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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    Adalu (Beans and Corn Pottage)

    Beans and Corn Pottage is one of my favouriteest beans meal ever! 

    Thankfully the corn season is starting,  which means an abundant supply of fresh corn. My house assistant knows how much i love beans and corn, so when she saw corn in the market today, she bought it. I could hear the excitement in her voice when she said, “Mummy we are cooking beans with it right?”

    Adalu is basically made by cooking beans and corn together.

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    Adalu with Fried plantain


    Recipe

    •   2 1/2 Cups  Honey Beans ( Ewa Oloyin )

    •   1 1/2 cups Fresh corn

    •   1 cooking spoon Palm oil

    •   4 tbsp blended fresh pepper (more or less, depending on your palate)

    •   1 tbsp Powdered Crayfish

    •    2 small Smoked Fish ( shredded )

    •     1 medium sized Onion

    •    Salt to taste

    •     Bouillon Cubes (your Maggi,  Knorr etc)

    Procedure

    –  Rinse corn and get rid of threads in the corn. Pick out dirt in beans and wash. Chop Onions.

    –   Using a pressure pot cook the corn for 10 –  15 minutes  before adding the washed beans and chopped onions. Cook for about 20 minutes. Cook with at least 2.5 litres of water,  that should be sufficient to cook the food through.  If you don’t have a pressure pot, no problem, use a regular pot but give the corn a head start so it can soften a bit before adding the beans.

    –   After the 20 minutes in the pressure pot or when the beans has softened add, pepper,  palm oil, crayfish,  bouillon cubes,  salt and smoked fish.  Cook on medium heat  till the all the ingredients are well incorporated and the pottage has thickened.

    –    Serve with fried plantain or your favourite accompaniment  or just have it as it is.  

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    Adalu

    Adalu and Mackerel Sauce

    Ekuru

    Shout out to everyone from Kwara State -my state by marriage-. I fell deeper in love with Ekuru after marrying a Kwara man.

    Ekuru is a meal made by steaming blended beans. Ekuru is usually enjoyed with fried pepper sauce  and Eko, some people even eat it with plain, Okra Soup.
    Ekuru can be simply described as moinmoin deconstructed i.e Moinmoin without oil, pepper,  salt …

    Recipe

    •   Beans (black eyed peas)

    •  Dried Pepper (jalapeño, bawa/sombo)

    •   Onions

    •   Palm oil

    •   Salt

    •   Knorr

    *ponmo
    *smoked mackerel
    *optional

    Procedure

    –   Peel beans and blend to a not-so – smooth, not – so – coarse paste.

    –   Pour beans into a bowl and mix till very fluffy, if you have a mixer, you may want to use it cause mixing by hand would take at least 30mins. My mother – in – law uses a mortar to mix her beans paste.

    Mix till the blended beans doubles in size or it is very fluffy.  It would look like this

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    –   This is the water test. Drop a bit of the paste in a some water, you are good to go if it floats like this.

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    –   When  you scoop it holds and doesn’t pour out easily.  This is very similar to when you have whisked egg whites to stiff peaks.

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    –   Wrap in leaves (that is my personal preference). You can however use  small transparent cellophane bags, milk tins or foil.

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    –   Steam cook for about 20mins on high heat.

    Ekuru is light and airy, you would know it is done if you unwrap one and it is set and there is no paste on the inside or you insert a fork and it comes out clean

    *Tips.

    You can steam cook using a steam pot. Traditionally, the stalk of the leaf is cut and use to line the base of the pot before water is poured in and the wrapped leaves placed on it. This creates a barrier between the water and the leaves and allows only the steam to cook the food. If you are using cellophane bags (knot it after pouring your paste in) or tin foil packs, add water into pot and place the bag or packs in the water. Be careful not to use too much water so it is not submerged.

    For Pepper Sauce

    –   Coarsely blend pepper and onions

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    This is my pepper of choice, it gives the sauce the unique flavour of Ekuru sauce.  What I do is that I pre-soak for at least one hour before blending.

    –   Ponmo and fish is very optional. If using ponmo slice very thinly and shred fish.

    –   Heat palm oil in a pan and just before it gets to smoke point pour in your pepper and onion blend ,

    –   Add ponmo and fish after the pepper has spent 10 mins on the fire, allow to simmer for about 10mins.

    –   Turn off fire once the sauce starts to sizzle.

    After all the fancy plating. This is how Ekuru is eaten. Sauce is poured on Ekuru and it is mashed together eaten by hand or with cutlery.

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