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
    Carrie Ditton
    December 3, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    My vegetarian family member loved this! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Lois
      December 3, 2017 at 10:32 pm

      Awesome! Glad they loved it.

  • Reply
    Donna
    December 3, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    This definitely sounds like a big bowl of comfort, I love trying new foods and can’t wait to try this one out! My favorite comfort food has always been a big bowl of mashed potatoes 🙂

    • Reply
      Lois
      December 3, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      Mashed potatoes will actually go really well with the beans

  • Reply
    Amanda
    December 4, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    This looks delish…and authentic! I love to make new things so I’ll be adding this one to my list! Looks like the perfect side dish!

  • Reply
    Sara
    December 5, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    5 stars
    This looks like pure comfort for a cold day!

  • Reply
    pushpendra singh
    December 26, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Great…!! nice artical very usefull your post Thank you so much for sharing this and the information provide

  • Reply
    Zed Elf
    March 29, 2018 at 11:56 am

    I easily added 2 cubes of sugar to 2 cups of beans after the first 30mins of boiling it, because i did not have the honey beans and it was yummy.

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      March 29, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      Clever idea Zed! I have to try that myself if I do not have honey beans!

  • Reply
    Praise Akin-paul
    May 21, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Had beans on my bachelor mind all day, and it’s been a while I made it. Came in here to get a refresher course. Your method is different, but I can’t wait to try it out this evening. Thanks

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      May 22, 2018 at 3:27 pm

      Hey Praise! I am sure you will like it when you do!

  • Reply
    Marc
    May 31, 2018 at 10:06 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
      Lois. O
      June 1, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      That is so awesome to hear Marc! I am really happy you liked it.

  • Reply
    Chinedu
    July 2, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Can’t wait to try out this very recipe Sir. please, what kinda cup do you used in measuring your beans?

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      July 6, 2018 at 8:43 am

      Hey Chinedu! I use a standard baking dry cup measurement. If you go to a baking supply store, ask for a measuring cups and they should have them for you.

      • Reply
        okeke chinedu
        July 8, 2018 at 9:00 pm

        Thanks for your response Ma….Tatashe/shombo, which of them is bell pepper please?

        • Reply
          Lois
          July 9, 2018 at 5:23 pm

          Hello Chinedu, I believe bell pepper is tatashe.

  • Reply
    Philobells
    July 18, 2018 at 6:23 am

    Thanks for this i used it but instead of just using grinded tomatoes, i turned the tomato into a red oil stew sauce mixed with fish(dry and fresh) first before putting it in the beans alongside a little bit of the normal oil. Just pitching in but the recipe is awesome. Thanks for this writeup.

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      August 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      That is an interesting tip. Thanks for sharing Philobells!

  • Reply
    Kolawole Jane
    July 31, 2018 at 6:34 am

    5 stars
    Wow!!! This is amazing, I used to hate beans too when I was young, but now I love it with passion, the idea of eating beans with bread, corn and other foods led me to produce a complete mix flour for pancakes, chips, chops and other healthy snacks all made from a perfect blend of beans flour, other Nigerian healthy foods and spices. Just add water then fry or bake. This makes eating beans interesting and stress less for me. 👍😘😁

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      August 6, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      That sounds really interesting Kolawole!

  • Reply
    Eunice
    August 14, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    5 stars
    Lovely! Beans looking lovely

  • Reply
    Sunshine
    August 14, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    5 stars
    I really can’t wait to try this recipe out. Looks so delicious. Great job!!!

  • Reply
    Siji
    September 7, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    4 stars
    Help beans too watery

    • Reply
      Lois
      September 9, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Hello Siji! It usually depends on the type pf beans you are using, some beans get water logged quicker than other and others need more water to get soft. I would suggest that if you notice your beans are soft and there is still a lot of water in the pot, that you drain you beans before proceeding with the other steps. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Nolwazi
    October 23, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this!
    My boyfriends nigerian so I’m always searching for different recipes to try out.When is the cook book coming?❤

    • Reply
      Lois
      October 23, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      I am sure your boyfriend would love this…. The cookbook is still in my head o! It will be born soon though, at the right time 😉

  • Reply
    Simdi
    November 13, 2018 at 2:33 am

    Your recipe is bomb. I used all the ingredients except the bullion because I don’t know what that is and the palm oil cos I’m trying to loose weight.
    But in all… thanks a lot!

    • Reply
      Lois
      November 13, 2018 at 9:12 am

      I am happy to hear that Simbi! You are the boss of you sauce I always say, so feel free to customize the recipe to fit your needs and what you have.

  • Reply
    Bello kehinde hassan
    January 10, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    May Allah Thank you for me, for He can do better than anyone..i just finised making it and it iwas yummy..it is the first ever food i’d cook that wow my mates…wish id give some portion…may Allah continue to bless the bounties he give you,
    ease your affairs and guide you aright,jazakilahu khairan.

    • Reply
      Lois
      January 24, 2019 at 10:57 pm

      I am so happy it worked out for you Bello. Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Prechi
    January 11, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Must say I made this and it was delicious! I used 2 scotch bonnets though and that was just the right amount of spicy. God bless you for this recipe. It sorted out my cravings. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Lois
      January 24, 2019 at 10:58 pm

      Amen and Thank you Prechi! I am happy to hear that it worked out for you.

  • Reply
    Biodun Naomi BAMGBOYE
    August 21, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    This beans dish is comfort food indeed. My absolute favourite

  • Reply
    Zaineey
    September 17, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Hmmmm. Beans is one my favourite foods and I love it more when cooked with sweet potatoes. Seeing this now, makes me feel like cooking this today and I’ll definitely do that. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Reply
      Lois
      December 1, 2019 at 7:53 pm

      You are very welcome Zaineey!

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