Nigerian beans porridge is the definition of complete comfort and can be paired with garri (cassava flakes), bread or ogi (fermented, corn starch porridge).

For the longest time, I thought of comfort food as familiar and mostly unhealthy food that makes us feel good. I have recently adjusted my idea of what comfort food should be… you just need to feel good eating it. Whether you get comfort from the cold bland crunch of an iceberg lettuce salad, or the juicy and greasy bite of a perfectly deep fried chicken, comfort food can be anything for anyone. For me this Nigerian beans porridge is the definition of complete comfort, especially on a cold fall evening.

Nigerian Beans Porridge (Ewa Oloyin) - A pot of the beans porridge

There are three main varieties of beans that you can cook: – honey beans (a.k.a oloyin beans or ewa oloyin), black eyed peas, and Nigerian brown beans. The best beans to use in this recipe are the honey beans because they have a unique and slightly sweet flavor that really elevate your dish, but either of the other beans would do just fine. The Nigerian brown beans look almost identical to the honey beans, so be sure to ask specifically for honey beans if you decide to pick it up at an African market.

Nigerian Beans Porridge (Ewa Oloyin) - Black Eyed Peas vs Honey Beans
Nigerian Beans Porridge (Ewa Oloyin) - beans soaked in pot of water, boiled, blended tomato added and cooked

CAUTION: If you do not have access to Nigerian brown beans or honey beans, black eyed peas are fine, they just take a little longer to cook and might not be as rich in flavor. 

Prep Time 10mins - Cook Time 1hr - Total Time 1hr10mins - Servings: 8 people - Calories: 141kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Honey beans/ Nigerian brown beans/ Black eyed peas
  • ¼ cup palm oil
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 4 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1 Large red onion
  • 1 Large bell pepper
  • 5 tbsp Ground dried shrimp (aka cray fish) optional
  • 3 tsp Shrimp bullion can be substituted with vegetable bullion if vegan
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Rinse the beans and place in a deep pot with 7 cups of water.
  • Boil the beans on medium heat until it becomes soft, it could take about 40 mins. If you are using black eyed peas, it might take a little longer.
  • While the beans are boiling, blend the tomatoes, peppers, and onions and set aside
  • Once the beans are softened from boiling (do not drain the water), turn the heat down to low, the pour in the blended tomatoes into pot.
  • Allow the beans to cook for an additional 10 minutes with the tomatoes, then add in the crayfish, bullion and palm oil. Stir, and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Season the beans with salt to your taste. Turn off the heat, and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving

Notes: The beans tend to thicken once they cool. If you prefer your beans lighter, add a little more water an reheat.