Prep1 hr 30 min
|Black eyed peas||1.5 cups|
|Red bell pepper||1 large|
|Vegetable oil||1/4 cup|
|Knorr chicken seasoning||1 tbsp|
|Dry fish (optional)||1/4 cup|
|Corned beef (optional) and/or canned tuna||1/4 cup|
|Boiled eggs (optional)||2|
Moin Moin, steamed bean pudding is a savory dish. It is very popular among Nigerians, and is a regular feature at many of the celebration parties Nigerians have. To qualify it properly, along with jollof rice and fried rice, it is a Nigerian celebrity dish! 🙂
Traditionally, it is made by first soaking, and then peeling the skins of brown cowpeas, or black-eyed peas. It is then blended finely with peppers and onions, and steamed in a leaf called ‘ewe eran’ (Yoruba name); scientifically, Thaumatococcus daniellii. There is an art to shaping the leaf and pouring this fine blend into it in such a way that it holds during the steaming process. When I was younger, I always hated the soaking and peeling process and would avoid being around when that was being done. It seemed to always take forever to get it clean! However, when it was time to fold the leaves, I would always want to try it out. It was always a struggle, lol!
Recently, we have discovered the moin moin pouch, which makes things easier for those who don’t know how to use the leaves or struggle with finding the leaves and finding a suitable alternative. Watch the video below.
In the current times though, people have questioned why the beans are peeled before grinding for moin moin. No one has been able to give a suitable answer. As with polished white rice, or refined wheat where we strip away the nutritious portions of food, it seems the only reason beans was peeled was for aesthetics. No more! In the illustration below, half the beans were peeled, while the other half was not. My recipe is below, and can be applied to peeled or unpeeled beans, and thanks to a friend on Instagram, I have also tried this recipe with peeled and unpeeled black beans and kidney beans. Please, only use kidney beans as a last resort; peeling those things are of the devil. Learn from my struggle!
Prep Steps 🙁
- [optional]If you decide to peel the beans, soak in water for about 1 hour, else skip to step 3.
- You can either peel by rubbing the beans between your hands, or using a blender. You can watch my video on making akara where I show how to do this. If you use the blender, add about a cup of beans to 4 cups of water and run the blender on the lowest speed.
- Rinse the beans several times and drain to remove the beans skins. You might have some stubborn ones which didn’t peel and you can just rub those through your fingers to peel. Peeling the 2 cups took about 12 minutes. Yes, I had to time it so I could tell you! 🙂
- Blend the beans, onions, habanero and bell pepper into a smooth paste. You can add a little bit more water if it’s too thick for you.
- Next, add the oil, salt and knorr seasoning. Stir very well and continuously until the oil has disappeared into the mix. If you choose to, you can add the corned beef and dry fish at this time as well.
- [optional]For the image, I added a whole boiled egg. I sliced each egg and placed the slices slanting at the bottom of the foil mini pack I used to steam.
- Finally, add the mix into each container you would like to use to steam and cover (I used aluminum foil paper). Do not fill the container. Only fill to about 3/4 of the way as the moin moin will expand while steaming and rise.
Note: If you can still see a couple peels in there, let it go! It doesn’t have to be 100% peeled.
Note: You might notice a fe black specks in my picture below. Those are the beans skins. With brown cowpeas and black eyed peas, there’s practically no effect on the taste. That’s not quite the case with black beans however.
Steaming the moin moin 🙂
- Get a large pot, and fill with water to a level just about 1/3 of the container. You don’t want the water to boil into the container. You can arrange the containers however you like, the point is to ensure that the containers get steamed. I had 2 levels in my set up. See the picture below.
- Allow to steam for about 50 minutes. I had the heat on high. You can check just like you would a cake. Open a pack, and stick a knife or toothpick into it and it should come out clean when done.
Moin Moin is very nutritious and filling. It can be eaten alone, or with a variety of other foods. It pairs well with any kind of rice, which you can have for lunch or dinner, Ogi/Akamu/Pap or custard for breakfast or by itself at any time of the day.