Friday, August 21, 2009

Tubaane (steamed bean pudding), continued

I spent the morning re-making tubaane. It was better, but I'm still struggling with the batter: the moin moin recipe on the package says to use 1/2 cup of the powder to 1 1/2 cups of warm water, and let it sit for an hour. I tried that and it was a watery mess that could never be spooned onto a leaf, so I added more bean flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until I eventually ended up using 1 1/4 cups of flour to 1 1/2 cups of water. That seems like a lot, but anything less and the batter was too thin.

Next I used an electric mixer to beat it for 5 minutes (rather than by hand as we did in Tamale), added 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (to replace the
kanwa we used in Ghana), and beat it for another 5 minutes, then spooned it into plantain leaves (and tried a few with parchment paper, but those crumpled up badly, whereas the plantain leaves made a smoother package).

Please note that the pictures of the tubaane above were taken in Ghana, whereas the leaves and batter I used in Pennsylvania today are in the other pictures. To form the packets, make a slight "cup" in your palm and, holding the leaf with the underside up, spoon a spoonful into it, then fold one side over, then the other, then the two ends, one at a time, as in the photos. Put a steamer insert into a large pot with a little water in it and add the packets, then steam them for about an hour. I probably could have taken them out sooner, since they were a little harder than I'd have liked. After unwrapping them, cut them in half on the diagonal (as I was taught in Ghana) and put them into a bowl.

In Ghana they were served
with some sliced onion sauteed in a little vegetable oil and added to the bowl (but I was told NOT to use palm oil), along with some salt and dried red pepper mixed together and sprinkled over it. It made a nice snack (or "small chop" as they say in Ghana).

The plantain leaves enhanced the delicate flavor of the beans, and the red pepper gave it a nice kick (if you're not fond of spicy food, mix in some paprika to cut the heat).

At the same time that I was working on the
tubaane, I was making some kenkey with some more corn dough I mixed up a few days ago. The next recipe will be Ga-style kenkey.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Step-by-step moin-moin (or moyin-moyin), a savory steamed bean (cow-pea) pudding from Nigeria.

Coming Soon: Black-eyed peas are frequently prepared as savory steamed puddings throughout Western and Central Africa. Last October I introduced and interviewed "Auntie Bola" Sodeinde in a podcast (see blog posting for October 21, 2006). She returned to Pennsylvania in March and kindly offered to demonstrate the preparation of moin-moin, similar to Ghana's tubane. We spent a couple of delightful hours cooking together at her son and daughter-in-law's home. I recorded the session with my digital camera and will soon be posting her very helpful Nigerian cooking lesson as a video. To whet your appetite, go ahead and gather the ingredients you'll need to make the moin-moin: a pound of dried black-eyed peas, a medium onion, a red sweet bell pepper, peanut oil, salt (OR seasoning salt), white pepper, chicken, or vegetable or other stock OR granulated bouillon and water. If you want to make our fancy version you can include hard-boiled eggs, a little tomato paste, tinned corned beef, and dried crayfish.
You'll also need some aluminum foil in which to steam the pudding (unless, of course, you have banana leaves available), a large pot with a steamer insert, and a food processor (a blender can be used, but it's harder). Check back in a couple of days for the video.

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