Saturday, October 8, 2011

Last week Linda made my favorite Cameroonian dish: koki (aka bean cake). It can be made with different things, my two favorite of which are corn and beans (not together, although that might be pretty good, too.) If you make it with squash seeds instead of beans or corn, it is called egussi pudding, which is very popular in certain provinces here, especially when dried fish or meat are added. But koki is the best, à mon avis.

I only got pictures of a few of the steps, but here is how you make koki bean:

- Soak a bunch of little white beans (known, of course, as koki beans), then cook them until soft. (You can also cook in some garlic, onions and hot peppers if you like, but Linda made it pretty plain.)
- In the meantime, soak very large leaves – like banana leaves – in hot water until they are pliable.
- Pound the beans to death, adding enough water to liquefy them.
- Form the leaves into cups and pour a gob of bean liquid into each one. (This isn't as difficult as it sounds. The trick is to make sure that you don't have any holes in the leaves or gaps where one leaf overlaps another.) Add a generous glug of palm oil, then secure the bundle with string.
- Put leftover leaves and stems into the bottom of a pot, and add an inch of so of water (to form a double boiler of sorts). Put the bundles on top and steam them for about two hours.

- When it is done, the final koki is very much like the outside of a tamale, even when it is made when beans rather than corn. After we ate a meal or two of it as the main dish, I made a very acceptable tamale pie by lining a pan with koki, then layering on beans, chili-seasoned meat, hot sauce and cheese.

1 comment:

  1. Nan, I love the photos--I hope you can keep posting them!