Liberian Kanyan Recipe-Popular West African Dessert

Peanut dessert is one of the top affordable healthy food recipes in Liberia. And people do not regard allergies around nut foods because they want the food. We have been so excited about vegetarian African food that we forgot about this dessert. We didn’t give you the recipe for Liberian Kanyan or Khanyan! One of the popular African sweets that brings you crunch, flavor, and simplicity! Sorry yeh. This is a MUST share recipe. Let us dive into this sweet treat!

Liberian sweet kanyan peanut snack.
Vegetarian African food, part of affordable healthy food recipes? Peanut dessert like this Liberian Kanyan is top African sweets!
Kanyan-Liberian Snack

What is Kanyan?

Kanyan is made of natural wholesome ingredients (peanut butter, cassava gari, and sugar). In addition to the satiation properties in Kanyan, it is also nourishing. Peanuts/groundnuts are abundant in protein, healthy fats and dietary fiber. Research shows groundnuts are immensely rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Simply put, Liberian Kanyan is packed with protein and natural oil from the peanuts, and carbohydrates and other minerals from the gari! Apart from nutritional benefits, you can discover how you can use such affordable food recipes for a Valentine’s day gift

peanut dessert recipe -affordable healthy food recipes.
peanut dessert kanyan

What locals love this peanut dessert

Liberian Kanyan is one of the top West African sweets to boast about. As mentioned above, its nutritional properties make even a health-conscious person happy. Liberians love Kanyan because this peanut dessert can and has saved lives! Gari costs $5LD (.30 cents USD), so it is cheaper than a coal bowl of $350LD ($2USD). Affordable healthy food recipes just got popular eh? Because gari expands when water is added, locals love to eat Kanyan and drink lots of water. This allows a person to feel full for hours while they work. Most Liberians have a sweet tooth, thanks to the natural African sweets. So this peanut dessert is one of the ways people soothe their sweet-tooth or rock their jaw.

Related: African Fast Food & Liberian Coal Bowl Tips

Alternative to Liberia Kanyan

There’s always an adjustment to vegetarian African food like Kanyan. People who do not like fermented gari, the main ingredient in Kanyan, opt for rice flour instead. They mix the rice flour with peanut and sugar to achieve the same results. Interestingly, rice flour Kanyan is not popular. Street vendors patrol to sell this peanut dessert, and most often, the gari Kanyan is always sold-out compared to the rice version. I tasted the rice Kanyan and I do not like it because it doesn’t have the fermented taste and the crunchy gari effect.

Related: 6 Must Try Liberian African Sweets

Simple yet tasteful African Sweets

Have you tried this recipe before? Comment below. We hope to share affordable healthy food recipes in the vegetarian African food archives. All for you to discover what locals rave about. Here, we are on a journey to experience many African countries through food. And it is exciting to share our native African sweets like this Liberian Kanyan. If you get stuck during the cooking process you can email us directly and privately if you are shy to ask publically. Liberian foods are simple to make, affordable to purchase, and they offer tasteful results. Dah you be the judge oh! Curious about a no-meat food lifestyle? Check out our Instagram page for real-life inspirations 😊.

African sweets Liberian kanyan- vegetarian African food.
Liberian Kanyan

Other Vegetarian African Food to Explore

Easy Gari Yorkor

Yummy Liberian Fry Rice

Gambian Liberian Peanut Stew Recipe


How to Make Liberian Kanyan

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

They jokingly call it delicious sand and that's because there is nothing like it! Have a taste of crunchy, peanutty, sweet-goodness. Oh but you will need milk or a tall glass of water. You stomach will thank you and your sweet-tooth will jump for joy!


  • 1.5 cups Fermented cassava gari
  • Half cup of Sugar
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter
  • Ounce of determination


To make Kanyan, start by taking a clean saucepan, pour your gari into it, and turn the heat on low.  Liberians call this step ‘pashing the gari’ in colloquial lingo. The goal is to toast the fermented gari on low heat until it becomes golden brown. This could take 15-20mins. Stir the gari as it toast or the gari could burn. You do not want to walk away from this step so give this task to one of your responsible adults/child.

After the gari is toasted, pour it into a clean dish and allow to cool for 5 mins. Next, you want to extract as much of the smaller granules as possible to have a pleasant chewing experience. If you have a coarse sifter, that will work! A fine sifter will not work, sorry. After you’ve removed the bigger granules, you are left with fine and smaller grains. Toss the bigger granules to chickens, if you have them or give it to birds. They love it! 

Next, mix the fine gari granules with the sugar. gari-with-sugar-for-kanyan_humblevege

Then, add the peanut butter and stir thoroughly to combine. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar as you like, we don’t judge but your tooth will!kanyan-recipe-making_humblevege peanut-dessert-kanyan_humblevege

Some people like their gari with more peanut butter so add as much as you like but not too much since you need to shape the dessert. That is it! You have made West African Liberian Gari! Share it with your family and share pics with us online yeh? african-sweets-liberian-kanyan_humblevege

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