Authentic Nigerian Moin Moin/A la la (Steamed bean cake)

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Note to self: The other day Zainab, Moudi and I went on a mission to find an African Market so we could get ingredients for Moin Moin. (Also known as A la la) According to google maps there was only one in the area and when we got there it said it was a hair salon/African market. At first I was totally disappointed, I assumed that the market portion was for hair products and was going to turn back. But Zainab went in and they took us to a back room where there was a hidden closet size room that had a variety of African groceries. It was SO cool, things I’ve never even heard of…spices I’ve never seen! Anyways we got what we came for (peeled black eyed peas), apparently it’s so much easier to use these than whole black eyed peas. If you can’t find an African market near you just grab a bag of whole black eyed peas, rinse and soak them and then peel them until the outer coating is removed. It’s a lengthy process, hence why this shortcut is a neat trick to make it easier.

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Peeled black eyed peas

So moin moin is basically a steamed bean cake that’s filled with ground beef and hard boiled eggs. We didn’t make them with eggs because our eggs turned out super weird…we boiled and peeled them but when we went to cut it open brown stuff started oozing out. It was super gross and we just tossed them out. That sight just solidified my refusal to ever eat eggs. Anyways, apart from that mishap this was super easy and really yummy! Like nothing I’ve tasted before! Definite holy grail status.

Oh! side note: definitely be careful about how much water you put into the pureed mixture…we ended up putting a little too much (about a cup) so I reduced it in the recipe. the consistency should be a little thicker than what’s in the video.


  • 1 cup of peeled and rinsed black eyed peas
  • 1 cup of ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 cup of diced onions (divided)
  • ¾ cup water (divided)
  • 2 packets of onga stew and soup seasoning (divided)
  • ½ tbsp accent flavor enhancer
  • 1 halal chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 tsp of seasoned salt
  • 2-3 tbsp of red palm oil
  • ½ vegetable oil
  • 3 cups water


  1. In a large bowl soak black eyed peas for about 2-3 hours then rinse and strain.
  2. In a medium sauce pan add 1 cup of ground beef, enough water to cover it, and 1 packet of Onga soup and stew seasoning over medium heat and let it cook.
  3. Once the ground beef has cooked, drain the excess water and reserve the beef for later.
  4. In a blender add 1 cup of red bell peppers, 1 scotch bonnet pepper, 1 cup on chopped onions, soaked black eyed peas, ½ cup water and puree until smooth. (If the consistency is too thick add ¼ cup more of water…you don’t want the consistency to be too thin or else it wont steam and firm up properly)
  5. Add 1 packet of Onga stew and soup seasoning, the ground beef, 1 tsp seasoned salt and 1 cup of diced onions, a couple of tablespoons of red palm oil and mix until well combined.
  6. In a small ramekin add about ½ tsp of oil so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  7. Add the mixture until ¾ of the way filled.
  8. In a large pot add 3 cups of water and then place your ramekins and cover the pot.
  9. Cook on high heat for about an hour or until firm.
  10. Take out of the pot, invert on a plate and serve.

Serving size: Makes about 6 small bean cakes

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. justvou says:

    Nice. I need to look for peeled beans and stop being a suffer-head. Also, I think It’s “A le le,” in hausa and not “A la la,” that ‘s if you meant to say it in hausa.

    1. foodjabi says:

      Yeah the peeled beans make it so much easier! and lol, thank you for the correction. 🙂 I’m still learning how to speak Hausa.

  2. Crystal Passmore says:

    Ma’am I am sorry to say but that is not authentic Nigerian MoiMoi aka Akara

    1. foodjabi says:

      Hi! I would love to try out any recipe you recommend! I’m new at trying Nigerian cuisine and wanted to learn more for my husband who is Hausa. This is the recipe my sister in law showed me how to make. I believe akara is the fried version right? This was meant to be A le le (the steamed bean cake). But I would love any recipes you have tried and tested and are super authentic! 🙂

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