Gbegiri (Beans Soup): How to make it and live to tell the tale

Gbegiri (Beans Soup): How to make it and live to tell the tale

Gbegiri has to be one of the most difficult soups I’ve ever made. I totally agree with Dunni from Dooney’s Kitchen when she said that she must really love you to cook it for you. But I think you’d have to die on the cross for me before I can cook you gbegiri. I’m kidding. Mostly.

Today was actually the first time I made gbegiri – to be honest it was the first time I even tasted it. I don’t know how I grew up in Nigeria and never ate it before. But maybe because it takes forever to make, no one could be bothered to cook it at home. Let me be even more honest and tell you that I had to make it over two days. Ridiculous, I know. I peeled the beans the day before and I was going to continue with the process but it took me FOREVER to peel those beans. And I was too tired to continue with the gbegiri because I was cooking other things as well. In fact, let me just take another second to rant: why is it such a chore to peel beans? Even with the blender method that is faster than the regular manual means, it still took me over 3 hours! I actually took a few tea breaks in between to think about my life. Seriously; peeling beans does that to you. And even after those grueling hours, can you imagine that there were still some stubborn beans with their skins still on? Death to those beans! There needs to be a solution to this. Pre-peeled beans sold in grocery stores? I think so!

By now, I’m sure I have turned a lot of people off making gbegiri. But wait! Don’t be discouraged. The good part: it tastes AH MAY ZING. Like, it has this smooth creamy nutty spicy taste all at the same time. You really can’t compare to any other Nigerian soup. I guess all that blood and sweat was worth it in the end.

I lied. It’s not worth it. Hire someone to peel those beans for you. We call it outsourcing.

Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of beans (regular brown cow peas)
  2. Assorted meats – boiled
  3. ½ cup palm oil
  4. Blended (6) tomatoes, (2) red bell peppers, (1) onion and (3) scotch bonnet peppers
  5. Bouillon cubes (2)
  6. 2 tablespoons blended crayfish
  7. Smoked fish – shredded
  8. 1 ½ cups chicken/beef stock

Directions

(Hire someone to) peel the skin off the beans by soaking it in water for 5 minutes, putting it in the blender and “pulsing” for 2-3 seconds and then rinsing multiple times till all the skin is off. (I’ll put a more descriptive “how to” up here as soon as I perfect it myself). This will probably take 2 hours or more, depending on how skilled you are


Put the washed beans in a pot with twice the amount of water as the beans and boil till very soft


While the beans is cooking, boil the blended tomatoes/peppers till it reduces in volume by almost half


Heat palm oil in a large pot and add the blended tomatoes. Season with bouillon cube and crayfish
Add the beef/chicken stock and leave to simmer for 10 minutes then mix in the assorted meats. Leave on med/high heat till it becomes a thick sauce


Once the beans is soft enough, put in a blender/food processor and blend till it becomes a paste (Should be semi-watery). Strain to remove any chunks/particles


Mix in the bean paste into the sauce spoon-by-spoon until it becomes a light orange colored soup. (You may end up not using all of the beans). Keep on heat for another 5 minutes then take off heat


Serve with your choice of “swallow” – but it is usually served with amala

Gbegiri - Beans Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of beans (regular brown cow peas)
  2. Assorted meats - boiled
  3. ½ cup palm oil
  4. Blended (6) tomatoes, (2) red bell peppers, (1) onion and (3) scotch bonnet peppers
  5. Bouillon cubes (2)
  6. 2 tablespoons blended crayfish
  7. Smoked fish - shredded
  8. 1 ½ cups chicken/beef stock
Instructions
  1. (Hire someone to) peel the skin off the beans by soaking it in water for 5 minutes, putting it in the blender and “pulsing” for 2-3 seconds and then rinsing multiple times till all the skin is off. (I’ll put a more descriptive “how to” up here as soon as I perfect it myself). This will probably take 2 hours or more, depending on how skilled you are
  2. Put the washed beans in a pot with twice the amount of water as the beans and boil till very soft
  3. While the beans is cooking, boil the blended tomatoes/peppers till it reduces in volume by almost half
  4. Heat palm oil in a large pot and add the blended tomatoes. Season with bouillon cube and crayfish
  5. Add the beef/chicken stock and leave to simmer for 10 minutes then mix in the assorted meats. Leave on med/high heat till it becomes a thick sauce
  6. Once the beans is soft enough, put in a blender/food processor and blend till it becomes a paste (Should be semi-watery). Strain to remove any chunks/particles
  7. Mix in the bean paste into the sauce spoon-by-spoon until it becomes a light orange colored soup. (You may end up not using all of the beans). Keep on heat for another 5 minutes then take off heat
  8. Serve with your choice of “swallow” – but it is usually served with amala
Tatashey http://www.tatashey.com/

6 Comments

  1. Fowoke
    December 7, 2014 / 12:47 PM

    Hmm, looking at the finished dish makes me want to eat amala and I’m not really a “swallow” person. You should try egusi soup. That is Ijebu egusi soup and not Efo egusi.

    • Tatashey
      December 7, 2014 / 6:55 PM

      haha! Aunty Fowoks, I actually will try that, never made it that way before. Oddly enough I made efo egusi a few days ago – great minds 🙂

  2. Zeenat
    January 18, 2016 / 10:14 AM

    the easier way to peel beens…pour water over the beans and soak for like two minutes…drain the water and pound the peans in a mortar…the skins come of easier that way

    • Tatashey
      January 27, 2016 / 3:43 PM

      Sadly I learned this method after all the suffering I went through.. Sigh. Thanks for the tip!

  3. February 19, 2016 / 5:16 AM

    Do you know why it took you 2 hours and you still had some stubborn beans? It is because you soaked the beans at all…peeling beans is an art I learnt through cooking with olopos and alases…something I did as a hobby from like 25 years ago phewwww…trust my ijebu mother, lagos father and all the family parties…

    This is the trick and trust me it took me years to master. Put the beans unwashed in a mortar or blender, Add water to the level of the beans and begin pulsing or rolling with your pistle immediately. The science behind this is that the water begins to soak the skin first and it takes about 2 mins to get past the skin to begin soaking the bean seed itself… Once the beans seed soak before you are able to apply mechanical pressure to remove its soaked skin, the beans seed swells and it adheres to the skin in a tight bond hence the stubborn beans seed you have left.

    Key point…pulse the blender immediately and contiuously for few seconds over a 45 second period then check the beans and strain…you sh be done in 7-10 mins with clean unblended beans if done right…thank me lata…

  4. Ogo
    September 27, 2016 / 3:50 AM

    Hahahahaha! Had a good laugh at the beans story! For a long time I never touched or dreamt of doing Moimoi because of the beans drama. I mean what on earth was that?! Until I discovered the method stated by Fowoke’s friend above somewhere… can’t really remember where. Though I soak for 2mins and pulse for 10seconds in the blender. Now I actually look forward to doing Moimoi … unbelievable!

    One thing I must say is that your method of doing gbegiri is different from others that I’ve seen. Is tomatoes and onions part of the authentic recipe or an innovation by you?

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