Cooking is an art. Each time I think about cultural foods, I cannot help but be astounded by the level of creativity that led to their emergence. Take beans, for instance. Plain bean porridge would have been the only way this legume can be enjoyed but for the creative impetus of the women of all ethnic groups who lived before us. These ancient cooks looked beyond the chore to the art inherent in the craft. It is them that we owe many of the gastronomic delights that we enjoy today.
The Yoruba are one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. They dominate the south-western part of Nigeria. Yorubas, as expected, have a distinct food culture. They like pepper like kilode. Most of their delicacies are gotten from their environment. Their foods consist mainly of starchy tubers and grains which are supplemented by vegetables, fruits and meat.
Up for discussion on our history segment today is a Nigerian delicacy known as Ofuloju. The exact place of origin of this food is not clear. While some people believe Kwara State is the home of this delicacy, others argue that it is Ondo State. Since there are no records to back either claims, we’ll simply say that Ofuloju is a Yoruba meal that is popular amongst the people of Kwara and Ondo.
Ofuloju is also known as ekuru or white moi moi. This highly proteinous meal is made from peeled beans. However, unlike moi moi, this food has little or no additional ingredients. It has a sour taste and is easy to prepare. Once you’ve peeled and blended the beans, this meal is almost ready. The batter for ofuloju is usually mixed with mortar and pestle as if one is making akara. This allows air to be incorporated into the batter, thereby making it light and fluffy. Afterwards, the batter is scooped and wrapped in uma leaves or packaged in foil, nylon or aluminium plates, and then steamed. Ofuloju is usually eaten with eko (agidi) or ata dindin, a spicy palm oil sauce prepared with dry fish, pepper, kpomo, onions, plenty locust beans, salt and stock cubes. Ofuloju is another interesting way of eating beans. Why not try it sometime?
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Featured image source: Gourmet Guide