Welcome to the heart of West Africa, where vibrant cultures and flavors merge to create culinary masterpieces. In the bustling streets of Benin, food is not just sustenance; it's a celebration of community, tradition, and heritage. One such beloved dish that encapsulates the essence of Beninese cuisine is Moin Moin.

Moin Moin, a savory steamed bean pudding, is a staple dish enjoyed across West Africa, each region adding its own unique twist. In Benin, Moin Moin is not just a dish; it's a symbol of togetherness, often shared during gatherings, festivals, and family meals. Its rich flavor and creamy texture make it a favorite among locals and a must-try for anyone exploring the culinary wonders of this region.

Join us on a journey to uncover the secrets of Benin's Moin Moin recipe, as we delve into its ingredients, preparation, and the cultural significance that makes it a cherished part of Beninese cuisine. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a curious food enthusiast, get ready to tantalize your taste buds with this authentic West African delight.


  • 2 cups black-eyed peas
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional, for heat)
  • 1/4 cup palm oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground crayfish (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Banana leaves or aluminum foil for wrapping (if banana leaves are unavailable)


Prepare the Black-Eyed Peas: Rinse the black-eyed peas thoroughly under cold water and soak them in water overnight or for at least 6 hours.

Grind the Peas: Drain the soaked black-eyed peas and transfer them to a blender or food processor. Add the chopped onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and scotch bonnet pepper (if using). Blend until you achieve a smooth, thick paste-like consistency. You may need to add a little water to help with blending, but be careful not to make it too watery.

Season the Mixture: Transfer the blended mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the palm oil (or vegetable oil), ground crayfish (if using), ground nutmeg, ground cumin, and salt to taste. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated into the mixture.

Prepare the Wrappers: If you're using banana leaves, cut them into squares and briefly pass them over an open flame to soften them. If using aluminum foil, cut them into squares or rectangles.

Assemble and Steam: Place a spoonful of the Moin Moin mixture onto each banana leaf square or aluminum foil. Fold and seal the edges to form parcels or small packages. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.

Steam the Moin Moin: Place the wrapped Moin Moin parcels in a steamer or a large pot with a steaming rack. Add water to the pot, making sure it doesn't touch the bottom of the parcels. Cover the pot and steam the Moin Moin parcels for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until firm and cooked through.

Serve and Enjoy: Once cooked, carefully unwrap the Moin Moin parcels and serve warm as a side dish or a main course. Moin Moin pairs well with rice, fried plantains, or eaten on its own. Enjoy the rich flavors of this authentic Beninese delicacy!

Nutritional Values:

Here's the approximate nutritional information for each ingredient per serving:

Black-eyed peas (cooked, 2 cups):

  • Calories: 220 kcal
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Fiber: 11 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Iron: 4 mg

benefit: Rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients like iron, black-eyed peas help support muscle growth, digestion, and overall health.

Onion (1 large):

  • Calories: 60 kcal
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Vitamin C: 20 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.4 mg

benefit: Onions are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, particularly vitamin C and B6, which help boost the immune system, promote healthy skin, and support brain function.

Garlic (2-3 cloves):

  • Calories: 10 kcal
  • Protein: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Vitamin C: 1 mg

benefit: Garlic is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, as well as its ability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve heart health, and boost immunity.

Red bell pepper (1 medium):

  • Calories: 45 kcal
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Vitamin C: 152 mg
  • Vitamin A: 3726 IU

benefit: Red bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, which supports immune function, collagen production, and skin health, while also providing fiber and antioxidants for overall well-being.

Scotch bonnet pepper (1 pepper):

  • Calories: 10 kcal
  • Protein: 0.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Fiber: 0.5 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Vitamin C: 109 mg

benefit: Scotch bonnet peppers contain capsaicin, which has been linked to pain relief, improved metabolism, and reduced inflammation, as well as vitamins A and C for immune support and eye health.

Palm oil or vegetable oil (1/4 cup):

  • Calories: 480 kcal (for palm oil); 480 kcal (for vegetable oil)
  • Fat: 56 g (for palm oil); 56 g (for vegetable oil)

benefit: Both palm oil and vegetable oil provide essential fatty acids that support heart health, brain function, and hormone production, while also supplying energy and aiding in nutrient absorption.

Ground crayfish (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 10 kcal
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fat: 0 g

benefit: Ground crayfish adds a rich flavor to dishes and provides protein, vitamins, and minerals, contributing to muscle growth, bone health, and overall nutritional balance.

Ground nutmeg (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 12 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 2.5 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Fat: 0.8 g

benefit: Nutmeg is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, promoting digestion, brain health, and immune function.

Ground cumin (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 8 kcal
  • Protein: 0.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1.3 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Fat: 0.5 g

benefit: Cumin is a good source of iron and antioxidants, aiding in digestion, improving blood sugar control, and supporting immune function.

Salt (to taste):

  • Nutritional values vary based on consumption and type of salt used.

benefit: While salt should be consumed in moderation, it is essential for maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contraction in the body.

Banana leaves or aluminum foil (for wrapping):

  • These items do not contribute significant nutritional value to the dish and are mainly used for cooking purposes.

benefit: These items are primarily used for cooking and do not offer significant nutritional benefits. However, banana leaves may impart a subtle flavor to dishes and aluminum foil helps retain moisture during cooking.


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