For those born and bred in Lagos, Ewa Agonyi is more a household name than anything else. Even expatriates who stay long enough in the city will definitely get acquainted. This popular street food that so many social media Lagosians claim is actually not of Nigerian origin. Though the name is in the Yoruba dialect, Ewa Agoyin simply means Beans of the Agoyin people. Agoyin being the name of the immigrants from the countries to the west of Nigeria.
At a time before the popularity of processed foods and packaged cereals, beans has always been the go-to food for most parents. Not just parents but the average Lagosian who is faced with more carbs from rice, bread and yam, balances with beans. But for the average working mom, or shop owner, business person and all, cooking beans in the wee hours of the morning is not very feasible. These factors probably contributed greatly to the popularity of Ewa Agoyin. We can not fail to consider the availability, low cost and unique taste.
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Health Benefits of Ewa Agonyin
As stated before, beans remain the cheapest and most common source of protein to the average Nigerian. Some of the health benefits of beans include
- Low Glycemic Index which makes it great for diabetes.
- High dietary fibre content.
- Both a protein and a vegetable.
- Reduces absorption of LDL cholesterol by moving it out faster.
- Beans improve digestive health, prevent constipation, colon cancer and other digestive problems.
- High in potassium which helps reduce blood pressure.
Now let’s look at the recipe for preparing Lagosians’ favorite ewa agoyin.
For the beans you just need some beans and salt.
Ingredients for the sauce
- Palm oil
- Dry cayenne pepper
- Smoked chili peppers
- Dry Cameroon pepper
- Red onions
- Salt to taste
- Wash beans and boil with just enough water to get to the top.
- Make sure beans is as soft as possible and mushy.
- Do not let the water be too much at any time, this could affect the consistency.
- Mash beans to a creamy paste as soon as its mushy enough.
- Soak your dried peppers
- Blend the peppers into a rough textured paste. But despite having a rough texture make sure the seeds are ground too.
- Chop your onion[s]
- Bleach palm oil, a large quantity relative to your pepper.
- When the oil has a dark brown color turn off the heat and pour in chopped onions.
- Fry onions till they are dry and almost dark colored.
- Stir in the pepper in bits and fry very dry and having the dark brown almost black consistency of ewa agoyin.
- Salt to taste.
Hope this gives you the taste and feel of the famous beans. This recipe can help revive the interest in beans and balance your family’s nutrition.