Iru (food)

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Dry iru cakes

Irú is a type of fermented and processed locust beans (Parkia biglobosa) used as a condiment in cooking. It is similar to ogiri and douchi. It is very popular among the Yoruba people of Nigeria. It is used in cooking traditional soups like egusi soup, okro soup and ogbono soup. Among the Manding-speaking people of West Africa irú is known as sumbala.

It can be found fresh or dried. The fresh variety is usually wrapped in moimoi leaves, which are similar in appearance and texture to banana leaves. It has a very pungent smell.

The dried variety is flattened into discs or cakes for sale. Dried iru is weaker in flavor and pungency than fresh (though frying dried iru in cooking oil will restore much of the flavor). The dried variety stores very well in freezers.

During fermentation, the reducing sugar content increases, and the total free amino acid content initially decreases; in the end, however, there is a large increase in free amino acid content.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Biochemical changes in fermented melon (egusi) seeds (Citrullis vulgaris) Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology Publisher Springer Berlin / Heidelberg ISSN 1367-5435 (Print) 1476-5535 (Online) Issue Volume 6, Number 3 / November, 1990