Moi-Moi (Bean cake)

Evening lovers, today brings a Nigerian classic to the world of freeflow foodies. Since my pregnancy I have seriously been craving (with a big C) food from my country and we happened to discover that there is a shop just 5 mins from our flat that does just that. This guy sells everything, Indian food, Chinese food, African food and most especially Nigerian food! Ben and I were like wah!!!!! So let’s just say I’m a super happy bunny right now.

First off is this amazing food that I remember with joy in my heart from my childhood called Moi-moi (not pronounced like the french but more like Moy-moy) or Bean cake if you like :-). I remember wanting to eat bucket loads of this when I was young but couldn’t quite as it was usually made for special occasions as the process can be long. Classically, special Nigerian brown beans are soaked overnight, until soft and the skin comes off easily. The skins on the beans are washed off, then the beans are blended with the spices you want, mixed in with corned beef or cooked egg and spooned into intricately folded banana leaves (Efere leaves) and steamed. The leaves gives them an unrivalled flavour and taste from heaven! Heaven I tell ya!. If “efere” leaves are not available, we usually used neatly and tightly folded aluminum foil, or in small aluminum pots,covered and steamed.

So going into this shop, I found Nigerian Bean flour and I was like, “c’est pas possible!”….but it was real. It was staring right back at me. So I guess the producers have just dried the beans after blending to get this flour because, add a little water to it and it smells and tastes EXACTLY like what I remember from my childhood. Incoyable! 🙂

So here it is my friends! A jazzed up version of moy-moy by this foodie 😉

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup bean flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 big tomato
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli (omit if you’re not as crazy as this foodie and just add 1 tsp ground peppercorns)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable bouillon (heaped)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (heaped)
  • 2/3 cup sunflower oil
  • Salt to taste

To make this easy peasy dish:

  • Get your aluminum foil ready and tightly (please tightly) fold in the edges more than 5 times until you’re sure your bean mixture won’t leak out.
  • Even after this and you’re feeling a bit doubtful, you can always double wrap, as I have done just to be super duper sure (I’ve lost my wrapping skills over the years)
  •  If you find this all together fiddly, don’t fret, take a deep breath and proceed as follows;
  1. get hold of a deep brioche or cake tine that you are sure will fit into your steamer
  2. line it with a double layer of foil leaving a whole lot of over-hang
  3. fill with your mixture
  4. and just scrunch the overhangs together to seal it
  5. and you’re good to steam away.

Told you it was easy.

the star of the show

With all the above ready, now onto your bean batter 🙂

  • Put flour and 1 cup of water in a bowl and beat together to form a smooth lump-free paste,
  • Blend the onion, tomato, chilli and garlic with half cup of water into a purée,
  • Pour this purée into the bean paste and mix thoroughly,
  • Stir in the bouillon, nutmeg, oil and the remaining water,
  • Salt to your liking; fill your aluminum bags or foil-lined cake tins and steam for 1 hour.
  • Leave to cool thoroughly and completely before unwrapping your lady.
  •  She will just fall apart if your undress her when she is hot so be patient 😉

When cooled, cut into delicious slices and enjoy on a bed of veggies, rice, or even on it’s own…It is utterly delicious, I assure you

The beauty on a on a bed of vegetable rice

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About the Author: foodie

Yoga Teacher & Great Baker