One of the best ways Nigerians in South Africa deal with nolstagia is by accessing at all cost what brings the home-sickness, be it food, drink, cloth et al – ewa Aganyin is feeling the gap well in South Africa.
Jollof Rice, Fried Rice, Egusi, Okro and other Nigerian popular staples are easy to cook and come by in South Africa, but ewa Aganyin is scarce and delivering it home style has been a mission.
“Today, at the heart of Randburg, I ran into Kunle Samuel Owoloabi of nigeriansinsouthafrica.co.za and an ewa Aganyin vendor joined us as she advertises in the usual warm and polite Naija style.
“Ewa Aganyin wa o (ewa Aganyin is available), says Iya Adura, a Nigerian woman in her late 50s as she pulls the ewa Aganyin trolley with charm and candour”.
In pic: Kunle Samuel Owolabi and ewa Aganyin vendor (Iya adua) and Kunle’s kin @ Randburg – pic by Femi Oshin
Her warmth captivated Owolabi and I. I bought Ewa Aganyin and yam @ R40 (1,000 Naira) Kunle buys ewa beans) only.
Iya Adura quickly shared her phone number and mentioned that her husband is a prophet who came to South Africa in 2018. She’s networking.
Ewa Aganyin is one Naija delicacy that has stressed many Nigerian chefs and restauranteurs in South Africa. Some did it with “Agege Bread” but failed. Not because the bread was not good but the ewa Aganyin was not like the ‘home rite”.
Though a few Nigerian restaurants gets the mode, ‘mould’ and make but anyone who truly gets it, hits a jackpot – craving for it is massive.
R30 (750 Naira) ewa Aganyin in South Africa
It is not the ewa (beans) that is the challenge, it’s the special sauce.
Ewa Aganyin (also spelled Ewa Agoyin) is a street food commonly eaten in Lagos and other southern states of Nigeria.
The term ‘Ewa Aganyin’ was coined from ewa, meaning beans in Yoruba, and Aganyin, which is a tribe in Benin Republic or a general term used by Nigerians to refer to Beninese and Togolese people.
Ewa Agoyin was therefore used to describe the type of beans prepared by these people of Togolese and Beninese origins.
It was first introduced into the Nigerian diet by the first generation of Aganyin people migrating to Nigeria far back as the sixties. It became more popular in Lagos in the 80s’, until its fame spread like wildfire over Africa in the mid-nineties.
It’s such a classic that it has experienced plenty gentrifications and dynamism.
The beans are made to be extremely soft or mashed. It is commonly eaten with barely ground pepper and tomato sauce which is very spicy but peppery. It has a local name of ‘Ewa G’. Additional ingredients can include palm oil, onion and crayfish.
It is commonly eaten with bread, dodo, yam or garri, which makes it very satisfying. A common slang phrases is “ewa G go block belle”, meaning ewa Aganyin will fill your stomach. It is a popular food for Nigerians as it is both delicious and very filling.
It has not become popular amongst South Africans and other yet.
EWA AGANYIN SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
2 cups brown beans, 2 Knorr cube, 1 tsp salt, 1 Knorr cube, 1/4 cup dried blended crayfish, 1 large bell pepper (tatashe), 4 habanero peppers (Ata Rodo)
1 medium onion, 1 tsp salt
HOW TO MAKE EWA AGANYIN SAUCE
Wash beans and parboil; leave on low heat for 2 hours or more until the beans is very soft then add salt to taste.
In a blender, combine the bell pepper, habanero (rodo) pepper and the half medium onion.
Set a medium sized pot on low heat, add the palm oil. Bleach the oil for 10-15mins; turn the heat to minimum, add the chopped onion, stir at interval.
Add in the blender chopped pepper to another pot, boil for 15mins (this is to remove excess water)
Add the parboiled pepper to the fried onion, cook for about 15mins. Add in the crayfish, salt and knorr. Taste for seasoning
Cook on medium heat for another 10mins. Serve on beans