Moi moi (sometimes referred to moin moin) is a Nigerian delicacy that is not only delicious but healthy too!
It is traditionally made by steaming blended black-eyed beans, red peppers and onions, making it 100% gluten – free and vegan based.
If there is one food that brings up childhood nostalgia, it’s moi moi.
It never ceases to amaze me how certain smells are strong enough to evoke memories from long ago and every time I eat moi moi today, the wonderful scent alone – let alone the delicious taste – brings me back to my childhood in South London where I would help my Mum by folding kitchen foil into individual parcels in preparation for the moi moi to be steamed in.
(Sometimes my Mum would steam the moi moi in banana (ewe eran) leaves, but I found them too hard to prepare as a child so only liked joining in when preparing with foil!)
Moi moi is – without a doubt – one of the major foods that is on the top ten list (if there is indeed one!) of traditional Nigerian foods and also one of my top ten favourite foods to eat, not only because of how good it tastes but also because it is mega healthy and versatile.
You can include a variety of other foods to the mixture before cooking to give it more substance or – as I like to do – eat it alone or include as part of a meal.
Below is a healthy quinoa, sautéed mushroom and beetroot salad I recently made even more healthy (and cute looking too!) by adding a generous serving of steamed moi moi.
Growing up, my Mum would alternate the foods she would add to the moi moi prior to steaming, and typically added boiled eggs, crawfish and/or corned beef.
As I’m no longer really a fan of meat in a can and am allergic to seafood, if I do add anything else, it’s usually just soft boiled eggs but more often than not, I don’t add anything.
Both the texture and taste of moi moi is quite hard to describe, to be honest.
I guess the best way to describe it would be to say that it tastes a bit like jollof rice (another traditional Nigerian delicacy), with the texture of soft boiled egg… but even softer and fluffier!
The best way to find out is to do it for yourself!
As with most healthy and traditional foods, there is no fast way to makie authentic, genuine moi moi. The process of removing the skin from the black-eyed beans alone is tedious but necessary if you want the texture of the moi moi to be of an ultra smooth consistency.
- 3 cups black eyed beans
- 4 vegetable stock cubes
- 3 tatashe / red bell peppers, seeds removed
- 2 red onions
- 1 scotch bonnet, seeds removed
- 1 cup water
- 3 -5 tbsp. palm oil
- Pinch salt
- 2 tsp. grated nutmeg
- Soak the beans for around 10 minutes by covering in water to loosen the skin.
- After soaking, rinse the beans and thoroughly remove the skin from the beans by rubbing the beans together in your hands.
- Once all the skins have been thoroughly removed from the beans, rinse and - in batches - add the beans, onions, peppers, scotch bonnet and water to a blender and blend until very smooth.
- You want the consistency to be similar to porridge and without any gritty bits.
- Pour the puree into a bowl, add the oil and stock cubes and salt and stir continuously for approximately 10 minutes until everything has combined well.
- Pour the mixture into the desired containers before placing in a steamer and allowing to steam for approximately 45 minutes or until firm to the touch.
- You can either pour the mixture into individual containers such as ramekins/leaves/foil containers before steaming or - as I do - pour into individual parcels made from foil.
- For the latter, you simply tear off a large enough amount of foil and fold in half before folding the side and base ends a few times in order to strengthen.
- Leave an opening to pour the puree in.
- Continue until you have the required amount of pouches.
- Pour a little of the mixture into each pouch, leaving enough room to be able to then fold the top to seal securely.
- Place the sealed pouches in the steamer.
- You add any desired fillings after pouring the puree into the cases prior to steaming.