Donkwa also called ‘Zowey’ or ‘Dzowey’ is a common snack among the Hausa people of Northern Nigeria. It is also eaten by others in Ghana, Togo and Benin. The name Zowey, or Dzowey derives from the word “dzowor” meaning “spicy powder” in English.
I never had the opportunity to enjoy Donkwa snack growing up as it was a street food. You see, my mom was strict on hygiene and the possibility of eating something she did not make herself was just out of reach for my siblings and I. To make Donkwa, you have to roll the ingredients into a ball by hand. My mum was not confident the street sellers washed their hands propely. This was the case for a number of African streetfoods from Africa in my childhood. After gaining independence from my parents, I could eat whatever I liked, unfortunately, I had moved out of Nigeria.
The first time I tried a Donkwa Recipe was at the age of 24, when I mixed some peanut butter with cornmeal. It didnt taste very nice and I thought it was a bad snack. About two years later, I learnt how to prepare donkwa and created the perfect Donkwa Recipe. Traditional Donkwa is made with roasted peanuts, chilli powder and maize flour. I could not get maize flour so I used cornmeal in this recipe. Note that, this recipe is baked, traditional donkwas are not baked but can be eaten straight out of hand. This recipe replaces chilli powder with chilli oil and the crushed peanuts and ginger are optional. For the chilli oil, use plain chilli oil to avoid chilli flakes in your donkwa snack.
West African Donkwa Snack
- 1 9 INch Baking Tray
- Baking Paper
- 1 1/2 Cup Cornmeal
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Chilli Oil
- 1 Tbsp Ginger Powder Optional
- 3 Tbsp Peanut Butter
- 1/2 Cup Crushed Peanuts Optional
- Pre heat the oven to about 200C
- Set 1 -2 Tbsp some chilli oil aside for dipping and brushing.1/2 Cup Chilli Oil
- In a mixing bowl mix the cornmeal, sugar, chilli oil, ginger, peanut butter and chilli oil and mix thoroughly. Mix by hand or with a mixer.1 1/2 Cup Cornmeal, 1/2 Cup Sugar, 1/2 Cup Chilli Oil, 1 Tbsp Ginger Powder, 3 Tbsp Peanut Butter, 1/2 Cup Crushed Peanuts
- You should get a thick paste. If you find your a bit loose, add some cornmeal until just firm. You are looking for cookie dough consistency.
- Cut into any shape you like and lay on a prepared baking tray.
- Bake in the oven at 200C for about 20 – 30 Mins