.

This list is just to describe the names of the ingredients and the basic taste and smells I pick up. Later an effort will be made to give deeper information on them with more in depth pictures and the proper accented spellings. I just now found out that Hausa also has accents.


Bakin Zoɓo – Black zobo – Hibiscus flowers – The flavor is
tangy and slightly sour. When wet the purple color dissolves into the water.

J’an Zoɓo – Red zobo – Hibiscus buds – The flavor is tangy
and slightly sour. The flavor is very mellow compared to the black zobo When wet
the red color dissolves into the water.

Miya Zoɓo – White zobo – Hibiscus flowers –  The flavor is tangy and slightly sour. The flavor
is much more pronounced compared to the black zobo.


Kanwa – Potash – Interesting bitter and salty taste that is chalky. This is a mineral salt that contains water soluble potassium used for seasoning and thickening.

Dadawa – iru – Fermented locust beans – They are in a dry patty form. I am not sure how to describe the taste


Tsamiya – Tamarind – Tastes like tamarind. It has a balanced sour and sweet taste


Zogele – Moringa – Smells like green tea and tastes like slightly bitter spinach leaves.

Dried and ground okra – smells and tastes like okra