- African Honey Beans2 1/2 CupsLocally called oloyin beans. Actual quantity depends how much beans you are making. Be sure to thoroughly pick the beans and remove any shaft and stones
- Dried Pepper Seeds2 CupsSee 3rd picture for what it looks like.
- Onion2 to 3 Medium PiecesPlus 1 small extra onion to be sliced.
- Palm OilAt least 4 CupsYou need to use a lot of palm oil, like double the amount of pepper seeds and onions after blending. As you cook, the pepper paste will soak up most of the oil, so use enough oil.
- SaltDon't use any seasoning or bouillon cube. Just use salt to taste.
Ewa agoyin is basically a dish of mashed honey beans with a dried chilli pepper sauce. I have another ewa agoyin recipe here. I made that one with whole dried peppers and onions but didn’t make use of the dried pepper seeds. It’s a good recipe but this one is much better and authentic.
If you are up for a little experiment, you can try out both recipes but you’ll love this one more.
Whatever you do, do NOT use tomatoes. You’d get a nice sauce at the end, depending on how you cook it, but it would most definitely not be agoyin sauce.
Agoyin Stew Recipe
Step 1.Blend the onions and dried pepper seeds together until you get a gritty but smooth paste. See 4th picture for what the resulting paste looks like. At this point, it looks like blended beans paste but the difference is that this one is gritty. Thinly slice one separate onion and set aside.
Step 2. Transfer the pepper paste to a pot and steam until all the water dries up. Don’t set and forget, be sure to check on it frequently so the paste won’t burn while steaming. After steaming, the paste will thicken and reduce. See 5th picture for what it looks like.
Step 3. Add palm oil to a pot, heat up until hot and sizzling. Don’t bleach the oil.
***Again, be sure to add enough oil, double the amount of the pepper paste you have after steaming because it will soak up a lot of oil.
Step 4. Once the oil is hot enough, add in the sliced onions and fry on low heat until it turns completely brown and looks burnt.
***Don’t do this on high heat so you won’t smoke up your kitchen and burn your onions to a crisp. The key is to slowly caramelize the onions. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Even though your onions look burnt at this point, if you happen to taste it, it should actually taste sweet/sugary with no hint of any bitter burnt taste.
Step 5. After caramelizing the onions, season your oil with salt, stir then add in the pepper paste. See 6th picture for what it looks like. At this point, your sauce looks more like egusi than agoyin but the aroma will convince you otherwise.
Step 6. Stir and let it cook until the pepper paste changes colour from white to red. This could take at least 30 minutes depending on how much pepper paste you have. If you have a lot of pepper paste, it could take at least 1 hour to 1 hour and half. I cooked on medium to low heat.
***You need to be patient enough to fry the pepper until it changes colour from the white paste to that beautiful red agoyin sauce colour. If you are doing this for the first time, you probably won’t see the “agoyin” yet. You can only smell it. But I promise the pepper will start to darken and change colour after frying for a while and look like real agoyin. See 7th picture for what the pepper looks once it starts changing colour.
***Be sure to frequently check on it in between cook time especially to gauge the quantity of oil left. If you don’t have enough oil left, you can top up with more oil. Not having enough oil will cause the peppers to start sticking to the bottom of the pot and then consequently burn.
Step 7. When you notice your pepper has darkened to a reddish colour and looks even more gritty, cook for a few more minutes. Then, give it one last good stir, switch off the burner and make sure the pot is covered. Let the pot of sauce sit on the burner for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
***Once you notice your pepper has changed colour, the process happens so quickly that if you continue to cook as usual, the pepper will continue to darken until it eventually turns black and burn before you know it. So watch it carefully and immediately you have your desired colour, switch off the burner because the sauce will still continue to cook for some minutes even after switching off the burner.
Done. Your Agoyin Sauce is ready. The sauce can last for very long, for at least a week, even without refrigerating. So in case you make a large batch, know that you can store in the fridge or in a warm place for a long while. It won’t go bad.
Agoyin Beans Recipe
Step 1. Add water to a pot, add your washed beans and cook the beans until it is very soft. Softer than usual.
***Don’t add salt when cooking the beans, only add salt once the beans is soft. Don’t add anything else. No seasoning, no spice, no pepper. Just beans and salt.
Step 2. Once the beans is very soft, drain off any excess water and completely mash the beans. Mash it really really well.
Step 3. Then put the mashed beans back on the burner and on low heat let it steam until the mashed beans looks very dry with not a drop of water left anywhere.
Done. Your ewa/ beans is ready. Serve with the agoyin sauce.