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Grains Of Selim

Grains of Selim are an aromatic spice with a robust, sweet and slightly peppery flavor common to the cuisines of Western and parts of Eastern Africa. They can be used whole or ground to add complex flavor to stews and sauces or as a unique rub for fish, meat, vegetables and more.

· Knobby dark brown pods containing seeds

· Musky, sweet flavor with hints of ginger, licorice and black pepper

· Can be used whole or ground

Price: $252.00
$1.97 / Ounce

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Suggested uses

Use in marinades for beef, poultry, pork, or game

Grind and infuse into sauces, soups, or stews.

Add an interesting flavor note to rice dishes or prepared salads

Use in place of regular peppercorns to add different flavor dimension for seasoning food.

Basic prep

Can be ready to use as is, or ground in a spice grinder.

Storage & handling

Store in a dry, cool place.


Selim pepper.

Grains of Selim, also known as Selim Pepper, Ethiopian Pepper, Guinea Pepper, Uda Pod, Dijar, and Kimba Pod (among numerous regional names), are well-known and well-loved throughout Western Africa and parts of Eastern Africa. The knobby brown pods are the fruit of theXylopia aethiopica tree, which can grow up to 98ft/30m in height in the forest and savanna zones of Africa.

In the Middle Ages, the spice was exported to Europe as a substitute for black pepper, a commodity as valuable as currency. As trade routes improved over time, demand for Grains of Selim diminished in Europe. However, across Western and Eastern Africa Grains of Selim are still widely used and beloved for both their culinary and medicinal uses.

Travel to Senegal and you’re likely to encounter this fragrant spice at a roadside vendor selling Café Touba, a rich coffee drink with an aromatic anise-spiciness from the added Grains of Selim. In Nigeria, it is used to flavor savory skewers of chicken or beef and in their peppersoup, a comforting classic.

The flavor profile for Grains of Selim flavor is peppery and robust. There is an aroma of sticky-sweetness reminiscent of honeysuckle, nutmeg, and cloves with underlying hints of licorice, ginger and smoke.

Uniquely, Grains of Selim seeds are not removed from the pods for use. The dried pods, with seeds enclosed, are used whole and make a great addition to soups, stews or sauces. Adding the whole pod early allows their complex profile of flavors to diffuse into the dish. Alternatively, chefs can grind or crush the pods into a powder and make a musky, smoky spice rub for fish and meats.

Classic recipe

Selim Pepper Chicken Breast

Adds interesting notes of eucalyptus, musk, turmeric with an underlying peppery finish.