Beans has a somewhat funny reputation. Growing up, there were countless jokes and fallacies about beans. The joke end of the spectrum involved an unpleasantness in terms of fouling the air after consuming beans. Sorry to gross you out, if you were not aware of this before. For my readers who are, I hope I have been able to evoke a nostalgic memory of primary and secondary school. When beans was served in boarding school, the school period after lunch involved some accident or the other and some poor souls got tagged nicknames which stuck almost through out secondary school and even continued beyond that.
Another fallacy of beans was that it made you grow taller. I don’t know where this originated from, but it a very common “lie” parents told their children to make them eat beans. I mean at 6 – 7 year old, you had no idea what genetics mean, and if you were told beans will make you taller, you consumed it in spades without complaining. Parents even sold the message further by giving you examples of a tall sibling or relative whose favourite food was beans. That lie earned its living for so many children right until about the start of Biology class in Senior High and you got to know the impact of genes in your development. Smile, if you ever fell victim of this famous deception. For someone whose favourite food was beans, I should probably be a 6 footer, and not the average 5 foot 7 that I am now, fully grown. Suffice to say I am the shortest person in my household. It is not fair when the eldest has 6-footers for siblings. Lol. When the tall gene was being shared, it surely skipped me. Let’s hope it is hidden somewhere in my DNA and I will pass that on to my children.
I was probably one of the few children who loved beans. Many of my friends detested it, and when we swap food related childhood stories, beans surely didn’t come out on top for them, and I was usually the odd one out. My mum figured out that I love beans, so she made all types she could find and she also made it fun by cooking beans with corn, meat, fish, chicken and even boiled eggs. Till date, I still enjoy eating beans, any type of beans. White beans, black eyed beans, lima beans, kidney beans, I love them all. I do not eat soya beans though because soya contains phytoestrogens and this should be avoided by females because it mimics oestrogen in the body and can mess up with your hormones. Good health tip there. If you are avoiding milk because you are on a diet or if you are Lactose intolerant, please, please do NOT use soya milk as an alternative.
I am always on the hunt for new recipes for beans and today I am bringing you my big cousin Aunty Bukky’s recipe. I have always loved her beans because it tastes sweet, and I knew it wasn’t just the sweetcorn. This past weekend I told her to give me her recipe so I stop raiding her fridge and taking away bowls of her beans anytime I visit. I have been eating beans and corn since childhood, but hers is just different, and sorry Mummy, but better too. Hiding my face and running away. Lol. Here is a very simple recipe with no extras but absolutely delicious.
You will need
3 cups of Black eyed beans – the sweet version, popularly called Ewa Oloyin
1 cup of Sweetcorn
2 red bell peppers – tatashe
1 red onion
2 – 3 pieces of ata rodo – scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
Seasoning cubes – knorr chicken cubes preferred
1. Boil the beans with enough water. Chop 1/2 of the onion and add to the pot. Let this boil until the beans are soft. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: do NOT add salt. Watch the beans carefully, you don’t want to over cook it and it turns mushy. If there is still plenty water, simply decant it.
2. Blend the bell peppers, ata rodo and the rest of the onions with a little water and set aside. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: do NOT add tomatoes. You also must be careful with how much water you blend the pepper mixture with, so you don’t end up with watery beans.
3. When the beans are soft, and there is just a little water left in the pot add the pepper from Step 2, sweetcorn, salt and seasoning cube. Stir and let this cook for another 10 minutes. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: You will now appreciate why I advised you to watch the water level carefully.
4. After 10 minutes, stir the beans and taste for salt and seasoning. Re-season if necessary. Add about half – 1 cooking spoon of olive oil and an equal amount of palm oil. Stir and let this cook for another 5 minutes and you are done. When I made this yesterday, I ended up adding a little extra Olive oil. I noticed that it made the beans sweeter. Aunty B says she adda a little extra palm oil, so it all boils down to personal preference.
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: for my readers whose only access to palm oil is the type sold in sealed plastic bottles, I will advise you to heat up the palm oil first in a small pot. We all know that Palm oil isnt exactly the concentrated palm oil extract, and it can taste a little iffy on the tongue when it hasn’t been preheated.
……………and that’s it.
Ridiculously easy right? While you may have been slaving in the past with boiling your beans, frying the pepper sauce with all sorts of additions, and adding the beans and frying all together, which is what I have always done, try this quick and simple method, and tell me that you did not enjoy it. Sometimes with food, the beauty is in the simplicity. The flavours are not competing with each other, and your taste buds can just relax and enjoy the taste of the beans and sweetcorn, without being overwhelmed by all those extras like crayfish, stockfish, fresh fish etc. To my male readers who are not kitchen aficionados, even you can make this dish and it will stand proudly alongside someone else’s version of beans.
You can serve this for breakfast on a weekend, or you can take it as a packed lunch to work. Bon Appetite…………..