Nigerian Beans Porridge (Ewa Oloyin)

October 3, 2017 (Last Updated: February 27, 2020)

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

Nigerian Beans Porridge (Ewa Oloyin) - 3 dishes of the delicious beans porridge and a pot

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

This beans porridge holds a dear place in my heart because once upon a time, I used to hate beans. In my home growing up, we ate beans Tuesday afternoon with our choice of garri (cassava flakes), bread or ogi (a local fermented corn starch porridge, similar in texture to custard). As I got a little older, I fell in love with our Tuesday afternoon beans especially when my mom will make it spicy. It was always perfect on its own, but because my mom turned our back-house to a bread bakery, the aroma of fresh baked bread would beckon me and I could not resist supping up the delicious beans with the warm bread that had only been out of the oven a couple of minutes. Nigerian beans porridge is comfort food to me.

There are three main varieties of beans that my mom uses to make this dish: – honey beans (aka 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 BeansNigerian Beans Porridge (Ewa Oloyin) - beans soaked in pot of water, boiled, blended tomato added and cooked

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. Think of the difference in flavor like the difference between grocery store bought tomatoes and vine ripened tomatoes grown at the back of your house… Hopefully this flavor difference this gets you to explore an African store near you.

This recipe can be made vegan, but I wanted to share the original recipe as is made in my home to bring you into my comfort. The only non-vegan ingredients are crayfish and shrimp bullion, and they  can be omitted without too much of a flavor difference.

This recipe goes perfectly with my Agege bread by the way if you want to share my childhood experiences with me.

Nigerian Beans Porridge (Ewa Oloyin) - Dishing out bowls of the delicious bean porridge

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Nigerian Beans Porridge (Ewa Oloyin) - 3 dishes of the delicious beans porridge and a pot
Print Recipe
4.96 from 22 votes

Nigerian Beans Porridge

Nigerian beans porridge is the definition of complete comfort and can be paired with garri (cassava flakes), bread or ogi (fermented, corn starch porridge)
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
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.

94 Comments

  • Reply
    dixya @food, pleasure, and health
    October 5, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    i eat a lot of beans and always looking for new ideas…this sounds delicious!!

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      October 6, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      It absolutely is!

      • Reply
        Bulus MUSA
        November 13, 2018 at 2:48 pm

        Great i like bean n i appreciate u fr giving me d knowledge hw to prepare beans.

        • Reply
          Lois
          January 8, 2019 at 9:35 am

          Happy to help anytime Musa!

    • Reply
      Marc
      May 31, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Thank you guys so much. God bless both of you and will replenish your pockets. I used your techniques for the beans.
      I went to the store and bought all the ingredients yesterday. I used the African Oloyin beans. I tried cooking this beans yesterday. Even though I made some little mistakes along the way but it still turned out right and tasted awesome. I had three bowls yesterday. Today morning I already eat two more bowls with sprouted wheat bread. This will be my favorite dish from now on. I really like this a lot. Absolutely No more rice . I am glowing. Very filling and stay in the body for hours . Much better than rice. Please send more healthy dishes.
      Thank you

  • Reply
    Tina
    October 6, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    This sounds like the ultimate comfort food! I really need to get some Nigerian brown beans. Thanks for sharing this – I love learning about new foods that I haven’t tried before.

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      October 8, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      African food is delicious, I encourage you to try!

  • Reply
    Gifted hands
    October 7, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    5 stars
    Yes! Ewa Oloyin, my absolute fave! I’m definitely going to try this in school next weekend.

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      October 8, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      Awesome gifted! Hide it so your dorm friends don’t rush it.

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    October 8, 2017 at 11:46 am

    OMG this sounds so good and I bet my folks would love it too.

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      October 8, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      I hope they do!

  • Reply
    Carrie Ditton
    October 8, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    I have a family member who is becoming vegetarian and whose cooking skills are the greatest. I’ve been helping by coming up with new ideas, recipes and creations but this recipe…..it is perfect! I have added this to my shopping list and will make it for him tomorrow!

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      October 8, 2017 at 7:17 pm

      I am sure he will love this recipe. It is always a hit with vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

  • Reply
    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    October 8, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    The beans look delicious! And I know exactly what you mean about not appreciating the good food when you’re young. I now crave some of the dishes my mamma made. When I was young I used to complain about it. It’s a good thing we outgrow it, isn’t it? The beans look like you’ve added lots of delicious seasonings.

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      October 8, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks you Marisa! I have so many dishes I wish I could go back and truely enjoy honestly because I was too picky.

  • Reply
    prasanna hede
    October 8, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    I loved my mom’s recipe of black eyed peas curry since childhood and now this one is equally tempting me 🙂 Looks yummy!

  • Reply
    Patti
    October 8, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    4 scotch bonnet pepper? That’s a lot of heat! My husband would love this because he loves spicy food. I had never heard of honey beans before. I don’t know of any African markets in my area. I guess I will have to substitute black eyed peas. Black eyed peas are a New Years Day tradition in our household. Your recipe may become our new tradition.

    • Reply
      Lois
      October 11, 2017 at 9:50 am

      4 scotch bonnet peppers is right, you can always use less of course, but I find that after the peppers are cooked with the beans the spiciness reduces significantly. To be on the safe side start with one or maybe even half of one at first. We like our food spicy so 4 is just right.

  • Reply
    Julie
    October 8, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Love your newly defined definition of comfort food! I feel the same way – one of my favorite “comfort foods” is a very healthy Mediterranean fish stew. It makes me feel all warm and toasty inside, without any guilt or that heavy, I ate too much feeling.

  • Reply
    Abby @ WinsteadWandering
    October 8, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    This looks so hearty, like the perfect frugal and delicious meal.

  • Reply
    Christine
    October 8, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Oh my goodness, I’m definitely making this recipe! It sounds sooooo delicious. Perfect for these cooler temps and fall season!

  • Reply
    Lynette
    October 9, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    This looks like the perfect recipe for a cold fall day. Yum!

    • Reply
      Lois
      October 11, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Yes it is!

  • Reply
    Joyce Alouchka Atanga
    October 10, 2017 at 9:11 am

    What? That’s it? No, no, no, it’s too easy! LOL. I have to try this recipe. I think I’ve had it once at your house, and I remember to this day!

    • Reply
      Lois
      October 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Yep! it is this easy! The real secret is using the honey beans though. It takes it up to the next level.

  • Reply
    Claire @ The Simple, Sweet Life
    October 15, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    It’s hard to get more comforting than a thick stew or porridge on a cool fall evening! Can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

  • Reply
    Faizan Fahim
    November 11, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Damn, my mouth is watering by looking at all these pictures..

    • Reply
      Lois
      November 11, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      I was hoping to do that!

  • Reply
    Analida @ ethnicspoon.com
    November 30, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Growing up in Panamå we always ate black beans and rice seasoned with recaito and sofrito in typical Latin American style. I love the flavors in these and I can’t wait to try them!

  • Reply
    Dominique | Perchance to Cook
    November 30, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Yum!! This really does look like comfort food in a bowl! I have been trying to add more beans into my diet and this recipe came at the perfect time. I can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov
    December 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    This is the perfect weather for such comfort foods. I love making beans often but have never added shrimp powder or bullion to it. I love trying new dishes so gonna try this one soon.

  • Reply
    Helene
    December 2, 2017 at 9:16 am

    5 stars
    Lois your beans porridge looks amazing! How did you know that I love these kind of dishes? 😀
    Luckily we get a huge choice of dried prawns here and I go crazy for these in my food. Makes a dish so addictive! Saving the recipe to make it one day.

  • Reply
    Christine
    December 3, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    These look amazing! You’re right, they’re so perfect for a chilly fall evening. My husband would really love these, too!

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