Understanding Nigerian Spices - Kanafuru

Kanafuru - Nigerian Spice

Yes, cloves grow in Nigeria where they are locally referred to as kanafuru. They are a traditional spice but are more commonly used in traditional medicine such as agbo or aseje, this is more common in Yoruba speaking areas.

Cloves are increasingly now added to traditional soups and stews for their aromatic properties. They are actually dried flower buds with a distinctive sweet smell and a strong pungent (bitter) taste. They can be purchased as whole buds or ground/powdered form. Can be used to bake and also used in soups (pepper soup) and other savoury meat dishes. Also added to suya spice.

Advice: Very small quantity is required for each use. Measure ground cloves in pinches (hehehe) or teaspoons. I tend to add a little quantity at a time until I reach a desired level. Alternatively, I add 1 or 2 single cloves to other spices such as uda or ehuru and blend using a coffee grinder. This way, I derive the maximum strength of the essential oils and other flavour enhancing properties of the spices. Remember that the longer the spice is allowed to infuse, the stronger the flavour that develops.

Read more about other Nigerian spices here...



  1. Wow, i have never taken much though in using cloves on any of the dishes i make, but with this am gonna give it a try. Thanks for the tips Funke

  2. You should try it in Ndole

  3. Please Find,Can you help on other items required with Kanafuru to do agbo Jedi/Opa ehin.Thanks

  4. Hi Funke, well done on a great site. very informative. Can you do an expose on cornflour or cornstarch using nigerian based ingredient.

  5. Can you do something on iyere

  6. Please what is the local Yoruba name understood by market women for Cinnamon? Hoping to hear from you soon.

    1. Cinnamon is not a local Nigerian spice but we have the alternative or substitute for it and its called cassia bark, called Awopa in the Yoruba language... hope this helps

  7. Replies
    1. Pls re-send your comment, it was removed by error. Thanks

  8. Thank you Mam for your quick response. Yes, it helped.



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