Ekuru with peppered sauce

EKURU is a meal native to the Yoruba people in Nigeria. It is usually prepared with peeled beans. It is similar to moin moin as both are made from peeled black-eyed beans. However, unlike moin moin which is mixed with pepper and other ingredients before steaming, ekuru is wrapped up in leaves or tin cans and steamed.

Ekuru is another way to enjoy beans. With a little alteration, it is suitable for vegetarians.

Ekuru is to regular moin moin what Agidi is to Agidi Jollof or what Boiled White Rice is to Jollof Rice.

It is prepared the same way as regular moin moin but without adding any ingredients unlike moin moin. It is whitish in colour and the taste is in the stew. It can be eaten with solid pap (eko).

 

Ingredients   

For the ekuru

Black eyed or brown beans

Lukewarm water

Vegetable oil (optional)

 

For the stew

Tomato Stew

Smoked mackerels

Onion

Stock cube

Salt and Habanero pepper (to taste)

Nutmeg

 

Note about the ingredients

The job of the vegetable oil is to help the ekuru come out of the container easily when done.

 

White moin moin containers

Aluminum foil or

Plastic bowls or

Uma leaves (thaumatococcus daniellii)

 

 

Preparing ekuru

Before cooking the ekuru, soak and peel the beans. When done, put the peeled beans in a bowl and pour enough water to cover it. Leave to soak for about 20-30 minutes. This is so that the best consistency will be achieved when you blend the beans.

 

How to cook ekuru

Blend the beans and bowl. Please note that the total quantity of water to be used (for blending and mixing) should be very little so it doesn’t get watery.

Set some water in a pot to boil. The water should be about 1cm deep. When the water boils, add some padding that will be a base for the ekuru wraps. Scoop the ekuru mix into your container of choice and gently place in the pot of boiling water. When done, cover the wraps with some leaves or a plastic bag to keep the heat in. Cover the pot and start cooking on medium heat.

Check it from time to time and add small quantities of water at a time when necessary.

The length of time you will cook your ekuru depends on the quantity and the ekuru container you used.

The ekuru that gets done quickest is the one wrapped in ewe eran/Uma or banana leaves, followed by the one wrapped in aluminum foils then the one that takes the most time is one cooked in aluminium or plastic plates. But, whatever ekuru container you use, it is advisable to cook your it for at least 1 hour, before checking it. To confirm that it is done, it will become solid like moin moin and you can putting knife through it to know the level of solidity, then it is not done, but if the knife just has a slight smear of ekuru, then it’s done. Also, when you cut through it, the insides will be set and not watery.

 

Preparing the stew

You can eat ekuru with any tomato stew; make sure the stew is seasoned with at least one traditional ingredient: smoked fish, iru, and crayfish. It is so delicious and it goes really well with the beans. Put the chunks of fish in a clean pot. Add the onions, some water, stock cube, pepper and nutmeg. Stir and start cooking. Once it boils, add the tomato stew. Cover and leave to simmer and it’s done.

Serve with the stew or skip the stew and serve the White ekuru with a chilled soft drink.

 

Health benefits

Ekuru have all the proteins and energy sustaining power more than many other diets. It is light, refreshing and can be a healthy diet so if you are looking for healthy diet and healthy eating advice, look no further.

Ekuru is great for weight loss. It is made up of beans and other assorted spices like eggs, or fish which are all great weight loss foods. It is highly proteinous and can easily fill up your stomach.

Eat beans, if you don’t like beans, eat moi moi. Change these key things in your diet and be faithful to it. The trick is you are depriving your body of carbohydrates and sugar, so it feeds on the fat already in your body, that way you will lose weight even without rigorous exercise. Protein makes up 45 calories, which is good for weight loss. Ekuru is all about fibre. Although the hull is the outermost part of the cowpea, it contains disease fighting antioxidants, essential B-vitamins and more importantly, dietary fibre—a nutrient sometimes called “Nature’s Broom” because it removes waste and cleans the colon. Fibre improves stool quality, promotes regularity and decreases constipation. In addition, adequate intakes of fibre promote satiety and have been demonstrated to help prevent obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and various forms of cancer.

The World Health Organization recommends that adults consume approximately 27-40g of fibre every day. Unfortunately, with the rapid influx of affordable highly processed, quick and easy foods, many Nigerians do not even get half of this recommended amount.

The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that 1 cup of raw cowpeas provides 18g of fibre; that is almost half the daily requirement. Unfortunately, the average Nigerian will not reap this benefit from ekuru because most of the fibre in the pea is discarded.

 

Nutritional benefits

Carbs                                 27 g

Dietary Fiber                 4 g

Sugar                                  3 g

Fat                                       9 g

Saturated                       4 g

Polyunsaturated        1 g

Monounsaturated     4 g

Protein                          12 g

Sodium                        276 mg

Cholesterol               10 mg

Vitamin A                     2 %

Vitamin C                     7 %

Calcium                        5 %

Iron                                21 %

*Percentages are based on a diet of 2000 calories a day.

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