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Ngo hiomi (bobimbi)

Ngo hiomi (bobimbi)

Normal price €4,25 EUR
Normal price Offer price €4,25 EUR
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In Africa there are fifteen 'garlic trees', plants of which all parts sometimes smell of garlic, including the bark, branches and leaves.

The seeds of Scorodophloeus zenkeri (divida) and Afrostyrax lepidophyllus are especially popular in West Africa, where these plants occur naturally in the rainforest. You will also find such garlic plants outside Africa, such as the kulim tree, Scorodocarpus Borneensis, on Borneo (Indonesia).

We offer the seeds of the Afrostyrax lepidophyllus. It grows in the dense tropical rainforest of West Africa, especially in Cameroon, Congo and Nigeria. , and bears fruit. These grow like beads, in strands on the tree. After drying, when all moisture-containing components have dried out, the round seed, surrounded by a parchment shell, remains the endocarp. This 'garlic nut' is sometimes called the 'rondelle', the French word for 'bead'.

The seeds contain the same volatile substances as garlic. They are released when the plant's defense mechanism is activated, for example when you damage the plant. As when sawing the wood of the divida - the wood name - an excellent furniture wood. The seeds are called ngô hiômi in the Bassa language, and are traditionally used as a medicine and spice, such as in the spice mixture mbongô tchòbi that is used in the fish dish of the same name.

Ngô hiômi or bobimbi is only available in a glass jar (60 grams), for € 4.25.

Our garlic nuts come from wild harvesting. The cultivation of this tree is being experimented with to spare the endangered natural population from overexploitation, but so far without success.

The fruit of the Scorodophloeus zenkeri  is an elongated pod with 1-2 usually disc-shaped seeds. In addition to these, the bark of this tree is also used, which is used together with the seeds in nkui sauce, nap poh sauce and condre, a much-loved goat meat dish. The bark is blackened before use.

Smell and taste

Nghiômi  has a pleasant garlic aroma, and causes an unmissable garlic breath after eating it. This is common to all plants rich in marasmicin (thiosulfinate) - such as wild garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) - or allicin (diallylthiosulfinak) - such as garlic (Allium sativum). Both compounds are unstable, and - this is how the plant's defense mechanism works - break down into a complex of sulfur compounds, such as

  • 2,4,5,7-tetrathiaoctane,
  • 2,3,5-trithiahexane, methyl disulphide (also found in cauliflower, broccoli and camembert) and
  • 2,3,4,6-tetrathiaheptane (also found in mushrooms),

The oil from the seeds of Scorodophloeus zenkeri (divida) and Afrostyrax lepidophyllus contains 91.0-96.1% sulfur compounds. The predominant compound is 2,4,5,7-tetrathiaoctane, accounting for 51.5-52.9%.


Ngô hiômi is used as a substitute for garlic in West African dishes, for example in rubs and marinades, or in nkwi, a famous very spicy soup in which ngô hiômi plays the leading role. Compared with garlic powder, the powder of the garlic tree is much more aromatic.

Ngô hiômi is used in, among other things, the spice mixture yaji, the basis for every Nigerian dry rub (for the bbq). Yaji is delicious, due to the combination of spices and the irreplaceable power of kuli-kuli, the basis for the rub, made from pressed peanut butter. Great to make yourself.

How do you use the notes? Wrap some of them in a cloth and smash them with a hard object (hammer) before crushing them with a mortar and pestle. By the way, the broken ngo hiomi can be rehydrated well, after which you can easily grind it. If you don't like the rough stuff, let the nut absorb water in its entirety. Do take the time for that.


  • 100% seeds of the Afrostyrax lepidophyllus
  • origin: Cameroon


  • only available in a glass jar, content 60 grams

Gift Wrap

  • the jar is available in a tasteful gift box, consisting of a cube box filled with black tissue paper
  • for an overview of our gift packaging, please refer to the category gift packaging

General advice

  • ngo hiomi's aromas are overwhelming and very durable, even when the nuts become very dry. Before grinding, add moisture (soak), then dry the grinding in the dry air
  • Make ngô hiômi in advance, the fragrance will not be lost


  • ngô hiômi is best kept in a cool place because of the low melting point of the allicin
  • keep the package hermetically closed !
  • this spice has no best before date, retains its aromas almost indefinitely !
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