- 1 to 4 cups (1 to 2 pounds) dry cowpeas , kidney beans, white beans
- 1 or 2 sweet peppers and/or chile pepper, cleaned and finely chopped
- 1 cup palm oil
- banana leaves (or aluminum foil) and string
- Clean the black-eyed peas in water in a large pot. Cover them with boiling water and soak them for at least an hour or 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.
- If the beans have soaked only a short time, they may be cooked in water over a low heat until they are partially tender.
- 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, or on a grill, or in a pot of boiling water.
- This makes them easier to fold.
- 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 two or three layers thick.
- 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 koki should be cooked to the center, like a cake.
- Koki can be eaten hot or cold and is often served with boiled yam or sweet potato.
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