Served wrapped in leaves, in small tin cans, nylon wrappers, or as gourmet, moimoi is a meal that can be presented in various aesthetic manners. No matter what option you go for, the content itself is a sweet and nutritious meal that has earned its reputation as one of the Yoruba’s favorite dishes. It is perfectly sufficient as its own meal, but it is best eaten as an aside to meals like jollof rice, eko, custard, ogi, bread and garri.
It is made from beans which have been soaked in water for hours and then peeled till only their creamy whites are visible. These beans are then grounded alongside onions and red bell peppers till they are a watery mash. It is from this watery mash that what would become the utterly delicious moimoi comes. It is advisable that it is more water than mash, as the liquidity allows for more room to experiment with an extensive range of ingredients.
To this, one adds palm oil, which intensifies its orange color; salt and bouillon cubes for taste; crayfish, minced fish, chopped meat and/or eggs. All of these are stirred together thoroughly till none of the ingredients are visible except the liquefied beans. It is at this point that the food is poured in leaves, nylon, cans or aluminum foil pans.
After this, the container is sealed thoroughly (so the liquid does not spill) and placed in boiling water for about an hour. Alernatively, the batter could be baked for just 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 350F. You know it is ready when the moimoi is solid and firm. There are no limits to the way moi moi can be served, as is evident in the pictures featured in this article.
Kanyinsola Olorunnisola is a journalist, social critic and literary enthusiast. He is the recepient of the 2017 Fisayo Soyombo National Essay Prize, the 2020 Speculative Literary Foundation’s Diverse Writers Grant and the 2020 K&L Prize for African Literature. He is the founder of SprinNG, a platform dedicated to the development of young African writers.