Cameroonian Njangsa Sauce

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Cameroonian Njangsa Sauce, also known as Njangsa Stew, is creamy and loaded with umami flavor. It’s perfect for serving with boiled plantains, African white yams, or rice!

Njangsa sauce in a white oval bowl with white yams on the side.

The star ingredient of this recipe is Njangsa seeds, orange-looking seeds that add creaminess and a distinctive taste to the sauce. People call it Njangsa, Njangsang or Djangsang, while others (like me) call it Njansa. It is a nutty oil kernel that is widely used in Cameroonian cuisine.

Njangsa is also a key ingredient in Cameroonian Pepper Soup and it adds extra oomph to the marinade of Cameroonian Roasted Fish.

You’ll love this authentic njangsa sauce recipe whether for weeknight dinners or for special occasions. Insanely delicious!

Why You’ll Love This Njangsa Sauce Recipe

  • Great flavor! The flavor of this sauce is so good and the creamy texture is just amazing! Cameroonian food always packs a ton of flavor due to the brilliant use of herbs and spices, and this is no exception.
  • Great way to try African cuisine: If you are looking for a great introductory recipe to African cuisine, this Njangsa stew is perfect. It’s not hard at all to execute and the most labour intensive part is cleaning the fish (which you can have your fish monger do).
  • Versatility: You can pair it with rice, boiled plantains or sweet fried plantains, African white yams (quite different from American yams), boiled taro (cocoyams), potatoes, and more!
White yams and njangsa sauce in a bowl.

The Ingredients

Here is everything you need for the fish:

2 whole fish in a white bowl, a small plate with seasoning.
  • Fish: I used whole pompano because it works well with this stew but you can use other kinds of whole fish like mackerel, snapper, trout, sea bass, sea bream, or tilapia. The flavor of whole fish is unbeatable! The bones of the fish lend tons of flavor to the sauce as it simmers.
  • Seasoning: A simple seasoning of salt, white pepper and chicken bouillon powder (or Maggi seasoning cube) gives the fish a good start with seasoning before it enters the pot.

Here is everything you need for the njangsa sauce:

Njangsa seeds are the chickpea-like kernels on the white plate.
  • Njangsa: Search Google for nearby African markets and call them to ask if they have njangsa seeds. This is the key ingredient that gives this stew its unique taste.
  • Oil: I used olive oil but you could use other kinds of flavorless oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, avocado oil, and more.
  • Garlic and Ginger: Fresh spices are best for this recipe as they really complement the flavor of the fish. Take time to peel fresh garlic and ginger for the best flavor.

See the recipe card below with a detailed list of ingredients and instructions.

Make sure you select fresh fish for this recipe. The flesh should be firm to the touch and it shouldn’t have any foul smell. Also, for easy prep, have your fishmonger clean, gut and cut the fish into steaks.

How To Cook Njangsa Sauce

Follow these easy 4 steps to cook Njangsa sauce:

  1. Clean and gut the fish.
  2. Sauté the onions and cook down the tomatoes.
  3. Add in blended njangsa seeds, herbs and spices, then add water and seasoning.
  4. Add the prepared fish and simmer until the fish is cooked through.
A white pot filled with stew and fish steaks.

Once the fish is in the pot, avoid stirring so as to avoid breaking up the fish. Instead, gently spoon some of the sauce over the fish.

Watch How To Make It

I made a YouTube video so I could show you how to prepare njangsa sauce. Watch below and please subscribe to my YouTube channel, Precious Kitchen. Thank you for supporting my channel!

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Variations For Njangsa Sauce

Here are some ideas for switching up this njangsa sauce:

  • Protein: Instead of fish, use bone-in chicken like chicken thighs and drumsticks. Also, you can make this recipe with pork (I recommend pork trotters) or beef. Note that if you change the protein used, it will take longer to cook since fish cooks faster than the other kinds of protein mentioned.
  • Make it spicy: Want a spicy sauce? Blend one habanero pepper together with the herbs and spices and add to the sauce.
  • Different herbs: Add different kinds of herbs like celery leaves or thyme to the spice blend. This green seasoning is great for njangsa sauce!

Frequently Asked Questions About Njangsa

What does njangsa taste like?

Njangsa has an earthy, nutty and unique flavor. After being blended, it adds creaminess to soups and stews.

What is njangsa in English?

The scientific name of njangsa is Ricinodendron Heudelotii. Other names for this oily seed that comes from trees common in tropical West Africa are Essessang (Cameroon), Akpi (Cote d’Ivoire), Bofeko (Zaire), Wama (Ghana), Okhuen (Nigeria), Kishongo (Uganda), and Munguella (Angola).

How do you store njangsa?

Store whole njangsa kernels in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to one year.

More Cameroonian Recipes To Try

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Njangsa sauce in a white oval bowl with white yams on the side.

Cameroonian Njangsa Sauce

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I grew up eating this tasty, creamy Cameroonian Njangsa Sauce also known as Njangsa Stew. Serve it with rice, boiled plantains, or boiled African white yams, which is the way I served it here. This stew is easy to make and you can use any protein of choice, including chicken, pork, and beef.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings



  • 2 pounds whole fish I used pompano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder or 1 Maggi seasoning cube
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper


  • ½ cup olive oil or any neutral tasting oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4-5 large Roma tomatoes cut into chunks
  • 7 garlic cloves peeled
  • 3 inches ginger root peeled and diced
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 4 sprigs basil
  • ½ a large leek or 1 green onion
  • 2 teaspoons ground white pepper
  • ½ cup Njangsa seeds obtainable from an African market
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder or 2 small Maggi seasoning cubes
  • 2 habanero peppers or scotch bonnet peppers
  • Sliced basil or minced parsley for garnishing


  • Prep the fish: Trim the fins of the fish with kitchen scissors and cut the fish into steaks. Remove the entrails and rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear. You could have your fish monger clean and gut the fish for you.
  • Season the fish with the salt, white pepper, chicken bouillon powder or one small Maggi seasoning cube. Let it rest while you work on the sauce.
  • Add oil to a medium pot set on medium-high heat, then let the oil heat up until shimmering. Add the diced onions, and sauté for about a minute until fragrant. Blend the tomatoes into a paste and add to the pot. Let them cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Stir the tomatoes and let them continue to cook until they start sticking to the bottom of the pot. Another 5 minutes.
  • Blend together the leeks or green onion, parsley, basil, garlic, ginger, and njangsa seeds with a cup of water. Pour the blended spices into the pot with tomatoes. Rinse the blender with about 3 cups of water and add to the pot. Stir well to combine. Add the habanero pepper with the remaining salt and bouillon powder. Stir to combine.
  • Add the seasoned fish steaks to the pot. Cover and let it cook for about ten to fifteen minutes until the fish is completely cooked through. Spoon some of the sauce over the fish as they cook. Avoid stirring as this might break the fish.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning or thickness if needed. If you want a lighter sauce, thin it out with water then taste to see if it needs a pinch of salt.
  • Garnish with fresh sliced basil or minced parsley. Serve with boiled rice, plantains or African white yams.



Fish: Other kinds of fish you could use include mackerel, snapper, sea bass, sea bream, and tilapia.
Tomatoes: I use roma tomatoes nine times out of ten because they have more flesh and less acidity. But you could use other kinds of tomatoes if that’s all you’ve got.
Fresh spices: Fresh spices are best for this recipe as they really complement the flavor of the fish. Take time to peel fresh garlic and ginger for the best flavor.


Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 910mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 446IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Cameroonian
Calories: 406
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at

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  1. Precious you’ve always been a blessing to my home with your wonderful n on point recipes.May God continue to inspire u as the days go by my sister.God bless u.