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Moi Moi (Nigerian Bean Pie)

(Ngoma Evelyn Moghalu)

Moi Moi is known as bean pie or bean cake because there are various ways of preparing it, either baked in the oven or steamed in a pot. I prefer the latter because it retains moisture.

1 lb. black-eyed peas, soaked overnight

2 large red bell peppers, chopped

2 red onions, chopped

2 red habanero chili peppers

1/2 c. canola oil

1 Maggi seasoning cube

1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube

1 t. paprika

1 t. salt

6 tomatoes, pureed

8 boiled eggs, chopped

2 cans of sardines, drained of oil

Place the bowl of water with soaked beans in the sink and rub them firmly in the water to remove the chaff.

As you rub, run water into the bowl, and the chaff will rise to the top to be drained off.

Place the clean beans in a blender and add red bell peppers, 1 red onion, habanero chili peppers, and a little water.

Transfer to a clean wide bowl.

Heat oil, and sauté remaining onion with seasoning cube, bouillon cube, paprika and salt until softened.

Add tomatoes and continue cooking, stirring to distribute evenly. Remove from heat.

Combine bean mixture with tomato mixture, thinning with hot water until it has the consistency of a light cake batter.

Taste the mixture for salt.

Cut 16 squares of aluminum foil and double them to make 8 wraps.

Add 3 large scoops of bean mixture into each wrap.

Add 1 egg and some of the sardines to each wrap.

Seal the top of each wrap tightly.

Carefully place the packages standing upright in a deep pot with a tight lid, then add enough water to reach halfway up the packages.

Cover and steam over low heat for 1 hour, checking after 30 minutes to make sure that the water has not dried out.

When a skewer or fork inserted into the middle of the moi moi comes out clean, it’s done.

Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

(Read Losing A Piece of Myself, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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