Today, I decided I will not write about the problems created in Nigeria by the useless politicians and their accomplices. There is obviously more to life than what those morons and idiots are doing out there.
So, I am sorry to disappoint you if you are on my blog to find out how Ibori stole all the money as Delta State governor or how Obasanjo who had nothing 9 years ago can now boast of over 100billion naira worth of investments. I should also take a break from Babangida who stole more than 20 billion dollars from Nigeria. Today is not about how Mr. Lucky stole all the money in Edo state and left them with bad luck. When these men die, I will be utterly disappointed not to see them being buried with these monies. It will break my heart if they leave these monies, houses, cars and gold behind.
I don’t have time for them today….
Now, I want to say a big thank you to my mother! Yes o! My mama! Today after more than a year, I decided to cook moimoi again. And for every step on the way, I remembered my mum. Just a few days ago, an Australian friend of mine asked me for the recipe for pepper soup. I gave him the version that would of course be sensible to come by in Sweden. And you know why he asked. Because I have served a group pepper soup when we watched a football game at my work the other day. They liked it, means I am good. THANKS MUM!
Let me share some intimate story here. When I was a little boy up to my teenage years, my mother made it compulsory for all her children to learn how to cook. You would have thought it was a punishment that my mother wanted you to be at home or in the kitchen with her when she was cooking. But it paid off when we left home. When I was in the University for my post graduate studies, I discovered that one of my friends could not cook any kind of food. This is not an exaggeration, Tunde cannot make tea, and he cannot fry an egg. If you ask him to make eba, that is more than a 4 unit course for my friend Tunde. He never did anyway. Tunde is a medical doctor and now lives in South Africa. I must ask him how he is surviving since he hasn’t told me that he is married. Does he still eat out?
Anyway, I will come back to that another day. I must have woken up on the right side of my bed today-Dec 1. Just before frukost (breakfast) which was yoghurt and sandwich as usual, I found myself soaking 450g of beans in water. The idea was to get it soft so I can eat some beans for lunch or dinner. But immediately after lunch which turned out to be spaghetti and some spicy tomato stew (plus meat of course), I found myself pouncing on the soaked beans and converting it to moimoi. Ordinarily, I would have used the powdered beans if I wanted to make moimoi in Europe. I mean, who goes about in Europe soaking beans to make moimoi? This is the story…
You can use brown beans or white beans depending on either your taste or which one you can lay your hands on.
Brown or white beans
Pepper (fresh or dry), for fresh you will have to grind too and if you have a store of that in your freezer, then perfect!
Maggi cube or knorr cubes (Maggi cube is very Nigerian but knorr is found worldwide!-choose your preferred taste or brand)
Curry and Thyme (optional)
Salt (if you are a salt eater)
Egg (not compulsory you can have hard boiled eggs if you want to make the moimoi a luxury)
- Find the beans! Soak in water.
In my case, I find it easier to buy the black-eyed white beans. My favourite African shop is not regular with Nigerian beans. So, I put my white beans (450g) in water, soak until such a time that it becomes easy or convenient to peel off the scales.
2. Remove the scales
Carefully, I removed all the scales which mean the black eyes are gone! This took about 1 hour. Other people could be faster in squeezing the beans to release the black eyes!
3.Grind the beans plus Onions/change them to paste form
In Nigeria, we have grinding machines powered by electricity and if you have time, you can use the stony pestle and mortar. The latter takes time but it comes with fulfillment. Believe me, I did that many times on my knees! Thank you mum! You are the best! But now in Sweden, I have an electric grinder to do this in 5-10 minutes depending on the speed that I choose. One small or medium size onion is okay for 450g beans.
4.Add very little water to make fluid of the paste.
Don’t let it get watery unless you want to be too economical to making more out of less. It will affect the quality and taste.
5.Add all your ingredients!!
To the paste or fluid add,
Pepper to your desire
Two cubes of maggi or knorr
Salt to your own taste or desire
Curry and thyme if you like
6.Mix together by stirring.
My suggestion is not to do this with the grinder. Add the ingredients after you have grinded the beans and onions in the blender/grinder. Mix with spoon or something similar. At this point, if you have done everything right, you can even start to perceive the wonderful aroma of the food you are about to put on your table.
Just before you add the ingredient, start the oven at 225 degrees. This is to give you 5 to 10 minutes of warming the oven before you put the uncooked moimoi inside it. This is of course optional.
Set your clock to 1 hour, oven steady at 225 degrees, pour the preparations into small aluminum troughs. The troughs could be of any size but something that will go in your oven. Put pieces of hardboiled egg randomly in your fluid moimoi if you like to. This part is unnecessary but I do it sometimes.
Leave the preparation for 1 hour, it will become thick and of course you’ll know when you are eating it if it was done or not. Don’t eat it when it is too hot. Let it cool down and it hardens more. Enjoy moimoi!
Click this link to see moimoi made from beans
The kitchen can be a very stressful place to be in especially if you will be there for a long time
If you want to make moimoi, soak the beans well in advance. If you will have it for lunch, start the preparation immediately after breakfast. If you want it for dinner, start immediately after lunch.
Generally, when you want to cook, allow yourself plenty of time. This is the same you do when you are going to drive a car. Plan, have plenty of time. This keeps you safe and stressless.
Before you start cooking anything at all in your kitchen, clean up first. Thrash the rubbish! Tidy up the stoves or heaters. Clean the plates, wash them if you have to and keep them away. Shine the sink top!
Have plenty of space in the kitchen by keeping it tidy and neat before and after cooking.
If you cook in a dirty kitchen, it is unhygienic and it adds to your stress. You’ll keep shouting on the kids or partner when it is all your faults! Plan! Ok! You must. And thank my mum for these tips.
Imagine if you are a Nigerian and you have prepared to cook moimoi only to discover that you have no kerosene in the stove. Goosh, you’ll be mad and just drink garri only in your frustration or the food will be very late that everybody will be your enemy before it is ready.
By the way, moi moi goes with many food. You can have it as extras on rice. Many people eat it with bread. The classic is to eat moimoi and drink garri with cold water with sugar. That’s what I did tonight in Sweden. It keeps me in touch with Lagos. Garri is dried grinded cassava. Wao, that’s it! I am happy with myself. I will find time to tell you how I make peppersoup in Sweden. I will give you the recipe. I will also tell you how I make Egusi soup with dry fish and correct meat.
Did anyone say that I was missing Nigeria? Yes, the sunshine, but not my favourite food/dishes. And who says I don’t like winter and a white christmas?
Thank you mum!