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Northeastern Delicacies: Danwake, A Northern Nigerian Food

Our food history segment today takes us to Northern Nigeria. Our topic of discussion is Danwake. This food is a major staple in most homes in Adamawa State and other parts of Northern Nigeria. Danwake literally means “Son of Beans.” It can also be called Beans Dumpling. On its own, this food is tasteless. Like Nigerian Swallow which is typically tasteless unless it is paired with soup, Danwake only comes alive when it is paired with a spicy sauce.  This sauce comprises of oil pepper and salt. This is why Danwake is traditionally referred to as Danwake da mai da yaji which means Danwake with oil and pepper.

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Danwake can also be served with lemon, suya (suya pepper or spice), hardboiled egg, vegetable or beef sauce. Once upon a time, children of the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group who are native to Adamawa State and most parts of Northern Nigeria ate this food with broomsticks. In recent times, however, the cutlery, fork, which is more hygienic has replaced the broomstick.

A well prepared Danwake is soft. If you have the right ingredients, Danwake is easy to prepare. Danwake is prepared with Danwake flour which is a mixture of beans flour, cassava flour, kuka powder and potash. If Danwake Flour is available, the meal can be ready in twenty minutes. All you need to do is mix the flour with a little water to form a thick paste. Cover the paste and leave it in room temperature for about five minutes. Afterwards, put water in a pot and allow it to boil on medium heat. When it comes to the boil, form small balls with the paste and throw them into the pot of boiling water. When the pasta is finished, cover the pot and allow the content to boil for about ten minutes. Strain out the water and rinse the Danwake balls in cold water. Strain out the cold water and turn the Danwake into a plate. Sprinkle fried vegetable oil on it.

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Serve with your accompaniment of choice; relax and enjoy your meal. So, if you’ve not heard of this food before and you want to create something different with the beans flour that you have at home, try making Danwake. Please give us your feedback when you do.


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Obiamaka Angela Udevi

Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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