Way back during my secondary school days in Badagry, we always had Ewa Agoyin with Soft Agege bread every Tuesday on the menu. I guess that was were my love for Ewa Agoyin began. The preparation was also something i had to learn unwillingly because back then, whenever we committed a "crime", we were usually sent to the kitchen as a form of punishment to Cook with the Egun Women who were the chief cooks in the school (Most of them were from neighboring countries but had blended into the Nigerian system so well, you could hardly tell.
"Ewa" means Beans in yoruba language while "Agoyin" is a term used to describe people from neighboring countries such as Benin republic "Cotonu" and Togo, who came into Nigeria to settle as far back as in the sixties hence the name Ewa Agoyin which simply means "Beans of the agoyin people". it's not uncommon to find "Agoyin" women carrying their iron pots on their heads hawking "Ewa Agoyin" on the streets of Lagos where they are mostly found. They made beans and sauce so sweet, that even those who don't eat out are unusually drawn to the dish after a taste.
Ewa agoyin is simply Mashed beans with palmoil based pepper sauce. The sauce (which is the "Koko"of the dish) is basically prepared with blended dry pepper, onion and palmoil and the combination of these results in a tasty sauce with a spicy, earthy taste.
On my street foodie waka recently, i came across Silifat an Ewa Agoyin hawker. After buying a large bowl of the dish, i asked her for the recipe and tips on making my Ewa agoyin taste like hers especially the sauce. She hesitated for a while but after much persuasion, she reluctantly give me the list of ingredients and the procedure as listed below.
|ewa agoyin hawker|
|ewa agoyin sauce|
|Ewa "Beans"- Mashed|
• Black eyed beans
• Ginger (just a little)
• Salt to taste
• Salt to taste
Step 1: To prepare the beans, remove the chaff, rinse and cook the beans till it gets very soft before adding salt at the final stage of the cooking. Once it's soft mash it up in a pot with a wooden spoon.
Step 2: Soak the dry pepper for few hours or overnight till it regains moisture then blend it with a little ginger.
Step 3: Slice the onion (you can also blend the onion with the pepper and ginger if you don't like seeing chunks of it in your food) and set aside
Step 4: Heat up the palm oil till it loosens up a little and gets very hot (Do not bleach)
Step 5: Gently add the onions, stir and leave to fry for sometime till it burns a little and gets dark.
Step 6: Pour your pepper blend into the hot oil, add salt and leave to fry for a while till the oil separates from the ground pepper and it has a sandy grainy like feel.
Dish out the beans and pour the sauce over the top of it. Serve with Boiled yam, fried plantain, Garri or better still Agege bread.
|ewa agoyin and Agege bread hawker|
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