The Nigerian Beans Bountiful Blessings!

The cowpeas also known as beans is widely cultivated and consumed in Africa and Asia and other parts of the world; Nigeria is amongst the largest producers and consumers of the beans globally, it is also domesticated and cultivated all over tribal regions in Nigeria. Beans is commonly eaten in most Nigerian homes turning it into one of the major staple foods for most families. The black eyed peas fibrous pods are green when fresh and the seeds are plump, smooth and taut, with a cream-colored seeds, the eye of the beans are at the spot where it attaches to the pod with a purple circle in the seeds center. The cowpea-beans botanical name is known as “Vigna Unguiculata” a legume with an edible seeds and pods that also belong to the “Fabaceae” or bean family; popularly referred to as “fuller for longer” due to its unique attribute to satiate when eaten as meal. The raw dried beans are nutritionally different from the green beans because the entire pod are consumed in the former while the dried beans must first be cooked before consuming and the canned and frozen beans are heated to warm up before eating; when cooked the consistency of the beans turns from hard to soft with a neutral, nutty, earthy and a savory flavors, which is an excellent source of primary and plant based protein. In Nigeria, traditionally in the Yoruba kingdom the beans and palm oil are cooked and shared out for when twins babies are birth; as an offering to the “ibeji” twins figurine and the gods of the ancestors. The black-eyed peas called white or brown beans are the most popularly used in most Nigerian cuisines; other varieties of the beans used but not as common are the sweet or honey beans, black chickpeas, kidney beans, mung beans, pigeon peas, bambara beans or nuts. The beans is called “Wake” in Hausa, “Ewa” in Yoruba, and known as “Agwa” in Igbo where the beans are cooked by boiling, frying, baking, stewing, and steaming in Nigeria.

Bountiful Beans Blessing
The cowpea-beans is a complete food and can be consumed in diverse ways due to its versatility; hence agriculture is strategic to the economy of Nigeria due to the dwindling fortunes from the Nigerian crude oil thus a powerful and potential contributor to wealth creation and poverty alleviation. The beans crop market remain green with high potentials; a sustainable management and modern processing methods would place the Nigerian beans on a strategically position in the world map. The beans production and processing is delivering for all Nigerians the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)1 which says “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)2 that states “Zero hunger” for the current situation facing most Nigerian due to insurgency, insecurity, crisis and hitherto covid-19; the insecurity in most regions in Nigeria and the covid-19 has thrown millions of Nigerians into abject poverty with many living on the streets begging to survive the harsh realities of inflation where many families are faced with extreme hunger and anger fueling more crisis.

The environmental impacts of meat production and fishing can be reduce or reverse by eating more plant-based meals such as the beans which is delicious, healthy and an excellent protein substitutes for meat; it is a sustainable source of essential nutrients, assessable and available as a low-cost protein. The small holder farmers and beans traders are gaining impressive profits; because the beans business generate lots of income for the Nigerian women who are known nationwide to trade in the processed beans as snacks such as kosai or akara, moimoi or alele, others includes the “ewa oloyin” popularly known as honey beans, beans stew and plantain dish, beans and grains or tubers combinations. A lot of small household business owners are making fortunes out of the “beans into flour” market also because many families wish to incorporate the beans into family daily diet but couldn’t due to their busy schedules find the beans flour as handy and fast. The beans flour prevents wastage, enhances the beans market value and generate additional income for farmers with excess beans production; turning it into a profitable business in the few and fast growing green market that has not been fully exploited. Beans production and processing will in no small ways help women and the unemployed to be gainfully involved in the markets of the many beans produce and product, thereby helping to alleviate hunger, poverty and contribute to economic growth of the nation Nigeria. The beans business is a great way to empower women and improve the lives of millions of Nigerians living in poverty as a plant-based protein it will helped to also alleviate malnutrition among many families. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)2 of Zero Hunger and malnutrition depends on ensuring that everyone has the right to adequate food, women are empowered and priority is given to family farming which is all possible with the cowpea-beans production and processing. Thus, end hunger, eliminate all forms of malnutrition and build an inclusive and sustainable food systems which will assist in achieving Zero Hunger of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) 2 and end poverty for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 1. A sustainable food systems delivers food security and nutrition for all, which guarantees that the economic, social and environmental layout to generate food security and nutrition, aids in ending poverty for future generations.

BeansBliss Of Beans Recipes
The beans can be boiled, mashed, fried into fritters popularly known as kosai and akara in northern and western Nigeria, the beans can be peeled and pureed then steamed or baked into puddings generally known as moi-moi and alele all over cultural cuisines while the “Ekuru” is the white moi-moi or alele by the Yoruba in Nigeria. The beans can be mix into rice recipes as one pot dishes known as jollof, when added to the fresh sweet corns as a pottage it is called “Adalu” by the Yoruba meaning combination; the “Ewa Oloyin” is when the beans are cooked into mushy softness separately and served with a super spicy palm oil sauce, then serve with bread while the stewed beans goes with side dishes of fried plantain, bread, potatoes chips, rice, yam, pap or akamu gruel and can be serve alone as a complete meal, cooked and pureed beans make for delicious soups called “Gbegiri” by the Yoruba while beans are added to soup as an alternative to the meat or fish in northern Nigeria. The beans recipes using the beans flour includes soups, puddings, and fritters, the Igbo recipe called “Fio-Fio” are of the local beans called pigeon peas is prepared into a relished Igbo delicacy, while the Yoruba “Adun” are made up of the fried beans coated in guinea corn flour. The beans are flavorful, nutrient-dense and protein powerhouses; cutting across cultural cuisines of the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo tribal regions of Nigeria, find below are some of the best Nigerian beans recipes to try:-

Best Beans Cooking Methods
The brown or black eye beans can be cook in various ways using cooking methods that is best suitable for the recipe; the cooked beans can either be grainy or mushy depending on the meal. The dried brown, black eye or kidney beans are hard, and takes a lot of time for it to soften; the best way to cook it is to wash the beans or rinse it just as when ready to be cooked, but instead of cooking it immediately, transfer into the cooking saucepan, add water and cover it to soak for several hours, then place on low heat and slowly bring it to boil and cook all the way through to a soft, creamy texture for recipes that are for the “mushy beans” like the stewed beans but if recipes are for the soften grainy beans then watch closely and control the cooking and water content to achieve the right texture for the recipe.
The old beans of years of harvest can take much longer to cook, while the newly harvested beans are much more easier and faster to cook, during cooking always test the beans for doneness; depending on the recipe add more water or cooking stocks and increase the cook time. The addition of salt, potash or baking soda while soaking the dry beans helps to cut down on the cooking time, helping also to cook the beans faster while also assists to break down the indigestible carbohydrates for easier digestion; never ever undercook beans for optimum health benefits. It is always advisable to measure out the required quantity of beans, then rinse in water and transfer into a clean pot; add water enough to cover beans and bring it to boil. Once it boils for just a few minutes, remove from the heat and drain out the first water used for the boiling of the beans, then rinse severally to rid the beans of pesticides that was used during cultivation and preservation, thus, also helping to reduce bloating and gas caused by the consumption of beans. Even though, some of the nutrients might be loss by the process of parboiling and draining out the water; it is always better to be safe than sorry. After boiling the beans, simply rinse in water but never rub between the hands to avoid the loss of much more nutrients loads of the beans. The beans can be processed into wet milled beans paste or dry milled flour that are used in the various recipes that are indigenous to cuisines in the different regions of Nigeria. The beans recipes includes the beans soup called “gbegiri” in Yoruba, “Miyar wake” in Hausa, beans flour dumplings popularly called “Dan’wake” all over northern Nigeria, the steamed or baked beans puddings are called “moimoi” in Yoruba, “Alele” in Hausa and “elele” in Igbo languages in Nigeria while the popular fried ball or cake snacks of the beans paste are known as “Kosai” in Hausa, “Akara” in Yoruba.

Beans Flour (De-hulled)
The beans flour is simply dry milling the beans without de-hulling or de-hulling it first, then dried the beans and dry mill into flour; an instant and fast use in recipes of choice which saves time by removing the steps involve in the peeling of the beans before its use. The long soaking time and the process of wet or dry milling to achieve either the beans paste or beans flour discourages many in adding the beans dishes in daily diet. The beans flour can be use in fried beans fritters called Akara or steamed puddings called moi-moi or use as soup thickeners. It is advisable for preservation to add ginger powder to the beans flour for longer shelf life during storage.

Recipe Ingredients
Ginger powder

Recipe Steps
Any of the beans type can make for a good flour, all depends on recipe choice; spread out the beans variety, remove all dirts and stone grits.
Soak and de-hulled or peel the beans using the mortar and pestle or the method of rubbing between the palms.
Wash off the beans chaff with lots of water; collect together the beans chaff and dry separately for animal feeds.
Drain water, spread out and sun dry or use the dehydrator to dry it out.
Dry mill into beans flour at the heavy duty commercial “Engine” after paying a token fee.
Sieve and allow to air-dry; then scoop into air-tight containers or packages.
Appropriately label and dated with the recipe choice for the beans flour.

Beans Flour (Unpeeled)
The unpeeled bean flour differs slightly from the peeled and dried beans flour; the unpeeled beans flour is dry milled without removing the chaff in order to retain most of its nutrients. The beans flour can be used in various soup recipes, a unique combination when mix with the peeled bean flours or others grain flours and also perfect for soups as thickeners.

Recipe Ingredients
Ginger powder

Recipe Steps
Any of the beans type can make for a good flour, all depends on recipe choice; spread out the beans variety, remove all dirts and stone grits.
Spread out and sun dry to reduce moistures and produce a really fine bean flour when dry milled.
Dry mill into beans flour at the heavy duty commercial “Engine” after paying a token fee.
Sieve and allow to air-dry; then scoop into air-tight containers or packages.
Appropriately label and dated with the recipe choice for the beans flour.

Beans Grits (Roasted)
The beans grits are made out of the unpeeled raw dried beans, but milled or grounded into a coarse-like grits not as fine as the common beans flour that is really fine and free-flowing. The beans grits can be made with peeled or unpeeled beans; it is used in the traditional soups and often used in the white steamed or baked moi-moi puddings and delicious in stewed puddings.

Recipe Ingredients

Recipe Steps
Any of the beans type can make for a good flour, all depends on recipe choice; spread out the beans variety, remove all dirts and stone grits.
Place a dry frying pan on low heat, pour in the beans and gently roast by stirring and turning all around the frying pan until a deliciously nutty roasted aroma of the beans is all over with darken patches on the beans.
Remove from the heat and transfer into a tray, spread out and allow to cool.
To achieve the coarse beans grits it must be requested when dry milling the beans to be milled into beans grits at the heavy duty commercial “Engine” after paying a token fee, by asking that it must not be fine flour but roughly mill into grits. If quantities to be used in recipes are small same can be achieved by pounding the roasted smoky beans in the mortar with the pestle or grounded using the traditional grinding stones.
Transfer on to a tray and allow to air-dry; then scoop into air-tight containers or packages.
Appropriately label and dated with the recipe choice for the roasted smoky beans grits.

Smoked Beans Soup Or Roasted Beans Soup
A nourishing delicious soup prepared with the smoked beans or roasted beans, the roasted smoky aroma of the dried beans provides an amazing and deeply flavored bean soup with a fantastic aroma that is so satisfyingly superb. The roasted or toasted dried beans gives the soup a completely distinct taste and flavor, best served with fluffy pounded yam, a really traditionally relish soup of the Yoruba kingdom of western Nigeria.

Recipe Ingredients
Roasted beans
Meat, smoked fish or chicken
Locust beans known as daddawa in Hausa
Onions chopped
Scotch bonnets
Seasoning cubes, native spices and salt
Palm oil

Recipe Steps
A little quantity of the dried beans goes a long way; roast it lightly and dry mill, coarsely ground or pound into the beans grits, do not sieve.
Wash and cut up meat into bite size pieces, add in the chopped onions, salt and seasoning cubes, water to cover and place on low heat to cook until meat is tender.
Then add in the washed and de-boned smoked fish, daddawa, scotch bonnets and more chopped onions; drizzle into the soup palm oil and cover to cook.
Lastly, whisk into the slowly simmering soup stock the roasted beans grits and stir to blend in until soup is thicken, add more water to attain the soup consistency of choice.
Once the beans grits is cooked and the soup is set, remove from heat and serve with pounded yam, fufu, amala or semovita.

Beans And Rice Mix Or Jollof
The dish is a combination of beans and rice prepared with left over sauce or stir-fried vegetables, the add-on of meat, chicken or fish is optional but for more richness and affordability it goes a long way in making for a great meal. The mix of the beans and rice gives anyone the chance to explore and enjoy both the plant base protein of the beans and the carbohydrates of the rice in just a mouthful, a delicious and complete meal indeed.

Recipe Ingredients
Smoked fish, meat, or chicken
Palm oil or Vegetable oil
Tomatoes paste or puree
Onions and tomatoes sliced or chopped
Seasoning cubes, ground crayfish, and salt
Spices of choice ginger, garlic, and locust beans is optional
Left over stew or sauce if none is available then prepare the base sauce consisting of the following ingredients of red bell pepper, tomatoes, scotch bonnets and onions.

Recipe Steps
Always check and pick out stones and particles from the beans, then wash off dust, dirts and pesticides from beans, if prefer parboil beans, drain water and rinse off before cooking the meal.
Beans takes a lot of time to cook to the desired softness, soak for several hours to cut down the cooking time; on medium heat place a pot with enough water to cook beans.
While for the rice grains, wash thoroughly to reduce the starch contents and bring to boil, drain off the cloudy starchy water away from the rice and keep in a separate dish.
Meanwhile, on low heat place the left-over sauce, add enough water, season with spices, cubes, salt; as soon as it starts to boil add in the parboiled beans and the rice, stir all together to mix, reduce heat, cover and simmer until all liquid is evaporated.
If using fresh vegetable, without the availability of the left-over sauce then place on low heat a sauce pan, add cooking oil of choice and heat up, add in the chopped onions and sauté.
Pour in the blended tomatoes and pepper paste, spices, cooked meat or de-boned fish, crayfish, daddawa is the locust beans if using, seasoning cubes and salt. Stir fry until all vegetables are soften.
Taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly, add in the parboiled beans and the rice, stir all together to mix, reduce heat, cover and simmer until all liquid is evaporated.

Miyan Kuka Beans Mix
A nutrient-dense, slimy and darker green color soup but with an amazing tasty and delicious aroma and flavor, contradicting its unappealing appearance when served, known as the king of all traditional soup of the northern Nigeria.

Recipe Ingredients
The dried green leaf powder of the Baobab known as “Kuka” in Hausa
Beef meat, meat bones or brisket and smoked fish
Dried beans
Locust beans or the daddawa
Dried Chili pepper or scotch bonnets
Palm oil or groundnut oil is optional
Seasoning cubes and salt
Native spices and eatable potash

Recipe Steps
The kuka is made from the dried tender leaves of the baobab plants, picked and sun-dried, then grounded or pounded into a fine powder, in larger quantity it is milled at the “commercial engine” for a fine free flowing powder. Sieve and remove all chaff and fibers, transfer into a dry air-containers.
Traditionally, the beans is used in the soup as an alternative to the use of the meat or fish protein; wash beans and put to boil on low heat, add in water enough to cook the beans.
But if using meat then cook with seasonings, onions, and salt until tender.
Wash or rinse properly the raw dried beans, add to the meat and add in the chopped onions, scotch bonnets or chili pepper.
Cook until the meat, smoked fish, meat brisket or bones and the beans are tender; check for seasonings and spices then adjust accordingly to taste.
Scoop some of the boiling soup stock into a small bowl, using a hand whisk or the locally made broom whisk; gradually introduce the kuka powder into the hot soup stock, whisking briskly with each addition until thick and without lumps.
Quickly pour into the boiling soup on low heat, and mix in to blend with all other soup ingredients; stir until the desired consistency of the soup then allow to simmer for few more minutes for the kuka to cook properly.
Put off the heat and serve with any swallow of choice most preferably with tuwon shinkafa or tuwon masara as it is generally served in northern Nigeria.

Steamed Beans Or Moimoi Or Alele
A snack beans steamed pudding that is steamed or baked, mix with oil of choice, varieties of vegetables, fish, beef liver or boiled egg. The moi-moi business is very lucrative for many women have made huge returns selling the moimoi as a complete meal or with other cooked food. A lot of food canteens serve the moi-moi on demands, it is also a must served at events and gatherings as a side dish with the popular jollof rice. It is serve as a meal or a snack, anytime of the day with bread, soaked garri, pap-gruel, kunun-koko, cooked rice or the agidi or eko known as the steamed corn starch.

Recipe Ingredients
The raw dried beans
Vegetable or palm oil
Beef liver, boiled egg and flaked fish
Onions, red bell pepper and scotch bonnets
Seasoning cubes and salt
Fresh Banana leaves, cups, fancy cup molds, polythene bags, or the foil paper
Mixed native spices or suya yagi

Recipe Steps
The recipe can be made with the beans flour or the raw dried beans; If using the dried beans then soak for several minutes to make de-hulling easy, wash off the beans peel, rinse in running water severally until completely freed from the peels.
Drain all water from washed beans, add chopped onions, bell pepper and scotch bonnets and wet milled into a smooth beans paste.
In a mixing bowl, transfer the beans paste, beat with a hand whisk until fluffy light.
Add in the vegetable or palm oil, salt, crushed seasoning cubes, cray-fish, shredded onions, cubed cooked meat, beef liver, and flaked fish.
Mix in well to blend all ingredients, taste for salt and seasonings and adjust accordingly.
Scoop beans batter into cups or baking pans and place in the middle boiled egg slices; or scoop into and wrap-up in fresh banana leaves.
Arrange all cups and wrapped-up white moimoi puddings on the top steamer tray or place carefully on the leaves arranged on the base of the deep pot. Or baked in an oven after placing the cups on a tray with water at the base.
Cover tightly to avoid any steam escaping, and watch carefully to avoid water drying up and burning the pudding, add more water if necessary until pudding is set and cooked.
As soon as a delicious aroma of the steaming beans pudding fills up the air, check for doneness or insert a clean toothpick; it it comes out clean it is cooked.
Serve sliced up with any side dish of choice or with traditional beverages.

Beans Steamed White Moimoi Or Ekuru
Ekuru is a Yoruba traditional steamed beans pudding but unlike the common moi-moi; it is a white version of the moi-moi serve with spicy stir-fry pepper sauce. The white steamed pudding is mash into crumbly couscous-like meal mix with “Ata Dindin” sauce in Yoruba which is known as a spicy pepper sauce, then serve with side dish of the “Eko or Agidi” that is made up of the corn starch pap pudding.

Recipe Ingredients
Raw dried Beans Or the beans grits
Palm oil
Seeds of the dried bell pepper and Chili pepper
Scotch bonnets
Locust beans or daddawa is optional
Meat and smoked fish
Seasoning cubes, crayfish and salt
Native Spices (optional)
Fresh raw okro slices

Recipe Steps
The recipe can be made with the beans flour or the raw dried beans; If using the dried beans then soak for several minutes to make de-hulling easy, wash off the beans peel, rinse in running water severally and wet milled into paste or preferably blend with the grinding stones to achieve a not so smooth paste.
Transfer into a mortar and beat with a wooden pestle to incorporate more air or use a hand whisk, until it is a thick fluffy light white beans batter.
Meanwhile, place a steamer on medium heat or a deep pot lined with leaves at the base and cover with water.
Scoop into baking cups, or wrap up in banana leaves, or fill up tiny white polythene bags, or use a foil paper to wrap-up the beans batter.
Arrange all cups and wrapped-up white moimoi puddings on the top steamer tray or place carefully on the leaves arranged on the base of the deep pot.
Cover tightly to avoid any steam escaping, and watch carefully to avoid water drying up and burning the pudding, add more water if necessary until pudding is set and cooked.
As soon as a delicious aroma of the steaming beans pudding fills up the air, check for doneness or insert a clean toothpick; it it comes out clean it is cooked.
Spicy Pepper Sauce Or Ata Din-Din:- Wash and soak all the dried pepper seeds to be used, drain water and rinse. Add to it chopped onions, scotch bonnets (optional) and blend, or ground into pepper paste.
On low heat, place a dry frying pan, pour in oil and heat up, sizzle and sauté onion rings in the heated palm oil until soft then add in the spicy pepper paste.
Stir-fry and continuously stir to avoid burning, season with salt, cubes, native spices, de-boned smoked fish, the crayfish, fried meat and meat stock.
Simmer and stir-fry sauce until a thick oily fried spicy pepper sauce.
To Serve:- Crumble the white beans pudding, add the pepper sauce and garnish with slices of fresh raw okro.

Sweet Beans Or Aadun
The dish of aadun for the Yoruba in Nigeria depends on the occasion and the ingredients used, it is often prepared for special occasions and as a handy meal for travels to be eaten during long and endless trips, where foods are scarce; for the fact that it can stay for days without going bad. Aadun are sold as street food snacks, presented at festivals, traditional marriages, and naming ceremonies. It is a savory snack that is traditionally made from a combination of cooked fried beans in palm oil, roasted guinea corn or cornmeal flour, seasonings and spices. A filling snack meal that is love by the Yoruba of western Nigeria.

Recipe Ingredients
Raw dried beans
Palm oil
Roasted Cornmeal or guinea corn flour, dry mill and sieve into a free flowing flour
Seasoning cubes and salt to taste
Scotch bonnet or chili pepper

Recipe Steps
Wash and cook beans with onions, seasoning cubes and salt.
Cook the beans until soft and grainy not mushy, remove from heat when all water is evaporated or drain out the excess liquid.
Place a dry deep sauce pan on low heat, pour in palm oil and heat it up.
Pour into the heated palm oil the drained cooked beans and fry until crispy dried; ready when the palm oil is rising up with bubbles all above the fried beans.
Scoop out of the palm oil used for frying the beans and keep for other recipes.
Reduce heat and gently fold in the roasted cornmeal or guinea corn flour, stirring and turning until the fried beans are well coated, remove from the heat.
Scoop out and serve hot, or spread out on a tray and cool, then transfer into an airtight container or jars.
Store in a dry cool place and serve cold or heated up anytime as a snack or meal.

Beans Fried Fritters Or Akara Or Kosai
The akara or kosai are prepared with the peeled and pureed beans, formed into balls by scooping the beans mixture and then drop and deep fried in the hot vegetable or palm oil until crispy red on the outside and crumbling soft in the inside. A popular street food that is often served at religious functions and on Friday when many individuals buy the hot kosai and share it out to mostly kids and beggars on the streets as charity or “sadaka” in Hausa. While for most households families it is the first breakfast meal serve along side dishes of bread and tea beverages, kunu, Ogi or pap gruel, and the cornmeal pudding called “Eko or Agidi”, garri or eaten alone as a fast food meal any time of the day.

Recipe Ingredients
Dried beans or beans flour
Red Bell pepper, scotch bonnets and onions
Fresh eggs for fluffy mixture (Optional)
Seasoning cubes and salt to taste
Vegetable or palm oil for frying
Mixed native spices known as “Suya yagi” to sprinkle all over or onions pepper sauce

Recipe Steps
Pick out all stone bits and debris from the dried beans, soak for some minutes to ease the de-hulling of the beans.
Wash off the chaff in a lot of water and de-hulled or peel the beans using the mortar and pestle or the method of rubbing between the palms.
Trap and collect together the beans chaff and dry separately for animal feeds.
Drain all the liquid from the beans, add chopped onions, red bell pepper and scotch bonnets.
Wet mill into a thick beans paste, add little water to make for a really smooth paste; but if using the “commercial engine” demands for the water of the beans in a separate bowl after blending to avoid the addition of much water which may affect the fluffiness of the fried bean cake.
NOTE:- If using beans flour skip the above steps and continue from the next step of the beans akara recipe.
Transfer into a mixing bowl, add beaten eggs, salt, crushed seasoning cubes, chopped onions and scotch bonnets that is optional.
This next step determines the final outcome of the fried beans cake, the beating of mixture to incorporate more air, the addition of freshly beaten eggs and frying the beans batter in hot oil.
Beat to incorporate air with a hand whisk or mixer until fluffy light, check for the desired consistency of mixture and adjust accordingly.
On medium heat, place a frying pan and heat up the frying oil of choice, add in some onion slices to sizzle until the onions are golden brown, then scoop out from the hot oil the charred onions.
Scoop spoonful of the beans mixture, drop and deep fry; flip and fry both sides until a beautiful red-brownish color.
Scoop from the hot oil all fried akara with a perforated spoon onto food warmer lined with kitchen paper napkins to absorb excess oil.
Serve hot or cold with any side dishes of choice.

Beans Dumplings Or Akara Or Dan’wake
A very much loved and super satisfyingly complete meal of northern Nigeria, mostly served for breakfast and sold all over the street corners, in schools, hospital, garages and market places; a lot of housewives prefer the business of dan’wake to complete the income of the family thereby engaging in the cooking and selling of the dan’wake dumplings in their matrimonial homes, these women are popular and their names are often attached to the business of dan’wake known as Uwani Mai Dan’wake or Adam Mai Dan’wake meaning Uwani or Adama the seller of Dumplings.
It is a time-consuming meal to prepare every morning by families, so many simply book ahead for the dan’wake-dumplings because it is affordable and easily available as a street food; the beans flour dumplings are served with stir-fry vegetables, chopped onions, tomatoes, lemon juice, salad green, boiled eggs, sprinkles of mixed native spices called yagi and the drizzles of the groundnut oil fried with onion slices; all add-in are done to give more richness to the bland tasting dan’wake and to make for a nourishing complete meal.

Recipe Ingredients
Beans flour
Cassava flour or starch
Baobab dried green leaf powder or Kuka in Hausa
Chicken or beef meat stocks for mixing (optional)
Potash solution is obtain by soaking eatable potash in water then strain

Recipe Steps
On low heat, place a deep saucepan for the cooking of the dumplings and pour into it water and slowly bring it to boil.
Meanwhile, sieve into a mixing bowl the beans flour, the cassava flour and a little baobab “kuka” leaf powder, stir all in to blend.
Strain into the mixture the chicken or beef meat stock if available or water, add in the potash water solution and mix to form a hard dough that can easily be roll into dumplings without disintegrating during cooking.
Scoop tiny dumplings and drop into the boiling water until all beans dough are done with the dumplings balls.
Keep a spoon and watch over the cooking pot to avoid spill over, stir often until all dumplings are cooked when it color changes to grey.
Scoop out all dumplings into hot water to keep water, then drain water and transfer into a serving dish.
Garnish with boiled egg slices, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and onions slices, or any stir fry vegetable sauce.
Dressing for the dumplings is just to taste; sprinkle all over the dumplings the native mixed spices and drizzle groundnut or olive oil.
Lastly, squeeze some lemon juice all over the garnishing and serve immediately.

Stewed Beans Or Porridge
A combination of beans cooked with vegetables of choice as a one-pot dish, a totally wholesome meal that is a special delicacy for many due to the fact that it is simple, satisfying and versatile; cooked any which way according to ingredients of choice and serve with any side dishes available, can also be easily heated up and converted into a completely different recipe serving as a base starter for a lot of recipes for the beans.

Recipe Ingredients
Honey or sweet beans
Meat or smoked fish (optional)
Purple onions sliced into rings
Red bell pepper, scotch bonnets, tomatoes and onions blended into a paste
Palm oil and crayfish
Seasoning cubes and salt
Serve with fried plantain

Recipe Steps
Pick out all stone grits and wash off the dust, dirts and pesticides; pour into a deep pot then cover with enough water, add chopped onions and bring to boil on medium heat.
Add salt and seasoning cubes; for other recipes the right stage to add in all chopped vegetables or blended vegetables is at this step in the cooking process if the recipe is not for the frying of the vegetables.
The recipe for stir-frying the vegetables is done by placing a separate frying pan on low heat, add in some palm oil and heat up. Add in the chopped onions and sauté until soft; the best of beans recipes requires a lot of onions and tomatoes.
Then to the sizzling onions add the ground crayfish, cooked meat and the de-boned fish, stir-fry to absorb the palm oil properly.
Then add in the blended pepper and tomatoes paste, season with salt and cubes.
Scoop the stir-fry sauce and pour over the simmering beans, fold in the sauce to blend in well and cover pot to cook until most of the liquid is evaporated and the desired texture of cooked beans is achieved.
Serve with fried plantain, potatoes chips, yam, bread rice, Garri flakes or sweet potatoes.

FioFio Pigeon Pea
A delicious delicacy of the Igbo of eastern Nigeria; a very rich dish, tasty and nutritious Igbo cuisine, a meal that is as satisfying as it is sumptuous, good enough to last one a whole day after eating it, with only a request for water.
The fiofio is a pigeon pea which is also of the legume family, but much more tiny and pea-like known as fiofio in Igbo, while the Yoruba of western Nigeria called it “Otili and “Aduwa” in Hausa tribes of Nigeria. It is a sweet with a mildly nutty and earthy flavor, it is also a very good vegetarian dish that is completely balanced, healthy with loads of protein and so high in carbohydrates and of the palm oil fats because it is generally cooked with a lot of palm oil, pepper, and the Igbo uziza seed or leaf.
Another very rich in nutrient food and cheap that the very poor in the community can afford to buy making for a valuable source of protein for the rural poor, the students and menial workers. As a street food that is often sold and served by the Igbo food vendors with roasted or cooked yam, ugba, utazi, cocoyam, abacha, rice, or plantain; its aroma and taste never fails to continuously invites more customers for daily patronage.

Recipe Ingredients
Fiofio or the pigeon peas generally known as the local beans
Palm oil, lots of it
Onions, lots of it
Scotch bonnets
Chili pepper
Seasoning cubes
Salt to taste

Recipe Steps
The fiofio generally called local beans contains a lot of stone grits, almost the size of local beans; patiently and carefully pick out all the stones, particles and dirts.
Wash severally in running water and soak over night to cook down the cooking time.
Drain all water used for soaking and rinse properly, turn into a deep pot and cover with lots of water; cook until it is grainy and soften not mushy.
When all water is reduced, mash with a potato masher or the mortar and pestle, return to cooking pot and continue to simmer on low heat.
On low heat using a separate pot, heat up lots of palm oil, add into it the chopped onions and sauté, add the pepper, vegetables, seasonings of cubes and salt. Mix to blend in by stirring and turning until all veggies are cooked, scoop the stir-fry sauce onto the the simmering fiofio, fold in and stir to mix all to blend.
Lastly, add either the cooked yam or cocoyam and fold in with the fiofio, cover and allow to simmer for the last few minutes.
Serve with yam, plantain, rice, African salad, or vegetable salad, sweet potatoes or cocoyam to enjoy a really fulfilling traditional Igbo delicacy.

Frejon Coconut Bean Soup
The beans dishes also have a special role for the annual religious meal during the holy week leading to the “no meat” good Friday by mostly the catholic Christians observing the lent fast. The holy week and the good Friday dishes consists of stewed beans served with the fish sauce and a sprinkle of the garri flakes doting all over the beans dish like snowflakes; often times packaged and given as gifts to families and friends, a special dish that is known as frejon which is from “feijoes” a Portuguese word for beans. The recipe frejon is made with coconut milk bean soup, of cooked mushy and pureed beans in coconut milk, sweeten with sugar and seasoning cubes, serve with any special fish sauce and garri flakes, a creamy and delicious meal.

Recipe Ingredients
Beans preferably the black-eyed or brown sweet honey beans
Coconut Milk
Grated ginger and garlic
Onion rings
Scotch bonnets, chopped up
Tomatoes, Crush some and slice some
Spring Onions, shredded into tiny pieces
Fish of choice, sardine, fresh or smoked fish
Seasoning cubes and salt to taste
Garri flakes

Recipe Steps
Spread out the beans, and separate it from stones and debris; wash and rinse severally until clean.
Transfer into a deep pot, and cover it with the coconut milk, place on low heat and slowly bring to boil, cook until beans is really mushy.
Scoop and transfer into a blender and add more coconut milk, then blend into creamy smoothness; after blending the cooked mushy beans with the coconut milk, turn back into the same pot and return to low heat, sweeten with sugar and seasoning cubes according to taste. Mix and fold in all the seasonings to blend in thoroughly.
Meanwhile, place a frying pan on low heat and drain into it the sardine oil if using sardines; if using vegetable oil then drizzle into the frying pan the quantity needed, and sauté the chopped onions, then stir-fry the vegetables consisting of onions, tomatoes, sweet corn, scotch bonnets, sweet pea, blended tomatoes paste and the spring onions.
Season the sauce with grated ginger and garlic, seasoning cubes and salt to taste.
Lastly, add in the sardines or any fish of choice for the recipes; cover and simmer until the desired thickness.
Scoop the stir-fry sauce into a plate, and scoop the beans coconut soup into a deep soup bowl, and the third plate is for the garri then garnish with tomatoes and onion rings.
Store left-overs in the refrigerator and re-heat before serving.

Pureed Beans Soup Or Gbegiri
The gbegiri soup is a popular Yoruba soup of western Nigeria and serve mix with other soups like the nutrient-dense ewedu soup and the obe ata or pepper sauce. It is a soup prepared with cooked, pureed beans, mix with palm oil and vegetable, mostly requested and serve in the local “Buka or mama put” street corner makeshifts restaurants. The best of swallow meals of Amala, pounded yam, tuwo, or semovita are mostly the popular staple swallow that is generally dished with the gbegiri soup.

Recipe Ingredients
Meat of choice or smoked fish or both
Raw dried Beans or beans flour
Chili or scotch bonnets pepper
Chopped onions
Palm oil
Seasoning cubes, salt and native spices
Locust beans or daddawa

Recipe Steps
Soak and de-hull the beans, wash severally in water until clean and free from all peels.
On medium heat, place a saucepan, pour in water and add in the washed beans; cook until mushy.
Wash and cut up meat to bite-size of choice, put into a separate saucepan, add salt, seasoning cubes, onions and water.
Cook meat on low heat until tender, add washed and de-boned smoked fish, locust beans, crayfish and palm oil.
Meanwhile, transfer the cooked mushy beans into a blender and blend until a smooth puree.
Scoop pureed cooked beans into the simmering soup, stir all together to blend with all soup ingredients.
Cover soup with lid and simmer on low heat until the desired soup thickness is achieved or adjust with more water or beans flour to get the desired soup consistency.
Serve mix with the ewedu and pepper sauce along with swallow of choice.

Honey Beans Or Ewa Oloyin
A popular street food all over Lagos and major cities in Nigeria; although most households do enjoy cooking and serving the meal as a staple family meal, it is a generally requested for meal that is commonly known as “Ewa Oloyin” by the Yoruba of western Nigeria, all across regions and cultural cuisines the different version of the dish are cooked according to the traditional cuisines with ingredients that are common and popularly eaten by such communities in Nigeria.
It is just a cooked beans serve with stir-fry sauce prepared with the dried or dehydrated red bell pepper, chili pepper and lots of chopped up onions; add-ins such as the dried red bell pepper seeds or chili pepper seeds gives the stir-fry sauce a deep smoky flavor and fruity aroma that is a delight to the taste-buds.

Recipe Ingredients
Honey or sweet beans
Dried red bell pepper and chili seeds
Lots of chopped up purple onions
Palm oil
Seasoning cubes, and salt
Native spices of ginger, garlic, and black pepper
Smoked fish and crayfish

Recipe Steps
Spread out the beans on a tray and pick out the shriveled beans, stone grits, and debris; wash and rinse the beans in running water to remove dust and dirts, drain well the washed beans.
Transfer the washed beans into a deep pot and cover with water then allow to soak for 2 hours in order to cut down on cooking time.
On low heat, place the pot of soaked beans and slowly bring to boil; watch to avoid boiling over, skimming off the white foamy bubbles on top of the simmering beans.
Cook until the beans are really soft and the water content is evaporated completely but not burnt or sticking to the base of the cooking pot.
Then, remove from the heat and serve as soft cooked and grainy beans or mash it up with a food spatula or the potatoes masher but remember to leave some beans grainy to make for a chewy meal.
Pepper Sauce:- The traditional sauce for serving the cooked beans are specially prepared as shown below but any pepper sauce, stew or vegetable stir-fry can be serve perfectly with cooked beans.
A lot of traditional cuisines use the grinding stones to ground into paste the onions, dried bell pepper, chili pepper and its seeds but if it is tedious simply blend in the blender which gives a very fast result and hygienic pepper paste. The seeds are so spicy and also gives to the stir-fry sauce a uniquely delightful aroma and flavor.
Place a dry saucepan on low heat, add enough palm oil and heat it up until the oil is a bit smoky, add in chopped onions, the spices, the pepper paste and stir-fry until a dry sauce.
Add little water, de-boned washed smoked fish, ground crayfish, seasoning cubes and salt. Cover the sauce pan with lids and simmer the pepper sauce until all water is evaporated, stir-fry the sauce until a thick and oily sauce is obtain.
Scoop the cooked beans and serve with stir-fry sauce, topping the middle of the beans; eaten with bread loaves, Agidi or Eko, pap-gruel, fried or roasted plantain or cooked rice.

Beans And Yam Mix Or Pottage
Beans can completely turn around an incomplete protein grain or starchy tubers recipes into a fulfilling and balanced meal; most especially for a plant-based diet. It is a one pot beans dish cooked with the cubed yam tubers, and mix together to make for a balance meals.

Recipe Ingredients
Honey or sweet beans
Meat or smoked fish (optional)
Purple onions sliced into rings
Red bell pepper, scotch bonnets, tomatoes and onions blended into a paste
Palm oil and crayfish
Seasoning cubes and salt
Yam tubers, Or Irish potatoes peeled and sliced into cubes

Recipe Steps
Pick out all stone grits and wash off the dust, dirts and pesticides; pour into a deep pot then cover with enough water, add chopped onions and bring to boil on medium heat.
Then add salt, spices and seasoning cubes, drop into the boiling beans all chopped vegetables or blended vegetables, the palm oil, crayfish, cooked meat, de-boned fish.
Cover and cook until almost done then add in the cubed yam tubers, and finish off the cooking on low heat.
Stir all together when yam cubes are soft, and scoop into plates and serve as a complete meal alone.

Homemade Baked Beans
A one pot dish, baked or cook over the stove top; a blend of the sweet, savory and smoky flavor depending on recipe choice for the baked beans. Serve with bread loaves by dunking into the baked beans, or spread over bread slices and eaten as sandwiches, added to vegetable salad for a more nourishing taste.
The best of the baked beans are the homemade recipes that are free of artificial additives with less sodium and sugar, nutritiously super healthy eaten alone or as a side dish to a variety of meals.

Recipe Ingredients
Honey or sweet beans
Chicken or meat broth
Tomatoes sauce or paste
Lots of onions
Brown sugar and salt
Lemon juice
Garlic powder, chili and black pepper
Corn flour or starch for thickening

Recipe Steps
Spread out the beans on a tray and pick out the bad beans, stone grits, and debris.
Wash and rinse the beans in running water, pour into a deep pot and cover with water then allow to soak in order to cut down on cooking time.
Place the beans of medium heat and slowly bring to boil; skimming off the white foamy bubbles on top of the simmering beans.
Half-way through to doneness of the beans, put off the heat and drain beans.
In a separate sauce pan or baking dish combine all other ingredients except the corn flour or starch, stir to mix and fold into the mixture the parboiled beans, stir to blend in with the mixture.
On low heat place the pot and simmer slowly, stirring it consistently to avoid sticking and burning at the base of pot.
Meanwhile, mix the corn flour or starch with water until dissolves, then slowly and gently add into the simmering beans, stirring with every added thickener; as soon as it thickens and sets, season more if necessary.
Serve with bread or over vegetable salad, or as side dish to any favorite choice meals.
Store in airtight jars or containers in the refrigerator; preheat to warm-up then serve when desired.

Simple Beans Salad
The cooked beans are delicious in vegetable salads making for a light and balance meal, it is a crunchy nourishing, green and plant-base highly nutrient dense meal.

Recipe Ingredients
Cooked grainy beans
Lettuce green salad leaves
Sweet corns
Onion rings, tomatoes slices
Cucumber cubes
Banana (optional)
Cooked sweet potatoes
Boiled eggs
Avocado pear
Coconut, groundnut or olive oil
Green and red bell pepper shredded
Native spices of the ginger, cloves, chili pepper as mixed suya yagi
Lemon juice
Scotch bonnets

Recipe Steps
Wash all raw vegetables in salted water, drain water properly, shred the lettuce, and pepper, slice tomatoes and onions.
Peel all cooked vegetables and cube into a separate dish; arrange all green leafy vegetable in the salad bowl.
Meanwhile, stir-fry all shredded peppers and onions to soften, cool and arrange on the leafy vegetables; then add in the cooked beans along the middle and edges of the salad greens.
Then, place all cooked and cubed vegetables on the stir-fry, and arrange according to choice of color and vegetables the remaining vegetables.
Lastly, garnish with boiled egg slices, drizzle all over salad the salad dressings prepared with the vegetable oil, lemon juice and spices.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and mix the beans salad just before serving.

Health Benefits Of Beans
The cowpeas-beans are are amazingly nutrient-dense and one of the best super foods in Nigeria, its healthy benefits are many to the human body system; anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, anti-hyperlipidemia, anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive properties with proven potent compounds of the soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, with loads of phytochemicals. The beans has a great nutritional values for healthy body, ranked the highest in antioxidants loads so rich in nutrients such as minerals, fibers and vitamin B12, rich in protein, potassium, Iron, Vitamins, high fibers and low fats; it contains a good amount of Zinc, Copper, and Manganese. The beans is a powerhouse food, replacing higher fat animal proteins with beans plant base protein is a superb step towards better liver and overall body health; the leaves, pods, and seeds are nutritionally high in protein with less fat. The small red beans is a smaller version of the kidney beans and also shaped just like the human kidney; Kidney beans are low in fat and glycemic index which is a healthy option for diabetics, helps to control cholesterol and assist in weight loss. But it is not advisable for kidney disease patients to eat kidney beans because its potassium and magnesium loads can put a lot of pressure on the kidney and aggravate their condition. Therefore, healthy individuals can consume kidney beans while kidney disease patients are advised to consult their doctors before including kidney beans in their diets.

The protein needs of the body is excellently provided by the beans high protein loads which assists in building muscles and healthy body building functions. The various vitamins and minerals in beans makes for healthier bones; providing also essential nutrients that the bones needs. The beans is a source of Vitamin A and B, protein, and antioxidants for body building which provides maximum benefits to help improve the skin thereby protecting against wrinkles, and aging; repairing the body tissues. While the beans folate helps in the body’s red blood cell production and regeneration of the dead cell.
The excellent loads of fiber in beans aids digestion that helps to prevent constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel movement. It helps to reduce the blood glucose that is the blood sugar which helps the body to fight against sugar related health conditions such as diabetes, its soluble fiber acts as a prebiotic which helps to stimulate the growth of the beneficial bacteria in the gut for a healthy digestive system. The beans contain the soluble and insoluble fiber for a smooth digestive system; gives a feeling of fuller for longer by slowing down digestion and also helps to prevent constipation.
The beans contains low calories and cholesterol; it helps to reduce body fats and lower the risks of obesity if included in daily diets because it is highly loaded with protein and fiber that aids in weight control which helps to reduce food cravings and gives the feeling of satiety after a meal.
The beans thiamine known as Vitamin B1, protects the heart against cardiovascular disease conditions; beans in regular diets lowers the levels of LDL “Bad” cholesterols in the body which contributes to heart diseases. The antioxidants in beans are known as Polyphenols which helps the body to fight chemicals that are not needed in the body which are responsible for cancer and heart related diseases, the high loads of beans polyphenols assist in removing the chemical toxins in the body thereby acting as a detoxifier, thus reducing the risks of various cancers.
The beans also contains flavonoids or bioflavonoids; antioxidants that helps to fight against cancer, reduce cancer risk, heart diseases and other deadly health conditions, the beans if incorporated in diets can help in boosting immunity in the body system by helping to remove the free radicals in the body.
The Tryptophan is also found in beans which induce sleep and alleviates sleep disorders such as insomnia; it stabilizes mood swings, anxiety and restlessness thereby, improving mood giving one a happy smile on the face.

Adverse Effects Of Beans
The beans in daily meals must be eaten moderation which is necessary in order to avoid threat to health; it is also important to combine the right kind of ingredients in beans recipes and as a side dish, the proper cooking method are also very important.
The plant protein in beans called Lectins and the anti-nutrient of its Phytic Acid can cause digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, belching, indigestion and some times can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals; the meal of beans may also cause stomach pains, gas, and bloating due to “Raffinose” the fiber in beans that contributes to digestive problems. The soaking of beans for several hours not only speed up its cooking to doneness but also assists in reducing its high anti-nutrients, reduce the content of “Raffinose” for easier digestion; helping also to significantly minimize beans Phytic Acid content, boost nutrient absorptions and to also reduce greatly its side effects in the human system. People with allergies to legumes must take great caution when consuming beans to avoid common triggers that are related to the peanuts and soy of the legume family.
The most common complaint that are often attributed to consuming beans are intestinal discomfort and gas, even though are not dangerous to health but it is unpleasant and highly embarrassing for an individual to pollute an environment which is so painful and disgraceful to be pointed out in the crowd as one that is responsible. It is advisable to always watch out for food combinations and portion control, then gradually increase the portion consume as meals for the gut to adjust accordingly. People can also take digestive enzymes supplements for beans digestion; the cooking process of the hot or cold water soaking, and discarding the water used for soaking or sprouting, boiling or cooking the beans may greatly reduce digestive enzymes but a lot of the beans nutrients will be loss. Always chew beans properly while eating, drink lots of water or lemon water after consuming beans in order to avoid the soluble and insoluble fibers causing constipation.

Sustainability Of Beans
Farming promotes sustainability, it is at the very root of organic food production while sustainable farming promotes the best way to produce food which does not degrade the environment but encourages and explore ways all human activities can regenerate the environment to reverse damage to the earth. Nigerian beans is environmentally a sustainable crop; It is a cheaper means of improving on and boosting soil fertility through biological nitrogen fixation, adapting easily to the various soil types, and suitable for intercropping, it also grows covering the topmost soil which assists in preventing erosion. The cowpea-beans crop can strive and survive in areas with little or no rainfall, thus, a reduced need for fertilizers in its cultivation which greatly helps also to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

Cowpeas-beans is a valuable and useful crop, the leaves are known to produce 9 times the calories of the cowpea-beans seeds and as much as 15 times its protein contents, 90 times the calcium and a thousand of times much more Vitamin C and Beta-carotene of the beans. Nutritionally it is the foremost source of essential human dietary nutrients and also provides fodder for animals; cowpeas-beans plant, leaves and vines are dried as feeds in livestock production which provides the needed dietary nutrients for animals and incomes for farmers.

The cowpeas-beans crop can grow in a less-fertile soil environment because it adapts easily to the different climatic conditions. Subsequently, if included in crop rotations will help reduce the risks of soil erosion and depletion, assisting also in the transfer of fixed nitrogen to crops planted on the same soil; helping to suppress weeds and assists in the retention of moisture. Organic farming practices involves naturally growing food crops without the use of synthetic and chemical additives but relying only on the use of compost of natural resources as fertilizers; thereby the beans crop induces the growth of beneficial soil microorganisms which reduces the need to use synthetic agrochemicals. The use of crop rotations which are the best of economically sustainable farming production and practices, is beneficial for biodiversity and life in the wilds; thus when organic farming is practice in beans cultivation, the results is beneficial for greater biodiversity of the plants, animals, insects, and microorganisms which also assists in creating a naturally healthy soil, strong crops and a resilient natural ecosystems that does not require chemicals and synthetic additives to manage and rid farms of pests and diseases.

Nigeria is the largest producer and consumer of the cowpea-beans globally but still the Nigerian farmers are known to continually apply high loads of the harmful pesticides on farm produce known as “sniper – DDVP” an agrochemical use for the preservation of beans which experts have severally warned against its use, because its consumption can lead to death. Yet farmers attributes its continuous use to protecting against pests and insects invasion, to also protect their farm investments; all of these practices are due to the poor farmers lack of knowledge, and farming education on the dangerous health implication of the use of such harmful agro-chemicals on farms and food crops. All stakeholders involved in cowpeas-beans cultivation and preservation in Nigeria must ensure that beans are grown wholesome and safe for consumption.

The spicy, savory and sweet deliciousness of the beans can only be savor on the taste-bud and the satisfying bliss is deep down in the tummy; for a super-food alternative to meat and meat products indulge in the powerhouse of protein meal for a fuller for longer feeling of the beans, which will greatly improve on the healthiness of the human body, environment and earth!