Spices in Ghana, their Local Names and Uses


Do you want to know he local name of spices such as turmeric in Twi? If your answer is yes, read on.

CLICK HERE to buy the SPICES EBOOK FOR JUST GHS 10. WhatsApp Us Now.

Locally prepared dishes in Ghana and Africa are really delicious as they come with a very sweet aroma due to the local spices and herbs used.

This post contains:

  • list of spices in Ghana
  • local (twi) names for spices like, turmeric, oregano, bay leaf, etc
  • and a lot more

It’s no news that Africans precisely Ghanaians would opt for locally prepared dishes on any normal day.

Yeah, it is true, right? Then there must be a secrete behind this.

CLICK HERE to buy the SPICES EBOOK FOR JUST GHS 10. WhatsApp Us Now.

And the secrete behind our dishes is no other thing than our local SPICES. Africans or Ghanaian local spices have really done wonderful things in our dishes and perhaps have made us stuck to our local foods.

Are you marveled at what our local spices can do?

Relax and enjoy this article as I bring you more on local spices in Ghana. Maggie cubes and Onga are not natural or local spices. There are many local spices they include the following with their local names and uses;


You can watch this video for all the spices and their local names or read the full article below.

List of spices in Ghana 2020

  1. Aridan (prekese)

The Akan name for prekese is aridan.

It is usually burnt right on the coal pot before it is used. It gives off a nice aroma.

Read Also: How to prepare Cabbage Stew

It is believed that when prekese is taken adequately enhances the quality of breast milk of a lactating mother and also a symbol which stands for power.

CLICK HERE to buy the SPICES EBOOK FOR JUST GHS 10. WhatsApp Us Now.

Prekese or Aridan improves blood flow and helps to avoid inflammation in man.

  1. Momone

As well known to be ‘stinking fish’ Momone is prepared by fermenting a salted fish nearly to rot in (salt solution) or brine for some days.

Afterward, it is left in the sun again for some days. Usually it is used in soups and it brings some nice taste into the soup.

Read Also: How to prepare Cabbage Stew

  1. Potash

Potash also known as Potassium Carbonate (K2C03) is traditionally known as Kanwu or Kaawe.

Kanwu is used to prepare waakye. When used in waakye it improves the texture and softens the beans thereby cooking the waakye with it makes it quicker.

At times, this local spice is a substitute for salt, a food thickener or a food tenderizer.  

  1. Waakye leaves

Waakye leaves is the local name for sun-dried leaves or stalks of red sorghum or hibiscus leaves.

  1. Kpaposhitↄ

Kpaposhitↄ is the traditional name for petite belle pepper.

This spice is used while it’s still green. It is ground and its ready to serve with kenkey or banku or other meal.

When used in soups it improves the taste.

Read Also: How to prepare Cabbage Stew

  1. Turkey berry

Turkey berry is traditionally or locally known as Kwahu Nsosuaa in Twi.

Also, the leaves of the berry and the berry itself are rich in iron and vitamin c hence it is recommended for pregnant women.

When used foods, it gives a nice taste.

  1. African bird pepper

African bird pepper is locally known as Misewain in Twi, Akweley Waabin in Ga can also be called Malagueta pepper or Piri-piri or African Devil.

It tastes very hot and also is good for steaming chicken or fish. It is believed to improve blood pressure when taken.

  1. Negro Pepper

Negro Pepper is traditionally known as Hwentia in Twi.

It is called Senegal pepper or Ethiopian pepper or Moor pepper.

CLICK HERE to buy the SPICES EBOOK FOR JUST GHS 10. WhatsApp Us Now.

This spice has a medicinal purpose. It has a nutmeg-like taste when used sparingly.

This spice is best used in stews soups, porridge.

  1. African nutmeg

African Nutmeg is traditional Wedie Abain or Awerewain in Twi or Ehuru in Igno. When used in stews, give some nice aroma and taste.

  1. Guinea pepper

Guinea pepper is traditionally known as Efon Wisa in Twi. This spice also has a medicinal purpose.

Read Also: How to prepare Cabbage Stew

Other local spices in Ghana include.

  • turmeric
  • Salt Petre (Kanwe)


  • bay leaves
  • oregano
  • Chilli pepper
  • cloves
  • dawadawa

Twi names for local spices

[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h3″ question-0=”Turmeric in twi” answer-0=”The Twi name for turmeric is ” image-0=”” headline-1=”h3″ question-1=” Bay leaves in twi” answer-1=”In Ghana, bay leaves is called” image-1=”” headline-2=”h3″ question-2=”The Twi Oregano in twi” answer-2=”In the Ghanaian Twi language, oregano is called ” image-2=”” headline-3=”h3″ question-3=”Where to get bay leaf in Ghana” answer-3=” Bay leaves can be bought from any local market in Ghana ” image-3=”” count=”4″ html=”true” css_class=””]

Local Names of Spices in Ghana

Spices make food tastes good and give nice aroma. There are a lot of spices in Ghana of which most are local whiles others are imported.

We at Ghana Insider usually get a lot of questions concerning the local (twi) names of our spices used in Ghana.

We therefore thought it wise to bring to our cherished readers the full list of all the local names of spices in Ghana. We are giving you the Twi name of turmeric, oregano, bay leaves and many more.

Kindly leave all your comments in the comments section below. We will attend to them as soon as possible.

Now let’s have a look at the spices in Ghana and their local Twi names. Here, you will see all Ghanaian spices and their corresponding English names.


Spice Twi name
Negro pepper  Ahwentia or hwentia
Bay leaves
Red bell pepper Kpakposhitor
Ginger akekaduro
Cloves Dadoa amba or Pepre
Black pepper  Esoro wisa
White pepper
Stinking fish Momone
Basil leaves Akoko mesa
Anise seeds/Fennel seed Nkitinkiti
African locust beans Dawadawa
Scotch bonnet pepper Kpakposhito
Alligator pepper/guinea pepper Efom wisa
Mint leaves Nunum


Show Comments (25)