Edible potash is a highly alkaline substance used in cooking. It is often used as a tenderizer, thickener, and leavener. In some circumstances, baking soda can be used as a substitute.
Most varieties of potash contain sodium carbonate or potassium carbonate salts.
In Nigerian cooking, potash is also known as kaun or akanwu, and it is derived from dried lake salts. It is often used to tenderize beans, and it can also be combined with palm oil to thicken it.
In European cooking, potash may also be called pottasche or pearlash, and it is traditionally derived from wood ash.