Stewed Beans (Ewa Riro)

Stewed Beans (Ewa Riro)




10 min


1 hr 30 min


Black eyed peas or Brown cowpeas 2 cups
Dry fish (optional) 1/2 cup
Onion 1 medium
Salt 1 tsp
Roma tomatoes 4 medium
Habanero 1
Large bell pepper 1/2
Sunflower Oil 1/4 cup
Palm Oil (Optional) 1/4 cup
Knorr bouillon seasoning 1 tbsp
Curry powder (optional) 1 tsp
Ground red pepper (optional) 1 tsp
Cajun seasoning 1 tbsp
Water 7 cups

To be honest, I think I personally undervalue this meal. I mean, on the rare occasion that I make it for myself, it’s just because I’m tired of eating pasta and bread and rice. However, when I was in school at Michigan Tech, I had these two friends, James and Tomisin. I don’t remember how it happened that they tried this beans of mine, but it became a thing! After that first episode, James and Tomisin would call me and beg me to make ewa riro for them, and each beans consumption episode, usually followed with both of them fast asleep on my couch/floor/bed for a couple of hours after eating. No lie! Lol!

I never thought much of it, and just chalked it up to the fact that my friends overate and fell victim to the itis because they got the chance to eat a good Nigerian meal.

Fast forward a few years to shortly after marrying Mrs. NaijaChef, I decided to cook ewa riro for us for the week. Now, madame, is usually excited about food in general (yup, I just put her on blast!), but she was extraordinarily overjoyed at this pot of beans. Verily I say unto you my people, that pot did not last two days. So, now, when I want to score brownie points with my madame, this is my go to dish! 😉

So, how exactly do I make this beans you wonder? Read on!

Prep Steps 🙁

  1. Finely slice 1/3 of the onion.
  2. Rinse the black eyed peas, remove any dirt and any beans that float to the top or look disheveled.

    Clean Beans!

  3. Rinse the dry fish if you chose to use some for this dish.
  4. Note: For me, dry fish is one of the keys to my beans tasting so good. Trust me, don’t use meat!

Yummy Beans Time!

  1. The first step to making yummy beans, is to, of course, cook the beans. Add the beans, all the 7 cups of water, the finely sliced 1/3 onion, the dry fish and salt. Cook on high heat until the beans is very soft. Takes about 30-45 minutes. I usually use a pressure cooker which shortens cooking time.

    Beans in the cooker!

  2. While the beans is cooking, rinse the tomatoes, bell pepper, and habanero. Blend with the onions.
  3. Tomato Sauce!

  4. Once the beans is cooked (when you taste a bean, it should come apart in your mouth without needing to chew), add in the oils, bouillon seasoning.
  5. Note: Because I use tomato sauce, you can choose to use just the sunflower oil, but the palm oil gives you a more authentic flavor.

    Beans with oils and tomato sauce!

  6. Stir and allow to cook for about 2 minutes, then add in the tomato sauce and the rest of the spices. Allow to cook for another 30 minutes. The sauce around the beans should be thick when done.

This meal can be eaten alone, but it also goes very well with dodo. For the feature image, I garnished with bits of parsley.

See the video below!

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