8cupsblack eyed peas (koki beans) - peeled, soaked and rinsed
1 ½cupspalm oil
1bagspinach (8 oz/227 grams)
1 ½ - 2tablespoonssalt
5chili peppers (or other hot pepper to taste)
1bagfrozen banana leaves and/ or 1 roll aluminium foil (preferably non-stick)foil
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 (To see how I wash and soak the beans before blending, please watch this video.)
Pour the ground beans into a large bowl.
Lightly warm the palm oil. Do not bleach it. Set aside.
Chop the spinach into large chunks. You can use as much or as little spinach as you need. Set aside.
Add salt into bean paste and mix, using an egg whisk so you can trap in air. This makes for a spongy texture.
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.
Now add your chopped spinach and gently fold into the mixture.
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.
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.
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 ½ to 2 hours. Be sure to check from time to time so it doesn't burn.
Unravel a bundle and serve warm with boiled ripe plantains or any starchy side of choice. Enjoy!
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.Optional ingredients you could add in are Maggi (seasoning cubes) and onions. But those are not necessary. Koki is traditionally made without them. It tastes perfect without them.