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Locust beans, also known as African locust beans, are a species of legume endemic to West Africa. It is also called as iru, dawadawa, or soumbala depending on the country or region. The seeds of the locust bean tree are used in cooking and traditional medicine, and the fruit pulp is utilised as a natural sweetener. Locust beans are often used as a condiment in West African soups, stews, and sauces. The strong, savoury flavour of the beans adds depth and complexity to meals, and it is frequently used as a meat or fish substitute in vegetarian and vegan cookery. Locust beans are also used in traditional medicine to cure a number of diseases, including stomach troubles and high blood pressure. The pulp of the locust bean fruit, which has a sweet and fruity flavour, is commonly used as a natural sweetener in West African cooking. It is used to add flavour and sweetness to porridges, drinks, and desserts. The pulp can also be dried and processed into a powder, which is used as a natural flavouring in a variety of products.
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