Growing up, this has been one of the signature soups at home. I always thought it was indigenous to only our tribe – Nupe, but going to boarding school showed me that even the Yorubas have this too in their culture. In our language, it is known as Eni Zowa, ‘eni’ means soup and ‘zowa’ means beans. While, in Yoruba, it is known as Gbegiri.
Different cultures have different methods of preparing it. This is how we prepare ours at home:
1/2 cup of beans
1/2 teaspoon of powdered potash (kanwa)
Locust beans (daddawa, iru, dawadawa)
Dry fish (optional)
Pulse the beans in an electric blender; this makes it easier for the back of the beans to come off
Wash the beans until it is completely clean.
Put it in a pot, pour water to cover the beans, add potash (optional) and allow to boil for 45 minutes or more or until it is completely soft and mushy (add water if necessary)
Add chopped onions and locust beans, cook for a few minutes
Add the blended pepper, grounded crayfish, salt and maggi
Add the dry fish, if using (ensure it is cleaned and soaked in hot water before using)
Add the red oil and use a cooking broom to whisk the soup
Allow to boil on low heat for 5-7 minutes.
You can serve with beef/chicken/catfish stew and tuwon shinkafa or any swallow of your choice (we always use tuwon shinkafa and pepper-based catfish stew).