KOKI (Blackeyed Peas)


  • I start by soaking beans in water for about 5- 10 minutes. Then I put it in a blender and pulse for a few seconds. Don’t worry the blender doesn’t grind it. It just takes the skin off. When I have peeled all of the beans, I put it in a large bowl and pour water into the bowl, above the level of the beans. The skins float and I drain them using a colander. I repeat the process until the beans are free of the outer skin.

  • I crush the beans into a slightly grainy paste using my fantastic blender.

  • I use a whisk to whisk my bean paste so it traps in air and is spongy

  • I add in all other ingredients and mix. And by all other ingredients, I mean, palm oil, salt and water.

  • Now is the time for wrapping! Ideally, warmed plantain or banana leaves are used. I use banana leaves and foil paper. But if you can’t find banana leaves, just use foil paper, preferably the non-stick one.

  • To get eight cups of soaked beans for this recipe, soak four cups of dried beans.

  • For a smaller quantity of koki beans, halve the recipe if you so wish.


8 cups black eyed peas (koki beans) – peeled, soaked and rinsed

1 1/2 cups palm oïl

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons salt

6 cups water

5 peppers (or other hot pepper to taste)

For Wrapping

1 bag frozen banana leaves or 1 roll aluminium foil (preferably non-stick) foil


  1. Put the soaked beans into a blender and blend together with 4 cups of water and all the pepper into a coarse paste. You need to blend your beans in batches. I blended mine twice so two cups of water went into each batch

  2. Pour the ground beans into a large bowl.

  3. Lightly warm the palm oil. Do not bleach it. Set aside.

  4. Add salt into bean paste and mix, using an egg whisk so you can trap in air. This makes for a spongy texture.

  5. Add oil into the bean paste while whisking continuously. Mix until the oil is well incorporated. At this point, taste to ensure that it is well salted. It should taste slightly more salty than it should be. When it cooks, the taste will balance up.

  6. Prepare your banana leaves for wrapping by warming them over a flame or immersing them in hot water. Wash them thoroughly and cut into rectangles. If using just aluminum foil, no need to do this.

  7. Wrap the koki by placing foil paper cut into a rectangle in a small deep bowl. The part right above the bowl should be lightly pressed to fill the bowl. Add on banana leaf cut into a rectangle or another foil paper. Pour in one cup of the bean mixture. Then wrap by bringing together all the edges of the inner foil paper or banana leaf then equally bringing together the edges of the outer foil paper to form a bundle.

  8. Place the bundle into a pot lined with foil paper or banana leaves. Pour in two cups of hot water, cover all the wraps with more foil paper then bring to a boil. After about 15 minutes, add in about 1-2 cups of water. Let it cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Be sure to check from time to time so it doesn’t burn.

  9. Unravel a bundle and serve warm with boiled ripe plantains or any starchy side of choice.




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