Moin Moin Alagolo

Moin Moin

Earlier this year, I heard that some Nigerian words had made their way into the Oxford Dictionary, and that got me really excited (and gave me a proud moment) until I later found out that they got the spelling of one of the words wrong....!!!!

Moin Moin is a word of Yoruba (tribe) origin and it is the name of one of Yoruba peoples' most popular dishes. From my understanding, this word was coined from "Moyin Moyin" which is a literal description of this dish... 'the word describes the texture of this dish'.

It was a little sad for me to note that the spelling of the word, which now features in the universal dictionary, is registered as "Moi Moi". Reason being, a permanent error has been made and generations to come would not know any better.....! A little disappointed that the researchers did a poor job in investigating the true origin of this word. In any case, I can understand how and why people have gotten the name wrong. I think only the Yoruba speaking people would really understand my point of view.

Moin Moin is a delicious dish, and is widely consumed by people of different ethnicity and tribe (and even countries; I learnt that Ugandans love it). People who found it difficult to pronounce the Yoruba word Moin Moin, brought about the different variations / pronunciations and spelling of the word. Some of these sudo names include (but not limited): Moi Moi, Mai Mai, Mo Moi, Mei Mei, etc.

How Its Made

The basic ingredients for making Moin Moin are Nigerian brown beans (a variety of cow-peas), peppers, onions and oil. Salt is enough to develop taste, but so many other items can be added to enhance taste and texture. What you add depends on your personal preference(s).

All ingredients are blended/mixed together, wrapped in leaves and then steamed. This is the traditional method. There are various methods that have been used to make Moin Moin and there is an ongoing debate as to whether these other methods would produce the true taste, flavor and satisfaction the traditional method gives.

Moin Moin Alagolo

Moin Moin Alagolo reminds me of my University days. Back then, we had food hawkers coming around to the hostels to sell food to students and I remember the Moin Moin seller in particular because she sold Moin Moin made using empty evaporated milk tins/cans. Then it was really special, and we all looked forward to getting some. Each tin of moin moin contained a different surprise such as pieces of fish, eggs, prawns, liver etc. It was very exciting then to discover what was in yours.

I have on occasions cooked my Moin Moin in empty plum tomato cans (always careful to use the lacquered ones). I find it to be a simple and straight forward process, that often yields an equally good result (compared to Moin Moin Elewe (made with leaves)). For me, one main advantage to using empty tins/cans is that the Moin Moin takes the shape of the can, which comes in handy for presentating and serving the dish.

Moin Moin Alagolo with Salmon and Boiled Egg

Click here for all my Moin -Moin Recipes


  1. I love your photography. I was looking forward to attempting your recipes but there doesn't seem to be any link to them. I'll be back in the hope that it works as I really love the idea of the fusion of Nigerian ingredients with European accents.

  2. Woow!! I really enjoyed this one.

  3. Woow!! I really enjoyed this one.

  4. Woow!! I really enjoyed this one.

  5. Woow!! I really enjoyed this one.


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