While giving me this recipe for her favourite dish, Fidelia also gives me a quick glossary of different types of meat in Igbo, one of the 34 languages of Nigeria; Aturo ~ lamb; Anunama ~ beef; Awe ~ goat’s meat. As I am leaving, she runs out and brings me to a friend’s home, to smell the pot of black-eyed beans, her favourite food of all time, bubbling on the cooker. Her friend Esta speaks Eido so they communicate through English.
This recipe uses two staples of African cooking; black-eyed beans and chilli peppers. Nigerian red pepper stew is not for the faint-hearted; it blows your head off! If you don’t want the stew too fiery you can remove the seeds and core of the chilli peppers and add them bit-by-bit.
Vary quantities according to taste
- Red chilli peppers
- Red peppers
- Fried or boiled meat
- Tinned or fresh tomatoes
- Salt & pepper
- Curry powder
- Maggi (African stock cube) any flavour
- Palm oil
- Black-eyed beans
Chop the onion and sauté in a small amount of palm oil. Blend the tinned or fresh tomatoes with the red peppers, the chilli peppers and salt, add to the pan and simmer for up to an hour. Add maggi, curry powder, a small amount of water and the cooked meat and continue to simmer until ready.
The rice and black-eyed beans can be cooked in two ways, depending on preference; half cook the beans, then add the rice and finish cooking together or cook the rice and beans separately.