Ewa Riro (Nigerian Stewed Beans) Recipe



Table of Contents

Why It Works

  • Soaking the dried beans reduces cooking time and permits the beans to cook dinner evenly.
  • Utilizing extra onions and candy peppers than tomatoes mutes the acidic notes tomatoes can add, particularly when cooked in purple palm oil.
  • Cooking down the onion-pepper-tomato combine smooths out the uncooked vegetal edge and creates extra advanced, sweeter, and deeper flavors.

My food journey fascinates me. My love of ewa riro, Nigerian stewed beans, didn’t begin in my Nigerian residence. No, it began with Heinz candy baked beans, and even that took years for me to love—it wasn’t till I used to be 9 years outdated that I had any curiosity in meals in any respect. (The meal that transformed me to a lifelong meals lover, a candy baked beans lover, after which, sure, a Nigerian ewa riro lover, was a meal at a Wimpy’s in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1985 whereas on vacation with my dad and older sister. Life…is unusual!)

Right now I can not think about not being passionate for stewed beans made Nigerian-style in a candy pepper–and–palm oil sauce. The Yorubas from Nigeria’s southwest name this dish ewa riro, “ewa” which means “beans,” and “riro” which means “blended” or “stirred.”

Critical Eats / Maureen Celestine


Ewa riro is filled with comfortable, creamy beans in a thick barely candy and savory sauce of purple peppers, palm oil, and crayfish. There’s a vary of attainable textures, from skinny and souplike to thick (and even thicker), relying on whether or not you permit the beans complete as soon as cooked, or crush or puree some portion of the beans for a thicker, creamier model. In all circumstances, the beans ought to be comfortable, falling aside simply when pressed between two fingers.

Critical Eats / Maureen Celestine



It was a dish I started to take pleasure in (put up our Edinburgh journey) both with dodo (fried plantains), fried fish, garri (cassava granules, both sprinkled excessive for a crunchy, bitter distinction to the comfortable and creamy beans, or soaked to make a cereal of kinds with water, ice, and sugar cubes). I liked the distinction between saucy beans and chilly, candy garri.

The bottom sauce is a mix of onions, tomatoes, candy peppers, and sizzling peppers, cooked down and, if desired, seasoned with floor crayfish, an important seasoning throughout regional cuisines in Nigeria (learn extra about floor crayfish in my article on important Nigerian pantry elements). Crayfish, really small dried shrimp and prawns, carry candy, fermented funk—like Thai fish sauce—to Nigerian soups, stews, sauces, and extra. Generally, individuals substitute dried fish or smoked fish. You’ll be able to skip the crayfish if you need, or, should you like, you’ll be able to add a teaspoon or two of floor seaweed or nori flakes for the same sea-salty taste. You’ll be able to serve this the way in which I loved it rising up: with dodo, fried fish, and both dried garri sprinkled excessive or soaked garri on the facet. You can too eat it with plain, boiled rice; fried yam, candy potatoes, or potatoes; comfortable, white bread like Agege bread or milk bread; and extra. 

Critical Eats / Maureen Celestine


The one factor I do not ever eat ewa riro with is meat. In our home, cooked beans have been on rotation twice every week: Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m undecided if there’s a motive for consuming beans on Friday, however in lots of Christian Nigerian properties, beans with fish (and no meat) on Fridays is a staple. To this present day, I can’t eat these Nigerian-style beans with meat, be it beef, goat, poultry, or another sort. I’m completely satisfied to eat ewa riro by itself, although, and if there’s fish, I am completely satisfied to have that alongside.



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