Xawaash - The Traditional Mix Enjoyed
in Somalia and Throughout Africa

Xawaash (pronounced hawash), is an easy to make, fairly potent seasoning popular in Somalia and other African countries. If you're traveling around these places you'll find this blend, with many regional variations, often used to season and flavour many dishes, including: various meats, soups and meaty stews to name a just a few. (See the bottom of the page for links to more of my recipes)

What You'll Need: (makes about 7-8 tablespoons)

3 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp turmeric powder
4 tsp black peppercorns
4 tsp dried sage
4 tsp dried ginger root (or 2 tsp ginger powder)
2 tsp green cardamom pods
1 tsp whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg
3 inch piece cinnamon 

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Grate a teaspoons worth of nutmeg. Set aside
  • Break up the cinnamon stick and chop the dried ginger root
  • Grind the cinnamon and ginger pieces along with the peppercorns, cardamom pods, cloves and cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds
  • Once ground, sieve the freshly ground ingredients into a bowl. Regrind any bits that don't go through the sieve if necessary
  • Now add the grated nutmeg and turmeric powder to the bowl and combine. Also add the ginger if you used powder
  • Finally, crumble in the dried sage and combine again

Store your Somalian blend in a cool place in an airtight jar and out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months before making more.

Note: As you've made the effort of making your own, why not take it a stage further and dry toast the whole ingredients before grinding? The heat from the toasting releases the most fabulous flavours and aromas and is highly recommended. 

For this recipe you could toast the coriander, cumin, cloves, peppercorns, fenugreek and cardamom pods. Click here for further info on toasting and grinding whole ingredients. (Link opens in new window)

Here's a video of how I made a version of the above xawaash. The ingredients may vary slightly but the process is exactly the same. If you enjoyed it, click the link below the video to subscribe. OR you can click the subscribe button in the bottom right corner in the video itself

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Ingredient Note: I recommend using as many whole ingredients as you can for this Somalian xawaash as these give the best flavours. If you don't have them whole, just use pre-ground powders and reduce the amount the recipe requires by half. For example, 4 teaspoons of whole peppercorns equals 2 teaspoons of ground pepper. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with any other powders when making.

Why Not Just Buy Commercial Mixes?

XawaashHomemade Xawaash Recipe

Of course it's easy to pop to the store and pick up a jar of curry powder or the like; so why would you make your own?

Well for one thing, I've never seen this recipe sold commercially in any store. Though you probably can get it pre-made nowadays on the internet.

Other than that you'll get...

  • More flavour than store-bought blends 
  • You have complete control over what goes in. Don't like a certain ingredient? Leave it out or substitute another
  • Store-bought seasonings may contain too much salt or cheap filler ingredients like chili powder and husks 
  • No hidden extras like artificial colours, additives, preservatives

And, what I think is an important point, especially if you use organic ingredients...

  •  Your xawaash will be free of pesticides and GMO's!

After Making Your Somalian Xawaash Recipe You May Like to Try...

Tabil - Capture the True
Taste of Tunsian Cusine

Pumpkin Spice - The
Perfect Mix For All Your
Fruit Pies and Desserts

A Collection of Taco
Seasonings For Fab
Homemade Tacos

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