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Fried Peanuts of Western Africa

West African potash fried peanuts ingredients and directions.

What is cooking potash? Potash, potassium carbonate, is a potassium-rich salt that are mined from ancient oceans. Potash is a variety of mined and manufactured salts containing potassium. 

Potash has a unique ashen and salty taste. Potash has been a popular seasoning in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Nigeria for centuries where depending on the tribe you hail from, potash is called kaun or akanwu. Potash is also a common seasoning in Burkina Faso and Cameroon.

Potash fried peanuts is a tasty snack that is quick and easy to make today. Raw peanuts are pan-fried with potash and sea salt until golden brown. You can add spicy seasonings you want such as Cajun seasoning, Sichuan pepper or chili powder. Below are the ingredients and directions for West African potash fried peanuts.

Potash Fried Peanuts

Potash Fried Peanuts

West Africa potash fried peanuts ingredients and directions.


1/2 pound unshelled raw peanuts

2 tablespoons sea salt

1 teaspoon potash

Water to cover for soaking

2 tablespoons olive oil


In a large bowl mix salt, potash and water. Soak the raw peanuts overnight, covered on the countertop in the potash mixture. Boil the peanuts adding more potash and salt if desired for 5 minutes.

In a large fry pan heat oil, add drained peanuts and stir fry until golden brown about 10 minutes. Toss with your choice of a spicy spice blend or sprinkle with salt. Remove from heat and serve as a snack.

Roadside food vendor in Yaounde Cameroon

Roadside food vendor in West Africa making potash fried peanuts.

Fried peanuts are a quintessential protein snack in Western Africa and potash is a popular seasoning.

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