- 1 – 2 lbs of dry cowpeas (black-eyed peas)
- 1 – 2 sweet peppers, cleaned and finely chopped
- 1 cup palm oil
- 2 – 3 banana leaves and string
- Clean the black-eyed peas in water in a large pot. Cover them with boiling water and soak them overnight. After soaking them, rub them together between your hands to remove the skins, if need be. Rinse to wash away the skins and any other debris. Drain them in a colander.
- Crush, grind, or mash the black-eyed peas into a thick paste. Put the crushed beans in a large bowl. Slowly stir in enough water to make the paste smooth. Beat with a wire whisk or wooden spoon for a few minutes or more. It is important to incorporate small air bubbles into the paste.
- Heat the oil in a skillet for a few minutes, when warmed, add half the oil to the bean paste.
- Fry the chopped pepper in the remaining oil for a few minutes, then add pepper and oil to the bean paste. Add salt to taste and mix well.
- Warm the banana leaves for a half-minute in a hot oven, remove the center rib of each leaf by cutting across it with a knife and pulling it off. Cut the ends off each leaf to form a large rectangle. Fold the banana leaves to completely enclose the ingredients in a packet 2 - 3 layers thick. Use oven-proof string to tie them closed.
- Place sticks or a wire basket on the bottom of a large pot. Carefully stack the packets on the sticks, add enough water to steam-cook them. Cover tightly and boil for one to three hours. Cooking time depends on the size of the packet. The finished Ekoki should be cooked to the center, like a cake. Ekoki can be eaten hot or cold and is often served with boiled yam or sweet potato.
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