The Elegant Nigerian Moi-moi.
Moi-moi is a spectacular Nigerian dish made from bean seed; usually black-eyed peas. This delicacy of steamed black-eyed peas pudding flavored with a combination of onions, pepper, tomatoes, garlic and other condiments is everything. Moi-moi is savory and scrumptious. Obviously, one of the most recognizable dishes out of Nigeria and African. Moi-moi (or elélé in Igbo) is no doubt one of the most important foods in every Nigerian occasion. Such as weddings, naming ceremony, engagement, graduation, name it! 9Ja partygoers do not shy away from this mouthwatering delicacy called moi-moi. Click To Tweet
Mother’s moi-moi mantra: “Nothing can stop you unless you let it!”Growing up my mother would make moi-moi a little less often, perhaps once every month. And that leaves an unforgettable memory until the next one. Click To Tweet As a child I wanted my mother to make moi-moi more often, but I eventually understood that making this dish is not a child’s play. It inevitably takes a bit of a method and a lot of effort. There is the “beans washing/de-skinning challenge. Plus the challenge generally faced in making moi-moi in Nigeria – the issue of blending (or grinding) the beans due to poor power supply. We would usually go down the street to use the commercial grinder, (which isn’t free but affordable) to blend the beans. The operators use some kind of private electricity generator.
OK, not to mention queuing up (sometimes for hours) to wait for turns in other to grind our beans, boy oh boy! I live for my childhood memories. In reality, (at that time and even now) only very few households can boast of household blenders in Nigeria. And also for people with household (or private) blenders, the electricity to use such blenders are still a challenge. Such challenges rarely deter us from enjoying this delicacy. Relatively, I recall so many times my mother had used a grinding stone to grind beans. As well as uncountable times we used mortar and pestle to do the job. Click To Tweet Notwithstanding all of these seemingly elaborate process, moi-moi eating is still at all time high. It is equally important to mention here that usually people buy moi-moi from street hawkers and in marketplaces because it is a readily available snack/food.
Quite understandable that most people would rather buy (already made moi-moi) than go through the process of making it. But of course homemade is a home meal, and nothing compares to it.😁 OH, and I totally forgot to mention the epic wrapping-ness (aka how to wrap moi-moi before steaming); traditionally, the moi-moi paste is wrapped in banana leaves. One of those skills needed to make this deliciousness happen is banana leaves wrapping skill! But don’t worry if you don’t have this skill yet (I don’t either), we now have moi-moi cooking pouches.
Begin with beans:
In other to make moi-moi you will need beans (obviously), in Nigeria (then) my mother would always prefer Nigerian brown beans. And sometimes the off white beans that look precisely like the black-eyed peas (and honestly it might have been it). Living in America, I have been making moi-moi with mainly black-eyed peas. And it is more than excellent for this dish – spectacular! If you ever live close to an African store and you want to use Nigerian brown beans to cook this dish, go for it! Relatively, you could also use beans flour if you do not have the time or energy to de-skin, wash and blend the beans. And am sure it could work just fine, not exactly sure how it will affect the taste.
Fortunately, the recipe I have for you here today is the recipe for making moi-moi from scratch, but don’t worry it is not scary. This includes de-skinning, blending and steaming/cooking. The good news is that I will show you the easy way to do it so that you can always and easily make it yourself! To put differently, we are squashing the fear surrounding moi-moi making today! Aside from beans (which is the star of this dish and which comprises of high-quality protein as you know), this dish would require some fresh bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomato paste and some vegetable oil among other things.
With this in mind, the process of making moi-moi is not as daunting as it may seem. It only entails:
- Wash and peel beans (de-skin beans.)
- Blend the beans to turn it into a paste.
- Spice up the paste with the necessary condiments and steam/cook or bake.
And the most delightful moi-moi is born. BOOM!
If you are ready, let us get cooking.
Do you know about moi-moi? And have you eaten it before? Tell me in the comment.
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