It is Nigeria's best kept secret and in my opinion could be as successful an export product as crude oil: moin moin
, or steamed bean cake. The first time I tasted it, I fell in love. Sweet, spicy, creamy and silky... Healthy too, made from ingredients you can find all over the world. This week's blog on YNaija
is about my love affair with moin moin. But talking about food is like talking about sex: eventually you want to experience it. Find the recipe below.
Recipe for moin moin - Nigerian steamed bean cake
3 cups soaked and peeled black eyed beans
1 big onion
1 bell pepper
1 or 2 chilly peppers
2 boiled eggs, tin of salmon
sunflower oil, salt
The peeling of the beans. Disaster. Tip: do not soak the beans longer than ten minutes. The usual method, rubbing the beans together to make the skins come off, takes ages. Alternatively you can zip the beans in the blender ever so shortly. Then put them in water so the skins float to the surface. Still a nuisance. The Nigerian friend who came to dinner and brought a bag of ready peeled beans (African Food Products) has won my everlasting gratitude.
Once the pealing is over with, things go quick. Throw all ingredients except the eggs and fish in the food processor with half a cup of warm water and chop to a pulp. The mixture should have the consistency of thick custard. While the machine does its work, fold bags out of tinfoil as shown in the adjoining pictures (starting left on the top and continuing clockwise). Fold them well! Moin moin is prone to expand and badly folded bags will burst during the steaming process.
Fill the tinfoil bags with a spoonful of bean mixture, some salmon shreds and a couple of egg slices and then another spoonful of bean mixture. Do not fill up entirely but leave a bit of space before closing the bag. Also to prevent moin moin explosions. True moin moin is folded in local 'ewe eran' leaves or banana leaves - after one failed attempt I gave up on that. What you should experiment with are the added ingredients: roasted mushrooms, sautéd onions, leek... But not egg plant (garden egg). Do not go there.
Carefully put the filled bags in the steamer, put the lid on and leave on the stove for at least an hour. Check for ruptures once in a while - you want to be aware of them sooner rather than later. Trying to clean a casserole encrusted with moin moin is a torment. When the moin moin is cooked, leave it to cool down a bit before you peal the tin foil off. Nigerians have moin moin with spongy white bread or lovely jollof rice. I have my moin moin with moin moin.