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Origin of Nigerian Foods: Ewa Agoyin

Beans is a staple in most homes in Nigeria. It is rich in protein and soluble fibre which helps to lower blood cholesterol. However, in spite of the health benefits associated with this food, beans is loathed by many because it is associated with flatulence and indigestion. In order to ensure that loved ones benefit from the nutritional benefits inherent in this legume, people have devised different methods of cooking this food. Ewa Agoyin is one of such ways of enjoying beans.

Ewa Agoyin is a very popular street food made of beans and sauce. It’s quite popular in Lagos and other parts of Yoruba land. Most people do not know this but ewa Agoyin is not indigenous to Nigeria; it is an adopted delicacy. The term was coined from ‘ewa’, meaning beans in Yoruba, and ‘Agoyin’, which is an ethnic group in Benin Republic. One can, therefore, safely say that ewa Agoyin is a type of beans prepared by people of Beninese origin.

This beans meal made its first debut into Nigeria in the 1960s. It was introduced by the first generation of Agoyin migrants to Nigeria. It became popular in Lagos in the 1980s. Not long after, Nigerians, especially the Yoruba heartily embraced this delicacy. Today, ewa Agoyin is considered a Nigerian meal.

Ewa Agoyin is beans that is cooked till it is very soft before it is mashed. It is usually served with a dark sauce. This sauce is typically prepared with palm oil, lots of dry pepper, onions and salt. The meal can also be served with soft bread and/or ripe plantain. Ewa Agoyin sauce has a peculiar taste that some people describe as crunchy. This crunchy taste is the result of frying the dried pepper seeds and allowing the onions to burn a little while frying. The major tips for achieving this authentic sauce taste are using the right peppers, enough palm oil (ewa Agoyin requires lots of this), and bleaching your palm oil as appropriate. The peppers used for the sauce are dried bell peppers, Cameroon peppers and dried chilli pepper seeds. You should try this meal sometime.


Pulse Nigeria

Sisi Jemimah

All Nigerian Foods

Featured image source: Nigerian Foods

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Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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