Ewa agonyin… The meal that tells own story
EWA Agonyin is a street food commonly eaten in Lagos and other southern states of Nigeria. Beans are made to be extremely soft or mashed. It is with barely ground pepper and sauce with the stew dark and oily. The oil is crunchy to taste.
Dried Rodo pepper
Dried Shombo pepper
How it is made…
PICK the beans and boil in water till beans absorb all the water. If you cook white beans in enough water, it will retain its pale colour. Leave it to boil until it begins to form thick creamy sludge. The heat will break bits of the beans down to a creamy solid form. The sludge will not form if there is much water in the pot. If after a while; you haven’t achieved this, it means there is much water in the pot; remove some of the water and let the beans continue boiling. Add a little bit of salt.
Use a wooden spoon and mash the beans against the side of the pot. Do this until you have a paste.
The Agonyin fried sauce Soak the dried pepper in water to soften which makes it easier to blend.
The seeds must also blend otherwise, the Agonyin sauce will be full of pepper seeds and won’t taste nice. Add more of the water you soaked it in, just a bit to dilute the thickness (do not boil the pepper).
Bleach the palm oil in a deep pan. Let the oil bleach under high heat until it turns brown (not black).
Dice the onions while the oil is bleaching. Once you have achieve dark brown, turn off the heat and throw in the onions .if you don’t turn off the heat, the onions will burn very fast.
Let it fry till the onions start to burn partially add the dry pepper. This will cause the oil to form bubbles. Turn the heat back up to low and sprinkle in salt (no seasoning cubes).
If you use high heat, it will burn without you knowing it and ruin the sauce. As soon as you start to fry, the aroma will become pervasive. Add the rodo pepper, then stir.
Still under low heat, add the blended pepper in bits every minute. By doing this, you are boiling and frying in cyclic process.
When all the pepper has been poured into the pan, keep stirring and simply let the sauce fry. As it fries, you will see the colour becoming darker and the sauce getting grittier. You will also notice the change in aroma. White the heat low, just continue frying till the oil floats to the top with bubbles.
Beans is a pretty common staple food in Nigeria. We eat it as pottage mixed with palm oil; white rice and beans with stew, akara, moi-moi, and the famous Yoruba dish, “ewa Agonyin” to name a few.However, apart from being a yummy and versatile recipe, beans also have some great health benefits. They constitute cheapest source of protein. It is highly nutritious containing good level of carbohydrate, protein, dietary fibre, and minerals such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese and copper. They contain about two to three per cent fat, and no cholesterol. In fact, beans actually lower cholesterol levels. So you can load up on beans as part of a healthy diet. They have health benefits for your heart because beans contain a lot of soluble fibre which reduce cholesterol and help to keep your heart in a good shape. A meal of beans will help you have frequent bowel movements and help to prevent constipation. The meal reduces the risk of cancer as beans are filled with antioxidants.