Beans & Gari

Funke Koleosho's Beans & Gari

When it comes to the most staple of Nigerian dishes, it does not get any better than Beans and Gari. It is easy and straight forward to make, made from the most frugal ingredients accessible to every single Nigerian, and above all its nutritionally balanced...!

Every one that went to boarding school in Nigeria would have experienced eating beans...! It was one of the frequently served dishes served to students, still is actually. In my secondary school days ( I went to FGGC Akure), we were served beans about 3 times a week (if I remember correctly) and it was usually served with some garri, yam or fried plantain.

I used to hate eating beans back then, more so because of the way it was cooked and presented to us. It was usually stewed with added peppers and tomatoes, and it was always very thin and full of weevils...! The way it was served then had a a negative impact of the beans generally. I always wanted to avoid eating them until much later on in life when I rediscovered beans...!

Through my many researches and learning, I have come to discover the nutritional benefits of beans. Due to their high protein and fibre content, they are recommended to be eaten regularly, at least 3-4 times a week. Aside from eating them with rice, bread, yam or plantain, I have also grown to love beans with Gari.

Beans & Garri with some Flaked Hake 

Below I share how I often serve up the dish....with some fish. Yum

What you need
  • Oloyin beans
  • Tomato paste
  • Ground dried chilli pepper
  • 1 medium sized onion 
  • Salt and sugar to taste (use brown sugar preferably. sugar is optional for this recipe)
  • Coconut oil or any vegetable oil of choice (even though this dish is traditionally made with palm oil)
  • Some crisp gari  (cassava granules), 
  • Some pre made flaked hake or grilled fish

What to do
  1. First remove all chaff and other foreign objects from the beans; and wash beans in some clean cold water. Then transfer into a pressure cooker, with 2 tablespoons of tomatoes paste, some ground dried chilli pepper according to your preference. 
  2. Then add some salt, some water, enough to cook the beans, Add  2-3 cups of water to 1 cup of beans. Also chop the onions and also add. Cover the pressure cooker and allow to cook for about 15 minutes or until the beans are just soft. Still firm to the touch but soft inside. 
  3. When this is done, remove the cover of the pressure cooker and turn heat down to a simmer. Add some oil to the beans and stir carefully ensuring that you do not turn the beans into a mush. Add salt and sugar to enhance taste. 
  4. If the beans appear thick in consistency after stirring, add a little hot water to adjust. Stir well and then allow to simmer under very low heat for a few minutes. It is during this stage that all the tastes and flavours develop. 
  5. Serve hot with some garri and flaked fish or grilled fish.

Beans & Grri with Flaked Hake

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