Beans Pottage

Its amazing how life changes you. Growing up , beans was one of my most hated meals. I hated eating many things as a child anyways, my mum still can’t believe how I’ve turned around and become a foodie, I hated beans. Then life happened and I found myself married to a beans lover, and I had to cook and of course eat it more often than I could have ever imagined.

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Beans porridge is one of the most popular plant protein dishes in Nigeria. In the University the boys hostel was known as the hub of beans  porridge. The boys didn’t seem to know how to cook anything else other than beans. Beans porridge can very easily be a one pot meal and it was easy for them to pair it with bread or garri and have a fully stomach for the whole day.

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Easy as it is to cook beans, it is quite  easy to go wrong with it too. The best type of beans to cook beans pottage with is Ewa Oloyin  (Oloyin Beans / Honey Beans) . Honey beans is naturally sweet hence it the name.  However even in the absence of honey beans, a few tips can help you make a tasty meal of beans pottage.

Recipe

Serves 6 

Ingredients

*all measurements are made with standard measures.

  •      3 1/2 cups Beans

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  •      2 Medium sized onions
  •      1/2 or 3/4 cup of jalepeno blended pepper OR you can use 1 or 2 tablespoon (s) of Cayenne pepper
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Blended jalepeno (sombo/bawa/long tatashe) with onion
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Cayenne pepper
  •      1/2 cup Palm oilimage      
  • 4 tbsp ground crayfish
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Ground dried Crayfish
  •    *1 Bonga Fish (optional ) you can use it shredded or blended to a powder.

    •       2 Cubes bouillon cubes
    •      Salt to taste.

    Procedure

    –     Pick beans for dirt,  rinse beans throughly.

    * It is said that the amount of pesticides applied to beans for storage is really high, in fact some western countries recently placed a ban on importation of beans from Nigeria due to the high presence of pesticides. This has also been linked to the cause of heartburn and flatulence  after consuming beans. Beyond washing beans throughly, you can slightly parboil the beans and discard the water, or soak the beans in boiling hot water for at least five minutes, discard the water, rinse and proceed to cook.

    –     In a clean pot or pressure pot, cook the beans with water and  one chopped onion.  

    *I strongly recommend that every one owns a pressure pot even if it is just for cooking beans. With a pressure pot, the beans is tender in about 15 minutes. If you are using a regular pot, you have to cook for between 30 – 45 minutes to get the beans to be tender enough

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    The beans is tender and it is beginning to split

    –      When the beans is tender, add, palm oil, crayfish, blended or Cayenne pepper, salt, * bonga fish  bouillon cubes (I use knorr more recently Adobo Seasoning )

    –       Cook all together for about 20 minutes or until all the elements are well incorporated in the beans and the beans pottage has thickened. Turn off the heat and serve

    –      Enjoy with dodo (fried plantain ) Garri (roasted cassava granules ) , yam, Bread or just by itself .

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    Peanut Butter Soup; A cheat code for traditional (Omisagwe)groundnut soup

    For our readers in the diaspora who sometimes wonder how to  cheat with some of the Nigerian recipes, this is for you. Traditionally groundnut soup is made with raw groundnut, ground to a fine powder. Anyway I found myself with a very dear friend who’s blender didn’t have a dry mill and she didn’t have a coffee blender either, and I had promised to make her groundnut soup. So we decided to experiment with peanut butter. We reached for a jar of Skippy  Peanut butter from her panty and went to work hoping it would come out great. I can tell you it did.

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    Recipe

    Ingredients

    •     1 1/2 cups Peanut butter

    •     3 dried Cameroon pepper

    •     2 tbsp Ground pepper (Ata rodo /Scotch Bonnet /Habenero)

    •     1 Tsp Uziza seeds

    •     1/4 cup Palm oil

    •     Cooked Assorted Meats and Fish

    •     3 cups beef Stock

    •     1/8 cup crushed dried Efirin leaves.

    •     Salt and bouillon cubes  (Maggi or knorr … etc ) to taste.

    Procedure

    –      Blend the Cameroon pepper and uziza seeds together to powder, if you have a dry mill blender. If you have a regular blender, blend the uziza and Cameroon pepper with the other pepper and some water.

    –     In a pot , add the meat stock and the peanut butter,  stir the peanut butter in the meat stock till it dissolves completely. Put your cooker on medium heat.

    –     Add, palm oil, Uziza, and ground peppers now. Allow to cook for about 3 mins the  add the meats and fish . Taste for seasoning and add additional seasoning if necessary. Leave the pot covered and cook for about 10mins,  add about 2 cups water if the consistency is too thick. Cook on medium heat.

    –      Because peanut butter is very oily you’d notice the oil start to float at the top, that is why you need very minimal palm oil.  Add the efirin leaves and stir it in, turn the heat down to low and turn it off about 3 minutes after.

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    See how much oil the peanut butter gave off

    Enjoy your peanut butter soup with any starchy accompaniment as you would your native soup.

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    Yam Fufu (Fresh Yam Amala)

    I’m excited about this, if you don’t have Elubo (Yam Flour) and you are craving Amala, you can make some with yam.  Late last night,  – I’m a bit of an insomniac,- I was updating the blog with some posts that i had previously shared on my Facebook page, while I was putting up the post about Unripe Plantain Fufu, I thought, what if this can be done with yam too. Off I went to the Kitchen at 2 am to give it a try. I have a few pictures of my experiment. It turned a little darker than regular Amala made with yam flour, tastes close to Amala just a little more starchy. If I must say so myself, it tastes good. image Recipe and Procedure

    •   1 slice of Yam  (Peeled) –   Chop yam into small bits

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    –   In a blender, add a little bit of water and blend till smooth image

    –   Place a clean pot on fire and pour in the blended yam and stir continously using a ladle till it thickens. image

    It would change colour as it starts to thicken. As it starts to thicken mix in quick motions. You may or may not need more water while cooking    image

    Here it is, your Amala without Elubo. And that is how I found myself eating Amala at 3 am. image

    I’m guessing if used white Yam, the colour would be lighter. I would be doing this again today just to find out.

    Stew with Sweet Peppers

    Happy Easter weekend everyone. Today is good friday yippee! How many people are cooking Frejon today?
    Send me pictures of your Frejon by email, I would love to collate your pictures and blog about it here.

    If you are not too sure of what to cook this weekend or you just don’t have the energy for plenty fancy cooking, no worries, just zest up your stew with bell peppers. Simple. You can serve with plain white rice, coconut rice, yam, plantain… whatever you want.

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    All you need is
    • Left over stew or freshly made stew

    • Tomato Sauce

    • Sweet Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow, Orange…)

    • 1 Large Onion

    • Shredded beef or chicken or fish

    • *very optional Coconut milk

    Procedure

    – Julienne your peppers, cut onions to large rings

    – Re- Heat your stew if it is left over, if you are using freshly made pepper heat it up too, add your tomato paste if you are adding coconut milk, pour it in and allow it to reduce. If you are not using coconut milk, add tomato paste and little water. Then add your onion rings.

    – Add shredded meat or fish allow to cook till meat is tender.

    – When then meat is tender, add julienned pepper and cook with the lid off from about 5 minutes. This is so as not to over cook your pepper, turn off the heat after 5 minutes. The heat of the stew would still further soften the pepper

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    I had my stew with coconut rice and egg.
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