Moi moi/ moin moin is the blended perfection of protein-rich black-eyed peas, red peppers, onions, and various garnishes of your choice. This steamed bean pudding is one of the main protein sources in West Africa, and there is nothing that won’t pair beautifully with it.
Besides Nigerian Jollof Rice, there is another traditional dish that elevates the mood in every type of celebration. Moi Moi (moin moin) is a steamed pudding that mainly contains ground beans, so you can imagine the abundance of protein, iron, and fiber in it.
This soft and spongy Nigerian delight is quite versatile because you can either cook it alongside rice and stew or eat it alone with your favorite beverage.
For first-timers, making moi moi can be tricky. You might have even heard other people complaining how too chunky or too soft their pudding turned out. What they don’t realize is, they probably didn’t prepare the beans properly, so they were doomed from the start.
Whether you are using brown beans or black-eyed peas (not the band), you should soak them for at least an hour. This will make it a lot easier to remove the skin, as you don’t want the skin in your blend. This might sound like a mountain of work, but we will talk you through the steps of easy peeling.
Once the skin is out of your way, you can blend your beans with onion, red pepper, and chili Habanero pepper. The most crucial thing when making moi moi is to blend the bean paste as finely as possible and blend like your life depends on it! Seriously, people should think you are making a smoothie when they look at it.
Then comes the fun part, which is adding your blend into containers – you can get funky and creative with the shape. You will place these containers in a large pot filled with just enough water to steam your bean pudding.
- 11/2 Cups dry beans Black-eyed Peas or Brown Beans-''Ewa Oloyin''
- 1 Red Bell pepper/Tatashe Medium size
- 1 Habanero/Scotch Bonnet/Rodo
- 3/4 Cup Diced onion
- 2 Tablespoons Crayfish
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 Bullion Cubes
- 3/4 cup cooked minced Fish
- 3 Hard-boiled Eggs
- Salt to taste
- Soak the beans for 1 hour (more or less). The length of time used in soaking the Beans depends on the type of beans you are using and how dry your Beans is. The dried beans tend to be ready for peeling faster than the less dried beans.
- Pour the beans in the Blender and add twice as much water as the beans (by volume) blend the Beans for 3-4 seconds per time and repeat this for 3 to 4 times - Remember we are peeling the Beans and not blending it.
- Pour the beans back into a large bowl and add enough water to fully cover the beans. Now agitate the beans with your fingers and the skin will float then quickly separate the skin from the Beans by pouring through a sieve.
- Once that is done, pour the peeled beans (the skinless Beans) inside a blender, together with the Red Pepper, Habanero, and Onion - Blend to the smoothest consistency you can ever get.
- Combine the blended mixture with the remaining ingredients except for the boiled eggs.
- Spray or oil the container you will be using then pour in the mixture and cover it with a lid or seal with foil paper.
- Line the base of the pot you will be used with either foil paper, sticks, leaves, or anything you deem fit. This is to prevent the Moin moin from burning. (seriously, burnt Moin moin is a disaster- Talking from experience).
- Arrange the Moin moin inside the Pot and cook till done. This should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes depending on the quantity of the Moin moin mixture in each container.
- Remove from heat and serve.
- Insert a toothpick into the middle of the Moin Moin/Moi moi to check for its doneness. The toothpick should come out fairly clean and not moist.
- Don't use Tomatoes or Tomato-based products when making Moin Moin/ Moi moi it makes it difficult for the Moin Moin/Moi moi to solidify.
- Be sure to check the water level at least every 15 minutes to prevent the Moin moin from burning and top up the water as required.
- Be careful with Salts - a little goes a long way.
- Soak the Beans even more if it's still hard after peeling it. Soft peeled Beans are easier to blend, thus preventing your Moin moin from becoming grainy.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 475Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 949mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 15gSugar: 23gProtein: 28g
Now, let’s talk about the recipe and some “chef’s secrets” for achieving your distinction in making moi moi.
Tips For Preparing The Beans For Moi Moi
Peeling the beans would have to be the most intimidating part of your moi moi recipe. Luckily, it is also the very first step.
Our best advice is that you get up early on that day and soak your beans beforehand. They should be kept soaked for at least an hour, but we recommend a good three hours for the perfect bean paste.
If you have LOTS of time to kill, you can separate the skin by rubbing the beans gently between your palms. If the skin comes off easily, they are ready for peeling. But, you can rather use a blender because time is the most valuable currency.
The peeling method depends on the type of blender you have. If your blender has a pulse or turbo feature, you can use that by pressing the button for 1-2 seconds in 5 times in 1-2 second intervals. Otherwise, you can use speed 1 for the same procedure. When you pour the semi-blended beans with enough water, you will realize that the skin will float even when the skinless beans sink.
You can also use mortar and pestle for the peeling process.
Tips For Ingredient Addition/Substitution When Cooking
Most of the other ingredients go into the blender with the skinless beans to form the paste. Here, you will have alternatives for some ingredients.
- Instead of red bell pepper, you can use tatashe paper; however, remember to remove the seeds. Otherwise, your moi moi will taste much bitter than you intended.
- You can add red bell pepper into your blend.
- This recipe calls for hard-boiled eggs and minced fish. You can replace the minced fish with bone marrow or corned beef, which you can add during the mixing step.
- A touch of ground nutmeg will add a smokiness to your moi moi.
- One substitution we don’t recommend is olive oil for vegetable oil because it has its distinct odor and taste, which will affect the final taste of your meal.
- Whether it is during peeling, soaking, or blending, always avoid using hot water. Otherwise, you will end up with a very lumpy pudding.
- All the mixing and seasoning should be done off the stove, and the ingredients should not be warmer than room temperature.
Containers for Moi Moi
You have several options for containers. You can either use accessible utensils like aluminum foil and plastic bowls (although we wouldn’t recommend this one) or go more authentic and find uma or banana leaves. The latter will give a unique taste to your moi moi.
Always check the water level in your pot. If there is not enough water, the base of your moi moi will start to burn.
The cooking time will also depend on the type of container you use. It will take around 45-50 minutes if you are using leaves. With a plastic container, the duration can go up to 1.5 hours. Either way, use a toothpick to poke your pudding. If it comes out clean, you are ready to dig in!
Frequently Asked Questions About Moi Moi
What can Moi Moi be eaten with?
You can eat moi moi alongside Nigerian fried rice, jollof rice, bread, and stew, although it is more than enough to satisfy you as an afternoon snack alongside your favorite juice.
Why is my Moi Moi too soft?
This usually occurs when you soak the beans in water for too long, or if you use hot water, both of which cause the beans to absorb too much water. Using tomato puree can be another reason.
Is moi moi good for weight loss?
Because the black bean content in moi moi is full of proteins and fiber, it will make you feel full quickly and keep you that way for much longer. In fact, it is an important part of Nigerian diets.
The preparation of the Nigerian delight moi moi can seem quite stressful at first glimpse, but with the right technique and patience, you will succeed at it.
Not only is it delicious and versatile, but it is also super-rich in protein, making it a healthy alternative to heavy pastry served at gatherings.
Let us know if you have any questions or comments. Also, have a look at these recipes that might intrigue you.
I hope you found this moin moin (moi moi) blog post helpful. For more African food ideas, check out our complete List of Nigerian food you should absolutely try. Here are a few suggestions for you: