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How to Make Delicious Nigerian Beans Cakes (Moi Moi)

Eunice loves to cook food from her native Nigerian cuisine and share her recipes with others.

Nigerian bean cakes (moi moi).

Nigerian bean cakes (moi moi).

A Delicious Nigerian Dish

Beans are highly valued not only for their high protein content but also for their versatility. They can be used in so many different dishes. There are many different species of beans, but the one we will use in this particular dish is the black-eyed pea.

Beans cakes, popularly called moi moi in Nigeria, is a delicious dish that is easy to prepare, inexpensive and highly nutritious. It is a dish that cuts across the different local ethnic groups and is also enjoyed by foreigners. It can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour

1 hour

2 hours

2 servings


  • 3 cups black-eyed peas (beans), peeled
  • 3 large bell peppers
  • 5 chili peppers (shombo)
  • 1 cup prawns
  • 1/2 cup dry crayfish
  • 1 large onion
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 cubes soy seasoning
  • 1/4 kilogram meat
  • 1/2 cup palm oil
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  1. Soak the black-eyed peas overnight in a large bowl topped with water. This makes the beans swell and makes the skins easier to remove.
  2. Wash the black-eyed peas by rubbing them against your palm vigorously. You'll notice that the skins separate from the beans. Pour enough water to cover the beans in the bowl and allow the skins to rise to the top of the water. Pour it out. Repeat the entire process until the skin are all gone.
  3. Wash the onions, fresh chili, bell peppers, scotch bonnets and crayfish. Blend everything together with the beans.
  4. Pour the mixture into a bowl.
  5. Steam the meat or fish with blended onions, scotch bonnet, soy seasoning (I use More brand) and some salt to taste.
  6. Pour in the hot meat stock into the beans mixture and stir. Add some vegetable oil, then pour in the 1/2 cup of red oil. Stir and taste. Add another cup of seasoning and more salt to taste. Add the optional dried prawns and stir. Add a cup of hot water if the mixture is too thick.
  7. Pour the mixture into six tins and set them in a big pot filled with some water. Make sure the water doesn't cover the tins.
  8. While cooking for about 1 hour, periodically check the water level to make sure it doesn't evaporate.
  9. Serve hot.
Moi moi in the tins.

Moi moi in the tins.

Serve With Pap

Moi moi is often served with pap, which is like a corn pudding, or fresh bread for breakfast and dinner.

How to Make Pap

  1. Soak dry corn for 2 days.
  2. Grind into a smooth paste.
  3. Mix with water and sieve with a porous cloth. You can use organza because of its porousness.
  4. Pour the juice into a cotton bag and let it drain for about 24 hours. You'll be left with corn starch, which you can store in the fridge.
  5. To make the pap, crumble the corn starch into a bowl and add some water to make it a paste. Pour in boiling water until it cooks.
Beans cakes (moi moi) paired with pap for breakfast.

Beans cakes (moi moi) paired with pap for breakfast.

Coconut Milk Variation

An excellent variation of moi moi is one in which we add coconut milk. In this recipe, we omit the palm oil instead add 1/2 cup of vegetable.


  1. Prepare your coconut milk by blending coconut with water in a blender and then straining out the milk with a porous cloth. (Alternatively, you can buy ready-made coconut milk from the supermarket.)
  2. After blending the black-eye peas with the ingredients as stated in step 3 of the instructions above, add in the coconut milk before adding any extra water to prevent it from becoming too watery.
  3. Add the salt and seasonings as the rest of the instructions above states. Omit the palm oil.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and stir.
  5. Pour the batter into the tins you want to use to cook the moi moi.
  6. Add your protein of choice into the tins, such as your pre-cooked meat, fish, or eggs.
  7. Cook and serve as suggested above.

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