Cameroon – Koki Beans
by Nghonazie Annabel
Koki beans is a delicious meal which is gotten from a special specie of beans called black-eyed-peas. This beans is cultivated mostly in some villages in the north west region like in Ndu and Ntui and in the south west region in meme division particularly in Mbonge , ekombe bonji and ekondo titi. Back in the days our forefathers used to stress a lot just to get a pot of koki ready as they had to peel the beans manually, grind it on a grinding stone which was very difficult and time consuming. So literally they could spend the whole day just for the preparation of the ingredients and the whole night to cook it meaning they could eat koki beans only the next day. With civilization and technology, there are machines where we peel and grind koki beans making it easier for us. This way one can prepare koki and eat it on the same day. Koki is very delicious and most people make money out of it as they are specialized just in the sales of koki bean and here in Cameroon you will hear names like “mami koki” referring to women who sell koki for a livelihood.
Koki is prepared by prolong steaming since it doesn’t come in contact with water.
- 5 large cups of Koki beans
- 2 liters of red palm oil
- A bundle of spinach leaves or Ibo coco leaves
- Maggi and salt to taste
- Green fresh Plantain leaves
- Plantain ropes
- Select Koki beans to remove stones and sticks
- Take to a grinding meal and peel
- Soak it in water for some hours so that the black eyed area can easily be removed so as to make the Koki clean and free from black patches
- After this wash the Koki beans very well and make sure all the chaff and the black heads are out
- Take it again to a grinding meal and grind to form a paste
- Warm fresh plantain leaves through a light flame, use a wet kitchen towel to clean the leaves
- Wash Ibo coco leaves and slice neatly and put aside
- Pour the ground Koki beans into a mortar and turn rigorously in one directly putting in a lot of energy and strength
- When it is well mixed, add Maggi and salt carefully and taste to make sure its ok
- Add the red oil and mix well
- Add the spinach or sliced Ibo coco leaves and stir
- Place the plantain leaves in a round bowl , using a deep round kitchen spoon scoop out the mixture and pour into the plantain leaves
- Use plantain ropes to tie
- Line the bottom of a big pot with plantain stalks or a stainless steel plate. This is to make sure that water doesn’t get in contact with the Koki bundles
- Put the pot on the fire and add 2 liters of water
- Place the tied Koki beans bundles in the pot neatly and cover
- Always check the pot to ensure that water doesn’t dry off
- Allow to cook for 5-6 hours
- When it’s ready remove and untie, serve in a plate and eat it hot
- Enjoy your meal
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