Nigerian Moi Moi
Moi-moi is a traditional Nigerian dish made with Nigerian brown beans or black-eyed peas. This steamed bean pudding is made with tomato paste and onions and flavored with garlic, pepper and nutmeg, making this dish uniquely tasty.
It is also known as Moin Moin and elélé in the Igbo language. Nigerian moi-moi is a very popular food served at various occasions such as weddings, Christenings, engagements, or graduations.
Enjoy the recipe below!
Nigerian Moi Moi
- 1 lb beans or 16 oz black-eye peas bag
- 2 Maggi cubes
- 1 tsp seasoning powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ big onion bulb or one small onion
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 2 small bell peppers
- ½ tsp Nigerian red pepper or any other red chilli for a little spice
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1-2 tbsp ground crayfish optional
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp curry powder
- 3 cups water for blending
How to Make Moi-Moi:
- Peel the beans using a bender. Put the beans into a bowl, add some water to cover them, and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes, or a little more.
- Blend the beans with a little water a handful at a time; use the pulse setting to start and stop, without allowing the blender to go more than 3 seconds at a time. This will help the skin (of the soaked dry beans) to loosen. Put into another large bowl; repeat the process for all the beans.
- To rinse, make sure the bowl with loosened beans has enough water, gently start rinsing off the floating chaff/skin. The skins should float to the top; they are lighter than the seed. The goal is to rinse off only the skin and not the (white) bean seed. Rinse thoroughly and set the clean seed aside.
- Wash the onions, bell pepper, and garlic and set aside. Open the tin of tomato paste.
- Have ready a large clean mixing bowl.
- Gently start blending the peeled beans, in batches, with onions, pepper, garlic, and a small amount of tomato paste plus water (yes, I like adding my tomato paste alongside the other ingredients and blending everything together.)
- Once blended, pour the mixture into the big mixing bowl. Repeat the above process to blend the whole beans about three times or so. (For the amount of beans in this recipe, I use about 2½ -3 cups of water.)
- After blending, place a big pot on the stove on a low heat and add small some water , about 1-1½ cups. If you have a steamer, this would work better.
- In the big mixing bowl, add all the other condiments: salt, curry powder, red pepper, nutmeg, and vegetable oil and crush in the Maggi. Also, add ground crayfish if you using it.
- Use a wooden spoon to give a good stir to combine all the ingredients. Taste to ensure the flavors are how you want them before proceeding.
- For this final process, you need a moi-moi wrapper (basically something to wrap the paste in to steam it. Some people use banana leaves, foil, or moi-moi pouches.
- Use a spoon or cup and gently scoop some moi-moi paste into the moi-moi pouch. Ensure that each bag has an equal amount of paste for even cooking.
- Close each wrapper tightly, then place them in the pot or steamer.
- Repeat the process until you have used the entire mixture, cover the pot, and turn the heat from low to medium-high. As it “steams”, the water will evaporate. Ensure you keep adding water to the pot to avoid it drying out.
- Cook for about 30-35 minutes or until the moi-moi is ready (and you will know that it is ready by opening one of them and cutting right through. It will be firm and the color will have intensified a bit.) If still in doubt, cook the moi-moi to the maximum cooking time!
- Serve on its own or with rice, avocado, or Nigerian stew.